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The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God Hardcover – Nov 1 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; unknown edition (Nov. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952473
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"This is a book Christians need to read." —The Christian Post

"The rare marriage book I would heartily recommend to any single, no matter his or her age, whether dating, courting, engaged, or disinterested . . . Rich and practical." —The Gospel Coalition

"A brilliant new book that explains why marriage is in such dire straits, and how to rescue it." —BreakPoint

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Timothy Keller was born and raised in Pennsylvania and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. His first pastorate was in Hopewell, Virginia. In 1989 he started Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City with his wife, Kathy, and their three sons. Today, Redeemer has nearly six thousand regular Sunday attendees and has helped to start more than three hundred new churches around the world. He is the author of The Songs of JesusPrayerEncounters with JesusWalking with God Through Pain and Suffering, and Every Good Endeavor, among others, including the perennial bestsellers The Reason for God and The Prodigal God.

Kathy Keller grew up outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended Allegheny College, where she led Christian fellowship groups, before attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She met Timothy Keller while studying there, and they were married at the beginning of their final semester. She received her MA in Theological Studies at Gordon-Conwell in 1975. Kathy and Tim then moved to Virginia, where Tim started at his first church, West Hopewell Presbyterian Church, and their three sons were born. After nine years, Kathy and her family moved to New York City to start the Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

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Customer Reviews

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By SnowPharoah TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 6 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an extremely helpful and practical book that addresses the issue of marriage and commitment within a Christian perspective, while taking into account the common objections, misconceptions and realities that marriage entails. The common thread in this book concerns the definition of marriage as complementariness between man and woman characterized by service and support of one to the other. This idea of relationship as service, as a form of sacrifice really, should not be surprising to readers of Keller. Service and sacrifice have defined the walk of the Christian across history and throughout the world. Keller has often referred to this basic notion. In a world that is broken, yet has the promise of redemption, witnessed by the work on the cross, the Christian imitates his/her chief - one who gives all, one who forgives and who leaves healing in his/her wake.

So it is only logical that in this relationship that most closely mirrors God's own relationship to humans, there is the idea of service of one to the other, for the good, for the happiness and fulfillment of the other. Marriage is about what I will do to make the other more themselves. It is not about what I can get out of the other. The subtle reflection is made that marriage, even blissfully happy marriage, is not complete. It is a signpost, pointing in another direction, in a direction where there is the greatest joy.

I particularly appreciated the ease with which the Kellers (written by Tim and Kathy Keller) were able to address the issue of the husband-wife relationship within the traditional questions of gender roles. These have been very painful issues in the church, often visible to non-christian observers.
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Format: Hardcover
Not a self-help book, nor a deep theological study, this book is a sound explanation of, and a principled, practical guide to marriage based on Ephesians 5. After reading it, my wife and I enjoyed it so much that we decided to gift a copy to a newly engaged couple we know. If this book was given to all newly engaged couples, along with solid premarital counseling, I think it would solve a lot of problems before they got started. It is refreshing to see the institution of marriage lifted high in a time that so many are throwing it away.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are too many positive things to say about this book. I appreciate the author's attempt at writing to all audiences in whatever dating/marriage stage they are at. I also appreciate that (as a Believer in Christ) Mr. Keller ties in his points with ample scripture and real-life examples. As well, for those who do not profess the name of Christ, who are either agnostic (as I once was) atheist, or of another faith, the true foundation of marriage as written in this book is for every single person. This is not just a "religious" or "Christiany" book. It is a book for all to read, no matter what your perception of marriage is.

The points made in the book are easy to understand, as is the language that Mr. Keller employs. The footnotes are a great help too. One thing I would recommend, is that of you Are going through this book with your spouse or potential spouse (or even just yourself) take notes. Keep a journal and share it with your significant other. Talk about what was laid on your heart while reading, discuss, and remember.

We live in a society today of putting oneself first. And that is one main issues why so many marriages and dating/courting relationships struggle today. Marriage is not the "you complete me" mentality from the movie Jerry McGuire, but rather a desire to see the other person grow--giving up of oneself for the benefit of the other (and vice-versa from the other person in the relationship).

If both people can come together with this knowledge and desire, this is the first positive step towards a long lasting successful marriage. This is what I have learned thus far from Mr. Keller's book. It has been such a blessing and encouragement!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The thing that stands out most clearly when reading this book is how sensible it is. There is insight here that reaches beyond the obvious, but there are also moments that are simple, shining, wonderful good common sense. Keller diagnoses much of what is wrong with modern marriage and modern attitudes about marriage. Paradoxically, people are both too idealistic (in their idea of a suitable marriage partner) and too pessimistic (in their belief in the viability of marriage) resulting in a toxic and destructive atmosphere.

Keller uses Ephesians 5 as a bedrock, showing how Paul ideas about marriage are not only challenging in our time, but would have disturbed Paul's contemporary audience. The Bible is a guide to all times, challenging contemporary norms with its timeless guiding principles.

Early on, Keller identifies self-centeredness as the main threat to the viability of a marriage. This is rightly established first - then he goes on to bring in other ideas which are helpful once centered on this principle, such as "love languages" or as Keller neatly refers to them, "currencies".

Among other things, Keller tackles singleness as a viable way of life, gender issues (with the help of his wife), and of course, a right view of sex.

This is definitely the sort of book you can read twice or five times, take notes and use to make your own approach to marriage much, much better.
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