my review of mark driscoll’s book ‘real marriage’




















90 Replies to “my review of mark driscoll’s book ‘real marriage’”

  1. Eugene, I haven’t yet read the book and I’m going to assume you haven’t either but I’m honestly not understanding why people would be surprised by its content when they already know what Driscoll’s views are all about. The bottom line is the bottom line: Driscoll wants his books to be sold and make some bank and people are taking the bait. Again.

    1. What a shameful thing to say about a pastor who is doing more for God’s kingdom than you’ll ever do in two lifetimes.

      Pretty sure that God isn’t too thrilled with your baseless accusations.

  2. I don’t get it. Based on the other comments it seems like maybe an inside joke about this author. If true, that would be sad in light of your last post about your New Year’s Resolution to stop throwing stones.

    1. Or maybe his point is that Christians don’t need to weigh in on every hot topic/author; that spiritual maturity favors discernment before popularity. Or perhaps his point is that some pastor’s theology and worldview (Driscoll in this case) aren’t really worth rebutting at this point. Now that we know “haters gonna hate,” maybe it is also true that “Driscoll’s gonna Driscoll.”

      Or perhaps it’s just a harmless joke.

      1. I don’t see how it is, Dennis. Acknowledging that certain aspects of certain people are not worth one’s time can be an act of self-care, maturity, discernment, among other things.

        I’m not saying this is what Eugene is doing, I’m speculating, as well as answering for myself.

    2. bryan: i guess i’ll have to actually write something later to explain my post but rest assured, there’s no inside joke and i’m not quite sure how this is throwing stones if you’re not even sure what i said.

  3. I haven’t read Driscoll’s marriage book and don’t plan to. But it seems to be selling. I am reading Tim & Kathy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage. I’m loving that book!

    1. bryan needs to write a book. he’s a prophet.

      i guess i’ll explain more in a later post but i’m sure it’ll still be ‘not cool’ but appreciate the push back.

      push backs keep us honest.

  4. There’s too much to read out there. I’d go with Tim & Kathy Keller’s book (which, like his other books, are expansions of his talks…or, his/her talks in this case). And I’d add John Gottman’s stuff (e.g. Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, Seven Principles for Making Marriage work) to supplement where the Kellers’ book is lacking. Gottman is a professor in psychology and elected fellow of the APA. He specializes in marriage counseling/research and appeared in Gladwell’s book Blink as the dude who could watch a couple converse for an hour and predict to within 95% accuracy whether that couple will get divorced. His stuff is backed by decades of research. I also find that his lessons affirm all our Christian values.

    1. I will not read marriage books that are written exclusively by men. I also cannot stand marriage books where the lead writer is the husband and the subordinate writer is the wife.

      I do not like Tim Keller’s book on marriage because it is patriarchal.

      I also cannot stand Tim Keller’s sermons because he never quotes women. He always quotes men. Very male chauvinistic,

  5. I just read this from your last post…

    “Can we agree? It’s hard to love your enemies when you can’t even hear what they’re saying… So, listen first. And don’t throw stones.”

    Not sure if I understand all that is going on. It might be helpful to shed some light on this post/unpost. Otherwise your not off to a good start with the 2012 goals, but hey it’s still early in the year…

    1. Yup, it’s still early in the year. Thankfully, it’s not how you start a race but how you finish.

      But I should clarify: Driscoll is NOT an enemy. He’s literally a neighbor as their church is only a 1/2 mile away from Quest – just a stone’s throw away. Umm, bad usage of words…

  6. Funny how everyone assumes this is a negative critique on Driscoll’s new book. Maybe Cho is showing restraint in not providing a critique simply because he hasn’t read it yet. Or, maybe he simply doesn’t have an opinion. Or, maybe he is simply biting his tongue which is biblical. See Ephesians 4:29.

  7. Eugene, I think folks are reading more commentary from your absence of commentary than was intended. I suspect that your point is simply that one should hold off reviewing a book they have not read — regardless of what you think about the author.

    Nice job E.

  8. i was just about to unfriend you until i figured out what you were saying. nicely done. haven’t read the book but had a mental list of what he might say…

  9. Way to propagate the division Eugene hyung.

    While Eugene has to show to his congregation how cool and progressive he is, Driscoll’s actually doing something at his church to help abused women and girls, and fighting hard against unjust trafficking against women in Seattle and globally.

    To my American brothers and sisters, the way you guys latch on and build up media propagandised culture wars even within the church is sickening.

    –From Canada.

    ‎”hate less. love more.”
    —Eugene Cho

      1. To my American brothers and sisters,

        The way you latch on and build up media propagandised culture wars even within the church is sickening. Rather, focus on the real issues in this world and stop with divisive nonsense.

        –From Canada.

          1. It’s my earnest desire that you don’t fall into building a church that prides itself over one’s moral superiority over another based on cultural and worse, propagandised divisions.

            But though he may be a Seattle ‘rival,’ or ‘friend’, consider to see how Driscoll at least approaches his complementarity view. I am a firm believer that only conversations like this can lead to mutual understanding.

            I think it was Pastor Tim Keller who said, the best way to approach an issue is to always present the other side the best way they’d want to present their case before challenging the points. I for one, totally understand the egalitarian position and even Driscoll does as well but let me share how Driscoll and many complementarians approach this.

            For instance, within the family, Driscoll does not preach one should lord over your wife in any way at all, like some sort of bully. But yes, on the surface, I can see how it may sound like that if we bring in our own modern cultural definitions and understandings to his words.

            However, what he advocates is for young guys to follow the model of Christ. He challenges the 20 somethings to channel their almost evolutionary like ‘male’ energy (my words) into what he believes God called men to be:

            i)First, Driscoll always teaches to love God and learn how to be responsible and the need for guys to steward the resources God has given us including time. And as responsible men to take ownership to mistakes and failures especially when it’s in regards to your family and not shift the blame so easily.

            (Context: keep in mind his church are full of young male teens searching for something that is unique to males it seems… often looking for male role models to emulate and look up to. Though some may find it in gangs, it seems some at MH church find it in video games like ‘call of duty,’ which is one of the top video games guys play online for hours and hours. Also, he’s got older guys in his church who’ve grown up secular and so to them, going to strip bars, porn, causal sex, or talking about girls as mere objects is normal to them and so Driscoll address them as well. Unless you’ve been living in a Christian bubble, this is the reality and Mark’s trying to reach out to them).

            ii)He also teaches to use your male leadership to love and serve your wife radically. I’ve heard his marriage sermons and as an example, he even instructs us we should tell our wife we love her and we think she’s beautiful everyday….. also he says things like to take the time to massage her feet, walk on the side closest to the road. Basicallly he says men ought to love his wife in the way she feels loved whether it may be doing the dishes or helping in other aspects, citing another book about find her ‘love language.’

            (Next time when you see Driscoll and his wife together on a video, just observe at how Driscoll looks at his wife and you’ll know he loves her like how a man should love his wife. This is probably why I respect Driscoll even if I disagree with him on some points)

            iii)He also says to love your family and raise your kids in such a way they’ll respect and love you back. (He defends this even to the pt of even making a half-serious joke challenging David Platt when he suggested that money that goes into snacks for the kids at church should be used rather forr missions).

            Anyway, for Driscoll .. he’s basically saying… guys need to be responsible leaders like Christ by taking the initiative to love and adore your wife as how Christ first loved the church which was sacrificially. He even believes there would had been no feminism movement if men had been real men and loved women as how God sees them—- precious beloved daughters of Christ.

            I’m not saying Driscoll’s perfect b/c there’s at least 2-3 times when he got really really angry, but even then, try to imagine what’s going inside his head…observe how every time he gets upset the issue is in relation to hearing about a lady getting hurt some way or the other. His anger also always targets the guys the hardest in a way only guys can handle it (like a coach in any competitive sports team)

            Anyway, that’s just a bit of a context of Driscoll’s complementarian position. I hope at least even if you disagree with his position, you’d understand a bit of how he sees the husband’s role in marriage.

              1. complementarian is a dangerous turf to posit for another since it is more or less apologetic. the danger is substantive. would we be complementarian as to driscoll’s views on many other subjects? or perhaps, to stretch it more widely, be so regarding white supremicists? the line becomes difficult and even, as we read scripturally, issues as lukewarm rather than just. complements form a whole when neither excludes, and driscoll is an excluder. this can be called throwing stones or it can be called what it is; that is, speaking truthfully and not calling what driscoll exudes by some apologetic name

              2. I find it pretty fascinating that someone has brought up some very valid (and passionate) points to be considered and yet you simply dismiss them in such a jokingly manner.

                One would think someone with a Princeton theological background would be more receptive to such an important and spirited discussion. I guess there’s just no point in debating the truth, eh?

  10. The basic flaw in this whole concept is to believe men can somehow through their actions control how a woman thinks or will act/react to something!

    The feminist movement was started because so many women got tired of bring treated as second class citizens; ie; lower pay, men treating their wives and daughters as maids and servants, women and daughters being beat or molested by men (usually fathers or husbands).

    I’ve worked in the field of chemical dependancy for 12 years and not one client came from a house where MUTUAL respect was practiced. Most had no idea what respect was; for thmeselves, their children, their spouses.

  11. This is crazy–when I saw this post, I just chuckled to myself because there was nothing there (and I am easily amused). I just assumed you were saying you hadn’t read it yet or had nothing to say about it. And then I scrolled down to the comments and found people accusing you of throwing stones and writing defensive treatises about complementarianism? It’s like a blog-Rorschach test!

    1. Blog-Roschach test! Exactly… funny how by saying nothing, Pastor Eugene has provoked a discussion via everyone’s personal opinions / biases.

      Without saying a SINGLE word, people already are accusing Pastor E of attacking Mark Driscoll or of promoting his book… hilarious.

      I was trying to read this post on my Android phone and at first, I thought my internet was glitching… now I’m on my home comp, I understand fully.

      Well played, Pastor Eugene.

      Oh, and Mr. James Moon… relax! Enjoy the commentary and conversation…

  12. i guess people aren’t sure if what Eugene wrote is his thoughts on the book or his recap of what the book says. i’m not sure either. if context is everything, then I have nothing – so have no idea what’s going on.

  13. OK, I haven’t been reading your blog for a while. Now I’m going to have to resubscribe after this post. But I didn’t have to actually read this one. You say it best when you say nothing at all.

  14. I read and reviewed the book on my Blog and tried to be somewhat evenhanded because I have friends that like Driscoll a lot and I didn’t want to alienate them because I disagree. Still I wish I had as much to say about the book as Eugene. Silence speaks volumes as is evidenced by the amount of comments here!

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