Monthly Archives: July 2012

Book Review of The Meaning of Marriage

Timothy Keller and his wife Kathy have produced an unusual book dealing with marriage.  As you may know Timothy is a pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City that has more than 5000 regular Sunday attenders. One point of interest for me is that he has read all of C.S.Lewis works and refers to him frequently.  From my Reading List you can see I have read several of Tim’s books.

Why is this an unusual book of marriage? First it was written in collaboration with his wife Kathy [She wrote Chapter Six, Embracing the Other].

Second, is his scholarly critique to not accept terminology like “soul mate.” as “a perfectly compatible match.” This book came out of the need to instruct his nearly 3000 singles on marriage principles in a nine week series of sermons based on Ephesians 5:18-33. Be prepared to find interpretations with his in-depth approach.

Third, I have applied the words of David Powlison from the Biblical Journal #1 to Timothy’ s style or writing “he can put familiar truths into unfamiliar words pointing out unexpected implications.” See chapter 5 “Loving the Stranger” who is your spouse.

This 240 page book has an appendix that describes Tim and Kathy’s principles of Decision Making and Gender Roles that I have never seen in other books on marriage.

Additional Notes comprise pages 245-279.  I like to read end notes and I have found some additional good material enriching each of the chapter subjects.

All in all a must read for those willing to explore their marriage.

Biblical Journal Suggestions

For years I have used The Journal of Biblical Counseling on CD-ROM 1977-2005. It has been valuable part of my toolbox. I highly recommend that you purchase a copy from CCEF.ORG.

Now CCEF has produced in 2012 an updated and improved new journal free online or you can purchase a reasonable copy for your kindle or a  printed copy.  It includes Featured Articles, A Counselor’s Toolbox, Lives in Process and Book Reviews.

My brief review of Volume 26 Number  1.  I highly recommend it.  Dr Powlison discusses the goals of the Journal  under six items [pp 2-10]. He also give an excellent encouragement to the Pastor as a Counselor [pp 23- 39]. If you want to know about Meds Dr Mike Emlet MD gives a great description to help us a counselors.   One area for help is Julie Lowes’ description of the Relationship Assessment Activity to get the best information from children and teens.  She also has a book view of sexual predators.

My review of Volume Number 2:  This has 70 pages including articles on Godly Intoxication dealing with unique study of addiction of various kinds highlighting be benefits of a church community; What’s Right about Sex reminds us and celebrates the fact that we were made for intimacy; How Does Scripture Change You  gives stories of personal struggles pointing out that change rarely comes by a pat answer or quick fix; Evaluating a Person with Suicidal Desires presents a great list of risk factors, etc; What to say to a Teenager in Crisis is great and I recently gave a copy to parents or a teen; the journal continues the format mentioned above in Issue 26.

My review of Volume Number 3:

CCEF is to be commended for graciously producing a scholarly, yet useful tool to help biblical counselors.

Featured articles are by David Powlison;  one on “moderate makeovers” and one on redeeming psychology;Edward Welsh has two: one to counselors on feeling inadequate, Sam Williams on counselors as missionaries and Aaron Sinori on forgiveness. In the section on Counselors’ Toolbox has a great article on counseling non-Christian. and one I have used in counseling by Paul David Tripp on Lost in the Middle of your Life.  There are also other features on lives in process and book reviews.

Book Report Nearing Home by Billy Graham

This last book of the Evangelist was written in his nineties caught my eye since I am 76+ and am closer to Heaven than I was!  The book is well done and covers every aspect of old age.  In fact, Graham says the book is not just for older people but”for people at every stage of life.”

He goes on to challenge us to “Explore with him not only the realities of life as we grow older but also the hope and fulfillment and even joy that can be ours since we learn to look at these years from God’s point of view and discover His strength to sustain us every day.”

These ten chapters of this 180 page book not only covers every facet of growing older but I like the way he shares his personal journey with his wife Ruth who is already “home.”

I highly recommend it.  You will be blessed and perhaps you can pass it on to someone who is discouraged.