Gender roles. Parenting. Abortion. Contraception. Reproductive technologies. Spanking. Singleness. Homosexuality. Divorce and remarriage. Church Leadership. Each one of these topics is a potential landmine. In his book, God, Marriage, and Family, Köstenberger faithfully walks through the minefield, shining the light of the Bible in every darkened area.
This book is a foundational book. It begins from the assumption that God made men and women in His own image, defines their roles and defines the institution of marriage. However, Köstenberger doesn’t just assume these truths. He shows where the Bible teaches them. From this foundation, Köstenberger walks through the scriptures that speak to the many issues above either directly or by application. You may not agree with every one of his conclusions, but you will benefit from the discussion. You will understand the issues at stake and the scriptures involved. Köstenberger does a remarkable job of handling viewpoints fairly, even when he disagrees with them.
God, Marriage, and Family is a must read book for anyone who wants to understand God’s intentions for the family. It will challenge you to think through your own understanding of family. It will equip you to enter the debates of the day intelligently and persuasively. The book can get a little academic at times, but it is clear and intelligible. Köstenberger also performs a great service by providing an extensive listing of further resources on each topic and a guide for both individual and group study. I found his charts extremely helpful as well.
When you read this book, pay special attention to the discussion of spiritual warfare in marriage and the suggestions for young men and women. For those of you who are newly married or contemplating marriage, the discussion regarding contraception and reproductive technologies is a must read as well.
Enjoy this book, and may God bless you as you rebuild the Biblical foundations of family in your personal life, church and community.