10 Ironies in Real Marriage

April 25, 2012 — 2 Comments

A while back, I offered my thoughts on Mark and Grace Drisoll’s Real Marriage. Last week, Heath Lambert’s review was published in the Spring 2012 issue of The Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Lambert’s review is much more critical than mine, which I think should serve as a warning sign. Here’s 10 ironies that he noted:

  1. The Driscolls say they want to speak candidly, but their presentation is impractical
  2. The Driscolls say they want their book will be biblical but regularly fall short of that standard
  3. The Driscolls adopt a complimentarian vision of marriage but implement it in a confusing way
  4. Mark Driscoll says men should deal humbly with their struggles but leaves readers wondering if he has repented of patterns of extreme sinfulness in his own life
  5. The Driscolls emphasize the nature of marriage as friendship but then highlight sex in an extreme way
  6. The Driscolls desire for people to avoid a pornographic culture, but much of their book grows out of that same pornographic culture and will guide many people into it
  7. The Driscolls say they want to deal with issues that real people are struggling with but lose sight of real people in many of the issues that they address
  8. The Driscolls are writing a book on marriage but seem only lately to be figuring out their own marriage
  9. The Driscolls write about marriage but seem to misunderstand the fundamental nature of marriage
  10. The Driscolls make a point about in their book of saying they appreciate their critics only to dismiss them in other statements

I would say for the most part I agree with these. I might not go so far as to say #6 or #7, but the rest are fairly accurate assessments of the book’s content. When you’re a prominent pastor who holds a complimentarian position on marriage and your book is reviewed in a journal that is devoted to articulating that position, you’d expect it to get a favorable review. As it stands though, I would agree with Tim Challies that this is now probably the definitive critical review. It looks like the Driscolls mean well, but in the end, their book may do more harm than help in the long run.


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I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

2 responses to 10 Ironies in Real Marriage

  1. Thanks! This is a helpful summary of points. So is Real Marriage even worth the read?

    • I don’t really think so, there’s so many better marriage books out there. I don’t think, based on their own testimony that the Driscolls have the accumulated wisdom to be writing a marriage book at this stage in the game

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