A Review of Robert L. Plummer and Matthew D. Haste.“ Held in Honor: Wisdom for Your Marriage From Voices of the Past.” Fearn, Highland, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2015. 144 pp. $13.99. -- By: Craig Hurst

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 21:1 (Spring 2016)
Article: A Review of Robert L. Plummer and Matthew D. Haste.“ Held in Honor: Wisdom for Your Marriage From Voices of the Past.” Fearn, Highland, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2015. 144 pp. $13.99.
Author: Craig Hurst


A Review of Robert L. Plummer and Matthew D. Haste.“
Held in Honor: Wisdom for Your Marriage From Voices of the Past.”
Fearn, Highland, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2015. 144 pp. $13.99.

Craig Hurst

Grace Community Church
Howard City, Missouri

There are so many books on marriage.1 There are a lot of good ones and a lot of not so good ones. Each has their focus and many of them are helpful. When couples read them they are often times looking to them for their wisdom. What can they tell me about marriage that I don’t know yet? What can they tell me about how to deal with this or that issue?

With the proliferation of marriage books today one might come to the conclusion that the church has only been offering marital wisdom in the last generation or so. But this would be wrong. The church has had much to say abut marriage since its inception.

This is exactly what Robert Plummer and Matthew Haste want to share with Christians in their new book Held In Honor: Wisdom for Your Marriage from Voices of the Past (Christian Focus, 2015). “Many approach marriage as if it were an adventure into the unknown.” (13) While not intending to, marriage couples can act as if they were the first to be married and have a sense of loneliness amidst their marital problems and struggles.

When we study history we find that the questions and struggles we are having today are the same ones other Christians were having centuries ago. The times may be different but the struggles of marriage are always the same. Plummer and Haste draw upon centuries of Christians who have spoken to the realities of marriage. Though there is much wisdom to gain from contemporary voices, the voices of the past have much to say as well.

Held In Honor is structured as a devotional. Each day has a short passage on marriage from the past along with a brief historical introduction on the person who wrote it and the context for what

they wrote. Then a short devotional is written based on their advice. The authors are chosen from five eras in Christian history beginning with Igantius of Antioch in the early 100’s and ending with John Piper from the present day.

What is striking about the selections is that the authors have not just chosen the best of the best marital wisdom. They have included some advice that is unwise or unbiblical in order to point us to the truth fund in Scripture. For instance, Ambrosiaster, writing in the 4th century, gives us a window into how the early church viewed marriage as opposed to singleness. The authors point out tha...

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