Harvey has written a solid, biblical book based on a dual premise. First, as per the title, all marriages are the union of two sinners, therefore problems are inevitable because in the heart of each of us resides a sinner (p. 51). Harvey does not deny the transforming work of the Holy Spirit which is ever drawing us nearer to Christlikeness (p. 140), but a battle with sin rages in the heart of God’s children. When sin gets the upper hand, not only do we offend a holy God, but we bring damage to others including our spouse. Wise then is the couple which recognizes that two sinners united as one will sin against one another, bringing pain and hurt.
But all is not lost, for the second premise, “What we believe about God determines the quality of our marriage” (p. 20), offers great hope. Marital happiness and fruitfulness is found not in self-help gimmicks and faddish theories and methods, but in theology. What we think (and apply) about God will determine what we become and in turn what our marriages become.
When Sinners Say “I Do” is developed around these two vital concepts that every married couple needs to grasp. Harvey writes with humor and vulnerability. This is no ivory tower theologian who lives above the mess of life—he too has been there, and still is. Yet, he writes with the hope and truth of the gospel. The grace that justifies is the same grace that sanctifies both our individual lives and our marriages (pp. 138-150).
I can’t imagine any married couple not profiting from the reading of this book.