Devastating critique of Real Marriage

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jpfrench81

Puritan Board Sophomore
The spring issue of the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has a review by Heath Lambert of Mark Driscoll's book Real Marriage. The review is found here https://www.cbmw.org/images/jbmw_pdf/17_1/jbmw spring \'12 17 1 complete.pdf. I have not read the book, and I don't know Heath Lambert, but if what he says is true (which I presume), then the critique is devastating. One of the most concerning parts of the review is below:

Make no mistake: men and women will be introduced to p0rnography because of this book. For almost my entire ministry I have been talking to at least one person a week who struggles with p0rnography. I do not live in some sheltered ministry context away from people with perverse struggles. As true as that is, the Driscolls taught me a lot about p0rnography I wish I never knew. The Driscolls introduce their readers to the titles of pornographic books, magazines, and videos; they provide technical names for specific kinds of pornographic films; they list the names of celebri*ties who have starred in p0rnography; they even provide web addresses where readers can meet people for sex. As I look back on that sentence I am overwhelmed that a Christian minister could be so irresponsible.

This made me think of Matthew 18:6 (and related verses): But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

I felt a bit dirty after reading the review, not even the book, simply because the review described what the book talked about and recommended! It is very sad to me that someone as influential as Mark Driscoll would write something like this, or that a well known Christian publisher like Thomas Nelson would publish it. I'm sure there are helpful things in the book, but to me it sounds like there are a lot of bones (and perhaps flat out rotting flesh) to wade through before getting the nourishing meat. Perhaps some of you will critique me for saying this before I have read the book myself, but the review above is thorough enough that I have no temptation to read it. If the review above is incorrect or misleading, then I look forward to people "setting the record straight" in the comments below.
 
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Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
Just to be clear, Mr. Lambert is the author of the review, not of the book.
 

Christopher88

Puritan Board Sophomore
I read a sample of the book of both Real Marriage, and Kellers book on Marriage. When it comes time for my girl friend and I to read a book on marriage I will pick up Kellers.

I am reading a book now called Holding hands, holding hearts by Richard Philips. I would highly recommend it to men/women dating for the intent of marriage. Its clean, uses scripture, does not give out p0rn websites, its what relationships are meant to be; not a sexual fantasy.

Also men pick up The Masculine mandate by Mr. Philips, it helped shaped my view as what a man is.
 

jpfrench81

Puritan Board Sophomore


---------- Post added at 09:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:55 AM ----------

Just to be clear, Mr. Lambert is the author of the review, not of the book.
That is a bit confusing. I edited the main post.

---------- Post added at 09:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:56 AM ----------

Links to the issue and article are found here: Spring Issue of JBMW Now Online | Denny Burk
Thanks for reminding me of the fact that I forgot to link to the journal. I have now provided this in the original post.
 

Reformedfellow

Puritan Board Freshman
This Driscoll character is too much. This kind of perverseness should not even be named among any child of God, so how much more for those who claim authority over the shepherding of God's children? It's what comes out of a man which makes him unclean, and it's truly sad to hear over and over of the immaturity and filth that protrudes from this "Pastor's" mouth. Either from book, blog, video, or pulpit. "The church needs more dudes" we've heard him boast. I say the church needs more men who truly love righteousness, purity of heart, thought, word and deed.
This guy needs to grow up.
 

Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
I really believe Mark Driscoll should not be pastoring a church, much less a multi-site church. I'll point out talking in detail about sex (within the context of marriage) to unmarried people opens the door to the temptation of premarital sex, not early marriage.
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
I have a few friends, some of whom are female, that are reading Real Marriage and have been commenting on how much they have learned from it. It really, really saddens me that this book is being recommended. This review absolutely hammers Real Marriage, and rightly so, and I feel like anyone who is reading or considering reading Real Marriage should read this review.
 

Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
I have a few friends, some of whom are female, that are reading Real Marriage and have been commenting on how much they have learned from it. It really, really saddens me that this book is being recommended. This review absolutely hammers Real Marriage, and rightly so, and I feel like anyone who is reading or considering reading Real Marriage should read this review.

People can believe they are learning a lot but are getting misleading information. Think of all the people who read Purpose Driven Life or Your Best Life Now and believe they are getting spiritual gold.
 

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
What I think is sad is that Rob Bell was more modest in his ''sex god'' book than Driscoll is in ''real marriage''. Rob Bell is attacked as an heretic, while Driscoll is hailed as ''reformed'' (don't get me wrong Bell is clearly heterodox at best), yet on this one you gotta give props for Bell for at least not writing as perverted as Driscoll.
 

Reformed Irish Man

Puritan Board Freshman
People can believe they are learning a lot but are getting misleading information. Think of all the people who read Purpose Driven Life or Your Best Life Now and believe they are getting spiritual gold.
I am getting married in July so I have been reading a load of marriage books. 'Real Marriage' was given to me by someone so I decided to read it. I wouldn't recommend buying it, however, it isn't all bad advice the Driscolls give. I believe Mark Driscoll in an attempt to come across as 'relevant' instead comes across as crude and irreverent.

On the other hand I highly recommend 'Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace' by the Ricucci's. They put such an emphasis on the centrality of the gospel, and marriage as being a binding covenant.
 

Bethel

Puritan Board Freshman
People can believe they are learning a lot but are getting misleading information. Think of all the people who read Purpose Driven Life or Your Best Life Now and believe they are getting spiritual gold.
I am getting married in July so I have been reading a load of marriage books. 'Real Marriage' was given to me by someone so I decided to read it. I wouldn't recommend buying it, however, it isn't all bad advice the Driscolls give. I believe Mark Driscoll in an attempt to come across as 'relevant' instead comes across as crude and irreverent.

On the other hand I highly recommend 'Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace' by the Ricucci's. They put such an emphasis on the centrality of the gospel, and marriage as being a binding covenant.
Since you say that the advice Mark Driscoll give isn't all that bad, did you encourage your fiance to read the book?

I thought that the most telling part of the review was when Mr. Lambert said that he asked his wife not to finishing reading the book. There's no way that it can be a godly marriage book if the wife or wife-to-be can't read it and keep her conscience pure.
 

Reformed Irish Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Since you say that the advice Mark Driscoll give isn't all that bad, did you encourage your fiance to read the book?
We both started reading it individually so she has read parts of it. No, I did not encourage her to continue with it. To be honest I have not read all of the book. Certain paragraph headings were so explicit that I didn't think it would be edifying and so I didn't read those chapters/paragraphs in detail.

For the sake of argument I will say that not every chapter is full of crudeness however I would agree with Heath Lambert that the bad does outweigh the good.

"It is not as though there is nothing of any value in the book. The problem is that the good elements of the book are so frequently obscured and/or contradicted by very many bad elements of the book"
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
It is not surprising since Driscoll's "prophetic visions" include pornographic visions of his congregants committing adultery.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
Mr. Lambert certainly has more experience than me in dealing with these situations. But the following is essentially the point I made 3 years ago when similar material was linked to on the MH website, some of which may have been much tamer, if it's as bad as indicated here!:

Make no mistake: men and women will be introduced to p0rnography because of this book. For almost my entire ministry I have been talking to at least one person a week who struggles with p0rnography. I do not live in some sheltered ministry context away from people with perverse struggles. As true as that is, the Driscolls taught me a lot about p0rnography I wish I never knew. The Driscolls introduce their readers to the titles of pornographic books, magazines, and videos; they provide technical names for specific kinds of pornographic films; they list the names of celebri*ties who have starred in p0rnography; they even provide web addresses where readers can meet people for sex. As I look back on that sentence I am overwhelmed that a Christian minister could be so irresponsible.
Too many of these "New Calvinists" have entirely too low of a view of total depravity and the nature of indwelling sin.

In his review Mr. Lambert also points out the irony that the Driscoll's admittedly had serious problems within their marriage just a few years ago and yet now take it upon themselves to tell everyone else what real marriage is.
 

crimsonleaf

Puritan Board Freshman
Driscoll impressed me initially with his gritty, down to earth style, which I felt would reach more "ordinary working people" who may be lost in the Godly Christian language we often use. Over the last couple of years though, I have come to realise that those Christians who have left their mark on me have been those who have apparently acted in accordance with scripture, and who deny rough language and the presentation of the "blue-collar Gospel". I'm deeply imperfect in this regard, and struggle daily to leave behind the language of my old life. I was recently gently admonished by one of our elders for showing a glimpse of "the old Paul (my name)" a week previously.

Driscoll seems to have gone to far in his relational Gospel, causing some to believe that being a Christian and embracing our fallen natures is acceptable. As someone who claims to be reformed has Driscoll lost sight of the need to be seperate, and to set an example to be followed? If he has then he needs to re-examine his own understanding about regeneration and show a clearer, more biblical leadership to his followers.

Can anyone imagine Spurgeon publishing the addresses of the local houses of ill-repute?
 

Reformedfellow

Puritan Board Freshman
Mars-Hill-Driven disturbing

edit; that there link and topic deserves it's own thread. Does Pastor potty-mouth just want to be the Calvinist version of Chuck Smith, or is he more ambitious than that? Pope Mark Driscoll? I do not want to be guilty of slander here, and am mindful of my choice of words, but this really is a little scary. Especially from a man who is so vulgar, perverse, and overtly offensive to so many of God's saints.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Something emphasized repeatedly at the Philadelphia Conference this weekend is that God has given the church the power of the spoken gospel: not the power of being relevant, crude (?!?) use of the newest program or latest craze.
 

Reformed Irish Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Something emphasized repeatedly at the Philadelphia Conference this weekend is that God has given the church the power of the spoken gospel: not the power of being relevant, crude (?!?) use of the newest program or latest craze.
Yes, it seems like they believe the Bible isn't interesting enough and so they have to make it 'relevant' by making church entertainment driven in order to keep people coming. The focus of many churches is on the individual experience rather than on the worship of God.

I have heard it said "What draws a person to church is what will keep them there".
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
When the gospel is too boring to stand on its own two feet, things have gone way out of line.
 

travstar

Puritan Board Freshman
Driscoll has always sought to be "relevant," and so has the broad church before him. It shouldn't be amazing that the church is almost totally culturally irrelevant through aping culture. The church is a ship and the world is the water. Problems don't arise from the ship embarking on the water--that's what it's made for; problems arise when water gets into the ship.
 
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