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This review is from: The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I knew of Tim Keller's reputation as a speaker. I was hoping for some new insights and helpful pointers. But no such luck. I found his style waffley and verbose and discovered little to inspire.
The style of marriage he and his wife promote clearly works for them but struck me as stifling. They base their thesis on a fairly traditional interpretation of Ephesians 5, with a strong emphasis on gender roles. Perhaps this works in marriages where the words of Jesus are taken seriously by both sides. But given the fallen nature of humanity, it is fraught with difficulty for the average person. How many husbands can truly say they love their wives in the sacrificial way Jesus loves the church and gave himself for it? How many wives can cope with playing second fiddle in a marriage where the husband is on a constant power trip? Almost offensive was the suggestion that we should be on the look-out for each other's faults in order to make each other better people. And frustrating were suggestions such as women should accept the headship of men because that's just the way it is. In an ideal world these things may work, but let's face it, most of us are anything but perfect.
There were a few useful (though not new) insights, such as the discussion of the different ways in which people perceive loving actions from another person. But there are other books that cover this and other topics more effectively. I would give this one a miss.
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Initial post: 21 Apr 2013 00:04:56 BDT
Mr. T. E. Rochester says:
Ashley, you seem to have missed the parts where they actually addressed your issues!
Kathy Keller wrote Chapter 6 addressing headship and the way it applies to the household. They don't argue that "that's just the way it is" - their argument is supported from scripture, and they obviously take a Complementarian position which you disagree with. The fact their exegesis differs to yours doesn't negate the fact that there are nevertheless very sound Christian marriage principles throughout this book.
You ask "How many wives can cope with playing second fiddle in a marriage where the husband is on a constant power trip?" - if you truly understood their definition of 'servant-leadership' you'd see that no husband should consider headship as an excuse to be dominant and go on a power trip.
You ask "How many husbands can truly say they love their wives in the sacrificial way Jesus loves the church and gave himself for it?" - but the point here is that this is the *ideal* husbands should aim for, not necessarily the everyday reality. You agree we aren't perfect, and the Kellers admit marriages are made up of two sinful people, but with God's help and with God at the centre of the marriage, the ideal to live by is still there. We shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater like you seem to have done with this review!
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