Scott's Reviews > Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together

Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll
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's review
Jan 12, 2012

liked it
Read from January 10 to 12, 2012

Couldn't resist all the controversy so I had to just read it myself. Instead of doing an in depth review, I'll just say that I agree/support/affirm much of what Doug Wilson (natural law) & Denny Burk (poor exegesis of the taxonomy in Ch. 10) have said.

Instead, I'll do a classic pro/con list.

Pro: 1) the chapters on Men, Women, & Marriage were all excellent. Basically, for the entire first half of the book I can't see why anyone would have any real disagreements outside of a couple of things (which I'll get to in a second). Really, the Driscolls present a kind of "crash course" in complementarity, with a heavy emphasis on calling men to act. I think that I may start having college men in our church read the Men & Marriage chapter.

2) It's a relatively short book (I read it in 2 days) and thus is probably pretty readable for people who don't usually like books.

3) It's incredibly practical. One of the main critiques I heard by a reviewer was that it wasn't "gospel focused" which I didn't really buy into as I read. In the "head, heart, hands" diagram, this is hits the "hands" portion really well (ie: examples, practicals, etc.) For theology nerdarios, I can see why'd they'd quib, but when you think about the intended audience (young, new Christians, etc.), it makes perfect sense

Con: 1) Probably the most disconcerting thing for me honestly was all of the "special revelation" type things that they'd say off the cuff. The "God told me", "God said", etc. is a pretty common theme throughout the narrative which, to me at least, seems potentially dangerous ESPECIALLY considering the crowd (new or young Christians) reading.

2) Honestly, the inclusion of the "Can We" chapter is a con for me not because of the reasons that everyone has already heard and fought over. For me, the reason why it's a con is that an otherwise respectful, solid book on marriage is derailed because of a chapter that hardly fits in with the flow of the text. Not only is it controversial, but it really doesn't make sense with its placement. To be honest, if they really felt obligated to put it in the book (which is fine), it should have just been an appendix. Appendix-ing the chapter would have cut down on so much fuss, but it is what it is...

To conclude, I don't know if I'll encourage this book as a whole to people or not. Some of it was really good but then some was probably, at times, a bit unnecessary. I pray that this book does alot of good in the lives of the people who read it. I am hopeful that it will.

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Tyrell Mentzer Thanks for a fair review. It frustrates me when people focus solely on their opinions of "wrong" and claiming them as truth and doctrine. I truly believe there is one, true doctrine, but no one has found it and we're all in unity in our journey, discovering God's wisdom as He reveals it to us and we share it with each other.

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