Archives For Marriage

 

These great new books on marriage were featured in
our Advent 2016 print magazine
(As sidebar reviews to  Katherine Willis Pershey’s excellent book Very Married)

Reviews by ERB Editor,
C. Christopher Smith

 

*** SUBSCRIBE NOW to our print magazine!

 

Making Marriage Beautiful:
Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You

Dorothy Greco

 
Hardback: David C. Cook, 2017
Buy now: [ Buy Now ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Dorothy Greco offers us in Making Marriage Beautiful a poignant reflection on the many challenges of marriage that will require our attention and our diligence. Beginning with the helpful conviction that marriage will change you, Greco explores the dynamics of marriage and how indeed we are changed through the covenant of marriage. Each chapter ends with a story from a different married couple that sheds light on the theme of that chapter. The beauty of this book lies in its insistence that the fruits of marriage–joy and intimacy, for instance–are cultivated through weathering challenges together. Cultivation is a helpful, agricultural metaphor, for a marriage, like farming, will require hard work, but there are also other factors that shape a marriage that cannot be controlled by our most diligent efforts. Making Marriage Beautiful is a wise and immensely practical book for anyone who is married, or who  hopes to someday be married.
 
 

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

> > > >
Next Book

Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation

by Dr. William Barber

Watch the Book Trailer Video

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A Faith Identity Rooted in the Love and Example of Christ
 
A Review of

Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk
J. Dana Trent

Paperback: Fresh Air Books, 2013.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 

Reviewed by John W. Morehead

 

Read the conversation that Rachel Held Evans hosted with Dana Trent and her husband Fred
 

According to recent research by Naomi Schaefer Riley, the number of interfaith marriages is increasing. 45% of all marriages in the last decade involved couples from differing religious traditions. Riley’s research also shows that these marriages are not easy. Although we live in an age that is calling for increasing religious tolerance, this does not make the daily struggles of interfaith marriage any easier to wrestle with.

 

These difficulties are illustrated in Saffron Cross, where Dana Trent, a Christian minister with connections to the Southern Baptist Convention, shares her experiences in an interfaith marriage with her husband Fred, a Hindu and former monk. This is an interesting volume that provides insights into what the partners in such marriages experience, and it includes lessons for those outside of such marriages. Their experiences navigating such relationships have much to teach us in navigating religious pluralism.
 
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Altared by Claire and EliRe-adjusting our Focus on the Family

A Review of

Altared: The True Story of a She, a He, and How They Both Got Too Worked Up About We

Claire and Eli

Paperback: Waterbrook, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Emma Stencil

Sometimes an entirely unique book will appear on the shelves and speak movingly and perceptively on an often-overlooked issue. Altared: The True Story of a She, a He, and How They Both Got Too Worked Up About We is this sort of book. Altared is not a book about marriage or a book about being single. It is a book about loving the people around you whether they are your friends, your coworkers, your siblings, or your spouse. As such, the book doesn’t offer much practical guidance about relationships. Those looking for a bulleted list of advice on dating and marriage or on preparation for marriage in the future should look elsewhere. This is not to say that the authors, Claire and Eli, are opposed to marriage or hostile towards married or engaged couples. Nor does the book unduly elevate singleness.

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“To Follow the Lead of Christ

A review of
As  Christ Submits to the Church:
A Biblical Understanding
of Leadership and Mutual Submission

by Alan Padgett.

Review by Micah Weedman.


AS CHRIST SUBMITS TO THE CHURCH - Alan PadgettAs  Christ Submits to the Church:
A Biblical Understanding
of Leadership and Mutual Submission

Alan Padgett.
Paperback: BakerAcademic, 2011.
Buy now:
[ ChristianBook.com ]
[ Amazon – Kindle ]

Alan Padgett states quite clearly that he writes this book as a “study of biblical ethics and Christ-centered mutual submission… to set out for readers the strength and wisdom of the biblical egalitarian perspective.” (11)  This alone makes it an important effort, if not one already taken by many writers and thinkers.

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“The Good Life that Can Result
From a Covenantal Love

A review of
??Why Love Will Always Be a Poor Investment:
Marriage and Consumer Culture

by Kurt Armstrong.

Review by Tim Otto.


Why Love Will Always be a Poor InvestmentWhy Love Will Always Be a Poor Investment:
Marriage and Consumer Culture

Kurt Armstrong.
Paperback: Wipf and Stock, 2011.
Buy now:
[ Amazon – Paperback ] [ Amazon – Kindle ]

As a pastor, trying to shepherd, I sometimes feel completely outdone by the consumer culture wolf. How can the church compete with the marketing whiz kids who sit around all day thinking up salvation stories that revolve around the consumption of goods and services? As they relentlessly inject the propaganda of capitalism directly into minds through earbuds, screens, stories, music, and games, I’m tempted to despair. But happily, Kurt Armstrong has given us a terrific help in his book Why Love Will Always Be a Poor Investment: Marriage and Consumer Culture.

Advertisers know that people are not usually persuaded through logic alone. A typical car ad is not mostly a reasoned argument, but a mini-story told through images of freedom, joy, beauty, and ease. Unfortunately, many Christian marriage books lack transformative power because they are exercises in cool logic: principles for good relationships, lists of skills and strategies, arguments about the unitive and procreative functions of marriage, and prooftexts to back it all up.

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A Dating Book for New Monastics
and other Community-Minded Christians

A review of
Are You Waiting for ‘The One’?:
Cultivating Realistic, Positive
Expectations for Christian Marriage.

by Margaret and Dwight Peterson.

Review by Jasmine Wilson.

Are You Waiting for ‘The One’?:
Cultivating Realistic, Positive
Expectations for Christian Marriage.

Margaret and Dwight Peterson.
Paperback: IVP Books, 2011.

Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

I’ve been in a dating relationship for nearly three years, and I’ve often bemoaned the lack of good Christian dating resources. The one that was most popular all through high school was I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris. I admit, I never wound up reading that one, but I did pick up the sequel, Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship a few months ago, and I couldn’t get past the introduction, as it was saturated in a Hollywood culture that plays the same story-line over and over: girl and boy meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. And most importantly, the person you meet and marry has to be “the one.”

Margaret and Dwight Peterson tap into this question, asking Are You Waiting for ‘The One’?: Cultivating Realistic, Positive Expectations for Christian Marriage. Nothing against Joshua Harris and his notion that there is a sense of romanticism in dating (err, I mean, courting), but the Petersons paint a much more helpful picture of what dating and marriage should look like for Christians. They begin by talking about the “myth of the one true love” and can give firsthand knowledge of that, since both of them had been married before marrying each other (one was divorced, and one was happily married and became a widow). This book is based on a class they teach to seniors at Duke, and when students hear that Margaret had been married before, they ask all sorts of questions like, “Dwight, how do you feel knowing she loved someone else the same way she loves you?” or “Margaret, how do you know which husband was ‘the one’ for you?” Young Christians are often plagued with the romantic myths of the broader culture: “Don’t ‘settle for less,’ marry someone who will treat you like a prince or princess;” “Singleness is not an option for Christians,” and “One should marry their best friend, not getting emotionally intimate with anyone else except your potential spouse.”

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“The Way It Isn’t”

A Review of

What Love Comes To:
New and Selected Poems

By Ruth Stone

Reviewed by Kendra Langdon Juskus.


What Love  Comes to: Poems - Ruth StoneWhat Love Comes To:
New and Selected Poems

Ruth Stone.
Paperback:  Copper Canyon Press, 2008

New Edition, Dec. 2010.
Buy Now [ Amazon ]

It is dangerous to be a young woman reading an old woman’s poetry. Her words prematurely thrust you into the inevitabilities of life: the tender scars of loss, the wounds of war that open again and again, the disorientation of old age. This foreknowledge can be a liability in your hands, or it can be a gift. Either way, it is what you get reading the poetry of Ruth Stone.

Stone is nearly 96 years old but does not rejoice in her longevity. In fact, it seems a part of her would have rather exited life years ago than persist without the husband she lost in 1959 and whose ghost haunts every poem she has written since. And she has written a lot of poems since.

Living most of those years in some degree of poverty and obscurity hasn’t persuaded Stone to surrender any commitment to her craft or to compromise her vulnerable, brutal, and often sparkling voice for greater fame. The result of her tenacity is an oeuvre of 13 books of poetry; a National Book Award and a Wallace Stevens Award for her 2002 collection, In the Next Galaxy; a National Book Critics Circle Award and two Guggenheim Fellowships; and this latest collection, What Love Comes To: New and Selected Poems, which was a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist.

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Two excellent books that are being released in cheaper, paperback editions this week.  Now would be an excellent time to read them, if you haven’t already!

Acedia and Me - Kathleen Norris

Acedia and Me:

A Marriage, Monks
and A Writer’s Life.

Kathleen Norris.
Paperback:
Riverhead,
March 2010.

Our 2008 Book of the Year!

[ Read our Review ]

[Buy the paperback! ]



Beyond Biotechnology:
The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering.
Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott.
Paperback:

University Press of Kentucky. 2010.

[ Read our Review ]

[ Buy the paperback! ]

 

A Brief Review of

Equally Shared Parenting:
Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents
.
Marc and Amy Vachon.

Hardback: Perigee, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Jeni Newswanger Smith.

In Equally Shared Parenting, Marc and Amy Vachon, layout plans, ideas, and encouragement for parents desiring to make their lives (not just parenting duties) as balanced as possible. The book title is a bit of a misnomer because it contains little actual parenting advice, but is solely concerned with the “Equally Sharing” part.

The philosophy (which the authors unfortunately abbreviate ESP) isn’t about turning traditional gender roles on their head — it’s about balancing equally all the elements of partnership and raising children.  The authors define these as: child-raising, bread-winning, housework and time for self.  Additionally “equally shared parenting aims to create an equal partnership between parents and an individually balanced life for each.”

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