Love-ology April 17, 2014

We need books on love, and we need books on marriage, and what we most need is both to soaked with how the Bible and Christian faith teach both — because we inhale and exhale modernity’s and postmodernity’s perceptions of both, and the former is connected to radiating emotions and the second to happiness, and that is not what we in the Christian faith believe. But we don’t have enough good studies of what love or marriage mean. We have some, though.

What book do you recommend people to read on love and marriage?

And one is John Mark Comer’s Love-ology: God. Love. Marriage. Sex. And the never-ending story of male and female. Those who produced Rob Bell’s books seem to be the same producers of this book, though not as much white space — and as a 60yr old, the pink pages with white writing to open each chp was more than a struggle for me to read. Forget the formatting and production, this is a good book. One that pastors need to have in hand for those dating years; youth pastors need this book; and parents wouldn’t do bad to read it and give it to their teens and college age students.

Comer is a pastor with lots of experience with young adults falling in love and trying to figure out marriage. I like his wit and I mostly agree with his ideas.

Love is Jesus on the cross, and that’s very, very good to have someone say: love means washing the feet of another, or serving and sacrificing for one another. Marriage entails four things:

1. Friendship
2. Gardening: a calling, a vocation, something God has called each of us to do.
3. Sexuality
4. Family
(5. Re-creation.)

I like that Comer has plenty from the Song of Songs, and I have read a number of books on the Bible’s view of love and marriage with hardly a reference to the Song of Songs, but instead focus far too much on Ephesians 5.

Romance has four elements, and here he uses Song of Songs:

1. The Chase
2. The line (waiting for marriage)
3. The friends, who can help you discern your relationship
4. The journey to the day.

[I’m unconvinced Song of Songs is about romance before marriage.]

On gender roles… from creation; gender wars … from sin. Comer takes Gen 3:15 as prescriptive more than do I; I take it as descriptive of sinful patterns in the world that can be redeemed in Christ. He sees Eph 5 teaching males as leaders. The Bible though does not say in Eph 5 men are leaders; it says they are sacrificers. Comer does see both as called to be like Christ in their relationship to one another — that’s good.

He’s got a chp on singleness, too, which he sees as a gift for some. He has a pastorally sensitive, traditional approach to the same-sex relations issues where he punches some myths in the nose.

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