The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

“Gospel Intimacy in a Godly Marriage”

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Gospel Intimacy in a Godly Marriage by Alan Dunn

Pillar & Ground Publications, 2009 (168pp, pbk)

The greatest threat to genuine intimacy in marriage, even when two redeemed sinners become one flesh, is sin.  Alan Dunn’s book on gospel intimacy is intended to help identify and overcome those barriers and hindrances to genuine closeness.

The author navigates the journey in the light of the doctrines of God, creation, fall and redemption.  He then addresses the grace of gospel love, and it is here that facing sin in a relationship comes to the fore.  Only the gospel can teach us to love our spouse in the face of remaining sin.  Realistically facing our sins, cultivating a disposition of forgiveness and forbearance, and the nature of those ‘gospel transactions’ that enable married sinners to press on together are all helpfully explained.  In the third part, the specific challenges of headship and submission, selfishness, unbiblical communication, and unavoidable death are assessed in the light of Scripture, with instruction, counsel and encouragement wisely and graciously offered.  The author’s experience as a pastor and husband is helpfully evident.

Clearly, the book is directed primarily to Christian couples (married or contemplating marriage).  Slightly unusually, but rightly, the weight of application is toward husbands as those called to set the tone of gospel love in a marriage (the section on headship brings out the nuances of this).  At the same time, Christians in various situations will find rich principles that will guide them not just with regard to marriage, but in understanding their environment, their hearts, their relationships with others, and the gospel realities which underpin peace and unity not just in marriage but in friendships, in the family more broadly, and in the church.

There are many books on marriage, but few that deal with the heart of the matter – in terms of sin and the gospel grace in Christ that overcomes it – with the brevity, clarity and profundity of this volume.  Practical on the deepest level, it is warmly recommended as a gospel recipe for repairing damage and developing and maintaining true intimacy in a godly marriage.

in a Godly Marriage

Alan Dunn

Pillar & Ground Publications, 2009

168pp, pbk, $10.95

ISBN 978 1 932481 19 8

The greatest threat to genuine intimacy in marriage, even when two redeemed sinners become one flesh, is sin.  Alan Dunn’s book on gospel intimacy is intended to help identify and overcome those barriers and hindrances to genuine closeness.

The author navigates the journey in the light of the doctrines of God, creation, fall and redemption.  He then addresses the grace of gospel love, and it is here that facing sin in a relationship comes to the fore.  Only the gospel can teach us to love our spouse in the face of remaining sin.  Realistically facing our sins, cultivating a disposition of forgiveness and forbearance, and the nature of those ‘gospel transactions’ that enable married sinners to press on together are all helpfully explained.  In the third part, the specific challenges of headship and submission, selfishness, unbiblical communication, and unavoidable death are assessed in the light of Scripture, with instruction, counsel and encouragement wisely and graciously offered.  The author’s experience as a pastor and husband is helpfully evident.

Clearly, the book is directed primarily to Christian couples (married or contemplating marriage).  Slightly unusually, but rightly, the weight of application is toward husbands as those called to set the tone of gospel love in a marriage (the section on headship brings out the nuances of this).  At the same time, Christians in various situations will find rich principles that will guide them not just with regard to marriage, but in understanding their environment, their hearts, their relationships with others, and the gospel realities which underpin peace and unity not just in marriage but in friendships, in the family more broadly, and in the church.

There are many books on marriage, but few that deal with the heart of the matter – in terms of sin and the gospel grace in Christ that overcomes it – with the brevity, clarity and profundity of this volume.  Practical on the deepest level, it is warmly recommended as a gospel recipe for repairing damage and developing and maintaining true intimacy in a godly marriage.

Jeremy Walker

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 19 December 2009 at 10:25

Posted in Reviews

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