Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JODT 16:47 (April 2012) p. 81
Real Marriage, the Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life Together by Mark & Grace Driscoll. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012. 249 pp., cloth, $12.49.
Real Marriage uses the background of the Driscolls’ own marriage—with its numerous struggles—to provide marital advice on a number of topics such as friendship, respect, submission, sin, repentance, and forgiveness. These subjects are addressed in the first section of the book and, essentially, the authors offer no unique insights. The Driscolls do believe in the headship of the husband and submission of the wife but also believe in mutual submission as a result of their misunderstanding of Ephesians 5:21 (p. 64). They also wrongly teach that providing for the family is man’s curse (p. 52), that 1 Peter 3:7 addresses men being better physical fighters than women, and they begin the book with a non-contextual quotation of Revelation 21:5 (p. 3). While much of their advice is biblical, a good portion is opinion based on either statistics or pop psychology; for example, love languages and stereotypical categories (pp. 42–64), such as naming one’s troubled past to be healed (p. 124), selfishness beginning in childhood (p. 158) rather than part of one’s fallen nature, and, most disturbing, “healing of memories” (pp. 127–34, 152). Mark also shows evidence of being influenced by spiritual formation teachings (p. 209). The best chapter in the book, in this reviewer’s opinion, is the second on friendship in marriage, although its title is the suggestive “Friends with Benefits,” which in secular usage simply means sex between uncommitted friends. The authors are also correct by warning readers to guard their hearts rather than following them (p. 30) and they give good teaching with regard to repentance and forgiveness (pp. 88–100) saying “bitter people have a filter through which everything (past, present and future) is viewed negatively” (p. 100).
Known as a “shock-jock,” Mark was relatively benign throughout the book, although he joked at Catholic priests who “wear dresses” (pp. 9–10), and Grace (his wife) reverted to “gutter language” once and then quickly explained herself (p. 76). The most disturbing aspect of Part I, and often ignored by his fans, is the frequency in which God supposedly speaks to Mark, revealing important information. He relayed four direct revelations from God to himself, and Grace added another two (pp. 8, 11–12, 15, 25, 128). In the first, God told him to marry Grace, preach the Bible, train men, and plant churches. In the most disturbing vision, God showed him—in vivid description—a sexual act that Grace...
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