Well it has been long announced and expected, it arrived and went straight to the top of various best sellers lists, now it’s even made its way into the pages of the Daily Mail.
It is Mark and Grace Driscoll’s Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship, and Life Together.
As is often the case with Mark Driscoll, it has polarised opinion. The book is in three section with roughly one half devoted to marriage and the other to sex.
I haven’t read the book myself, not for any reason other than it wouldn’t be high on my reading list at the moment regardless of authorship. However, seeing the Daily Mail’s response following a tweet from NiddriePastor, (UPDATE: My Esteemed kinsman Mez has now added a post on his blog which is well worth reading) I was keen to see what the response of people I trust is. Tim Challies usually presents balanced and Biblically grounded reviews and I found his review of this thorough and balanced.
It may sound odd, but some of the most shocking things I found out from Challies was not the graphic sex detail (which he navigates well around) but how sloppily the book seems to have been put together. Anyhow, I urge you to read Tim’s appraisal of the book and consider whether or not you a) purchase the book or b) follow the advice if you already own it.
Anyone who has read Driscoll will know that they do church in a particular context. They aimed to build the church trying to reach the most unchurched group in Seattle – 20 to 30-some year-old guys, deemed the hardest to reach. I would imagine therefore that all of the issues addressed in the book have found their way to the pastors study at some point over the last however many years. However, as I found with my Halloween post, context has quite a large bearing on the matter. You could write a book on alcohol and drop all drink through some kind of filter and conclude that no alcohol was prohibited. Would I then want it to become a manual for recovering alcoholics?
This is where Challies asks some searching questions and where we need to be careful. We could end up looking at it as a manual or something that was permission giving rather than a view of a young couple written in a fairly narrow context. I certainly remember thinking ‘what will the Bible let me get away with?’
As I said, I haven’t read it, but if I do, I will be doing so with a seat-belt on and a good, robust Biblical filter as suggested by Challies.
Have you read a good review on this or read it yourself? Please post a comment.