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Topic: Book Reviews

From the Archives: The Meaning of Marriage

November 4, 2013


In an increasingly post-Christian culture, the Biblical portrait of marriage is becoming more foreign to 21st-century Americans than ever before. Clear and compelling articulations of the biblical portrait of marriage are essential. Tim Keller’s recent work, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, is one recent example of a winsome defense of biblical marriage needed for both discipleship and cultural engagement.

In a previous Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (17.2, Fall 2012), Andrew Naselli, Research Manager for D.A. Carson, Administrator of Themelios, and author of From Typology to Doxology: Paul’s Use of Isaiah and Job in Romans 11:34-35, reviewed Tim Keller’s, The Meaning of Marriage. Naselli notes that Keller, “weaves the gospel throughout the book while disarmingly exposing harmful views on marriage, realistically explaining how God designed marriage to work and powerfully demonstrating how glorious marriage is. He anticipates objections (e.g., regarding homosexuality or the role of women), probably states them better than the objectors could themselves, and respectfully responds.” He also lists Keller’s eight theses of the biblical portrait of marriage.

1) Our culture views marriage very differently than the Bible presents it; God instituted marriage and designed it to illustrate the gospel.

2) The Holy Spirit enables husbands and wives to serve each other joyfully.

3) Marriage is about love, which is not merely romantic passion but commitment to our promise.

4) The purpose of marriage is for two best friends to help each other become more holy.

5) We can help our spouse become more holy with the power of constructive truth, renewing love (especially the “love languages” of affection, friendship, and service), and reconciling grace.

6) God created men and women with equal value but distinct roles.

7) Singles should neither overvalue nor undervalue marriage, and those seeking marriage should take some precautions.

8) God created sex solely for marriage as a glorious uniting act that maintains the marriage covenant.

You can read the rest of Andrew Naselli’s review here, along with all of CBMW’s previous publications at the Journals page. For subscription information about the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, contact us @CBMWreviews or email [email protected].


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