Friday, December 30, 2011

[Audiobook Review] Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll

I have been a listener of Mark Driscoll's podcasts for years and have enjoyed listening to him preach. This book is his (and his wife's Grace) first book on marriage, which is apparently also launching their first nationwide marriage conference tour. I found the book to be rather engaging, much like Driscoll's preaching style. The Driscolls' aim in the book seems to be to present a modern relevant "Biblical" view of marriage to modern Christians.

The good: Much of this book is very good. The narration was quite excellent as there was a male and female narrators to read the relevant sections of the book that either Mark or Grace wrote. It was clear and understandable. Grace gives much of her back story that many of us have never heard through the Mars Hill podcasts. It helps us men to appreciate loving our wives even more and reaching out to them. Mark gives a lot of information as well about his story and how Grace and he came together and where they are at now. Much of this book is more autobiographical than anything else, which is very helpful. The Driscolls are very honest about how their marriage was falling apart and how it was put back together through God's grace and the help of Godly people.

The bad: While the book may be culturally relevant to the people of Seattle, and maybe the rest of the West coast, I'm not so sure how relevant it is to those of us in the deep South (Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi). The chapter on sex and what's lawful and helpful is mostly what I'm referring to. I like how Driscoll frames it in the form of questions as to whether it's lawful (most is lawful), and helpful (he comes to the conclusion that most is, within the context of marriage). However, I don't think I do agree with him that most of it's helpful. I've heard this stuff before from him through his podcasts and I didn't find it helpful then. Basically, I think he's going a little far. Tim LaHaye came close to what Driscoll is doing with a little book on marriage in the '70s, so this isn't anything new. If you easily get embarrassed, then this section of the book will definitely get to you.

Overall, the book is well-written and should provide for a new perspective on marriage from a couple who has been through tough times. Much of the book is helpful and should help couples to examine their marriages and bring them closer together. As others have expressed, and I express now, there's one section of the book that will bring lots of debates in the months to come.

This audiobook was provided free for review by the reviewers program.

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