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New books reassert biblical doctrines of marriage, family and sexual morality

December 9, 2004

Two new books from Crossway seek to rebuild the biblical foundation for marriage, family and sexual morality.

Two new books from Crossway seek to rebuild the biblical foundation for
marriage, family and sexual morality.

God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation by
Andreas J. Kostenberger with David W. Jones and True Sexual Morality:
Recovering Biblical Standards for a Culture in Crisis
by Daniel R. Heimbach
both were released by Crossway Books to coincide with the 56th annual meeting of
the Evangelical Theological Society held Nov. 17-19 in San Antonio, Texas.

In God, Marriage and Family, the authors meet head-on the cultural
crisis confronting family by providing an integrated, biblical treatment of the
full range of issues surrounding marriage and family.

The work encompasses more than 400 pages and covers in-depth such special
issues that arise with marriage and family such as childrearing, singleness,
homosexuality, divorce and remarriage.

The overarching purpose of the authors is to develop a biblical theology of
marriage and family to fill a glaring void within the present corpus of
Christian literature on the topic. Despite the existence of an endless array of
books on marriage and family, few, if any, seriously engage the Bible as a
whole, the authors argue. God, Marriage, and Family seeks to do just

“Many, if not most, of the plethora of popular books written on marriage and
family are theologically weak and not fully adequate in their application of
sound principles of biblical interpretation,” the authors assert.

“Many of these authors have Ph.D.s in counseling or psychology but their
formal training in the study of Scripture is lacking. Theological and
hermeneutical naiveté gives birth to superficial diagnoses, which in turn issue
in superficial remedies. It seems that the dynamics and effects of sin are
poorly understood in our day. The result is that many Christian self-help books
owe more to secular culture than a thoroughgoing Christian worldview.”

God, Marriage, and Family includes chapters on marriage and family in
the Old and New Testaments, the nature of marriage, wisdom from Solomon on
childrearing, the gift of singleness, the biblical verdict on homosexuality,
divorce and remarriage, and qualifications for church leadership. In the final
chapter, the authors present a biblical synthesis on marriage and family.

Kostenberger serves as professor of New Testament and Director of Ph.D./Th.M.
Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a prolific author
and distinguished evangelical scholar. Kostenberger and his wife have four

Jones is assistant professor of Christian Ethics at Southeastern Seminary. He
is married with two children.

A second new title, True Sexual Morality, examines the biblical
teaching on sexual morality alongside four counterfeit views that have crept
into a contemporary culture that often prides itself on being “sexually

Heimbach, like Kostenberger and Jones, serves on the faculty of Southeastern
Seminary. Born in China of missionary parents and educated at the U.S. Naval
Academy, Heimbach serves at Southeastern Seminary as professor of Christian
Ethics. He is also a council member of The Council on Biblical Manhood and
Womanhood (CBMW).

At more than 500 pages, Heimbach’s work gives readers an in-depth examination
of the moral relativism that is spreading with the speed and destructive force
of a marauding blaze through contemporary culture. He seeks to open the reader’s
eyes to the effects that non-biblical sexual choices have on individuals, the
family, the church, and the culture.

In the preface, Heimbach sets forth several ways in which his book differs
from others on the topic of sexual morality. His work rejects influences on
sexual morality from sources outside the Bible, assumes that universal moral
truth can be known and applied, and combines biblical exegesis and analysis with
warning and exhortation. Heimbach addresses two different audiences: those
within theological education such as seminarians and pastors, along with those
outside the academy such as parents, Sunday School teachers and young adults.

In the first chapter, Heimbach places sex squarely at the center of the
contemporary moral crisis.

“Since we became a nation, nothing so divisive has threatened common life in
America, and never have the stakes been so high,” he writes. “In just one
generation, we have witnessed a total revolution in the way people think of sex,
and this in turn is creating a demand for monumental revisions affecting every
social institution at almost every level.”

The book is divided into four parts: Sexual Chaos in the Culture, The
Biblical View of Sexual Morality, Counterfeit Views of Sexual Morality, and
Assessing the State of Sexual Morality. Each section contains several chapters
breaking down the particular topic, and the book concludes with four appendices.

Both books are available through the CBMW webstore:
God, Marriage, and
Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation

True Sexual
Morality: Recovering Biblcal Standards for a Culture in Crisis

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