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There is a lot of confusion about the purpose of marriage today - outside the church as well as within it. Written by a distinguished Christian sociologist, Christian Marriage is a theologically rich, biblically robust, and sociologically informed treatise on the nature and value of marriage. Drawing on recent social science research, empirical data, and social history, David J. Ayers paints a picture of marriage as an institution meant for human flourishing.
Along the way, Ayers addresses such topics as
- Dating and selection of a spouse
- The importance of premarital counseling
- Sex and procreation
- Mentoring and supporting unmarried believers
- Divorce and remarriage
- And current controversies surrounding premarital sex and same-sex marriage.
Though the book is academically and theologically informed, it is written with a pastoral heart. It seeks to provide a rich resource for pastors and counselors on a topic of supreme importance to a vibrant church and society.
|Title: Christian Marriage: A Comprehensive Introduction|
By: David Ayers
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Lexham Press
|Publication Date: 2019|
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
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Author: David J. Ayers
Located in: Grove City PA
Submitted: February 22, 2019
Tell us a little about yourself. I came to Christ in the mid-1970's after a misspent youth in the so-called "hippy" world. God has been so good to me. I have 6 wonderful children, three excellent son-in-laws, and four grandchildren. My teaching at the college level on marriage and family goes back over 30 years, and research in relevant areas farther back than that. I grew up Roman Catholic but for many years have embraced Reformed Protestantism, while still counting many fine Catholics among my friends, including many who supported this project.
What was your motivation behind this project? The church is being defeated in the "culture wars" in areas related to sexuality and marriage, while also suffering in their own ranks by weakness and failure to implement marriage as well as we could. There was nothing out there that started where God does -- with the fundamental design (definition and purposes) of marriage. Then building from that, exploring key areas of premarital preparation and mate selection, divorce and remarriage, sex in and out of marriage, and advice for churches to "up their game." In the process, harmoniously blending sound doctrine and Biblical teaching, ecumenical comparison and discussion, social history, and sound social science research and data. And all in a compelling, readable, clear language. This book does this.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope they will gain a sound understanding of the reality and practice of marriage as God intended it, both for their own lives and to be able to encourage, direct, minister, and support those in their churches and families. With this, I hope they learn to separate fact from fiction, and to be better informed about the benefits of sound marriage but also the harm that comes from straying from God's plan for marriage and related areas such as sex and sexuality, easy divorce, and the like.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Well, the intense and long hours at my desk over many months certainly aggravated underlying back problems! But more seriously, I became stronger in my ability to teach these important matters, and deeply appreciative of how much God's wonderful blessings to me have been expressed through the amazing wife he blessed me with 36+ years ago, and the fruit that has flowed out of our union.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? On marriage and family issues, they have been as disparate as Leland Ryken and J. I. Packer on their work on the Puritans, excellent books by Douglas Wilson and Michael McManus, fine social science scholarship by sociologists such as Rodney Stark, W. Bradford Wilcox, and Mark Regnerus, and excellent work on premarital preparation and counseling by folk such as Michael McManus, David Olson and others who created the PREPARE inventory and premarital counseling program, Scott Stanley, Howard Markman and Galena Rhoades and the PREP system. More generally, my Christian influences have also included Francis Schaefer, David Martyn-Lloyd Jones, Charles Spurgeon, and Puritan divinity.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Marriage as it has historically been understood in the West is being erased. We are at a watershed moment. It is time for the Church to become educated and serious about marriage. The Bible tells us that marriage between a man and a woman is a great mystery, reflecting the eternal union of Christ and the Church. It is a reflection and expression of the Trinity. The Bible begins and ends with a wedding, from Adam to Eve to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Christ performed his first miracle at a wedding reception. Marriage is at the heart of God's design for the human race. It is a covenant, a creational ordinance, and it is not whatever we want it to be. It makes great demands on us, and delivers up its rewards only to those willing to respect it, honor it, and strive by God's grace to submit to its requirements.