Köstenberger and Jones have written what amounts to a textbook on marriage and the family, which they hope will point the way to return and rebuild the biblical foundation of marriage and the family (p. 16). The catalyst for this expansive work is the authors’ belief that, “There remains a need for a volume that does not treat issues related to marriage and family in isolation from one another but that shows how human fulfillment in these relationships is routed in the divine revelation found exclusively and sufficiently in Scripture” (p. 19).
The authors maintain a solid, conservative, biblical approach to marriage and family, exegeting Scripture well throughout. Not only do they address scriptural teachings on family and marriage, but they also work through controversial cultural issues such as abortion (pp. 118-120) and human sexuality (pp. 199-222). Of course evangelicals are not monolithic when it comes to the home, therefore the authors carefully dissect differences concerning subordination (pp. 24-27), purposes for sex (pp. 80-84),the blessing of children (117-121), contraceptives (pp. 121-129), artificial reproductive technologies (pp. 129-134), discipline of children (pp. 142-149), singleness (pp. 167-198), divorce and remarriage (pp. 223-238, 275-288), marital qualifications for elders and deacons (pp. 239-244), and the family-integrated movement (pp. 258-263).
The book includes copious footnotes, an extended bibliography, and both general and scriptural indexes. For an overall, general textbook covering many vital subjects related to the home, God, Marriage and Family is highly recommended.
God, Marriage, and Family, Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation (2nd Edition), by Andreas J. Köstenberger and David W. Jones (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010) 399 pp., paper $14.49
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor/teacher at Southern View Chapel