Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World

Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World


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Never has the sacred covenant of marriage been more maligned than it is today.

It can be difficult to know how to respond to a culture that is becoming more and more antagonistic to biblical beliefs about marriage. And this is a topic worth getting right. Marriage was given to us as a picture of the triune God in relationship with his people, which means what we believe about marriage is indissolubly tied to what we believe about God and his creating and saving purposes. Therefore, it is more important now than ever that we think theologically and carefully about what marriage is and how we live faithfully in it.

Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World is the much-needed work on marriage for this generation and the next. Rooted in a scriptural understanding of marriage, it thoughtfully engages the issues surrounding marriage being debated today and lays the groundwork for the crucial conversations of our day. Each section contains chapters from trusted theologians as well as experienced practitioners who work with couples daily. Rediscover the beauty of God’s design for marriage and be strengthened to stand firm amidst any challenges the world may bring

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802413833
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

CURT HAMNER is a pastor and cofounder along with his wife, Rhonda of Between Two Trees (, a marriage ministry designed to resource couples and communities with tools to pursue God's design for marriage. Curt is also the founder of Bed and Breakfast with Purpose Retreats, and is a mentor with The Master's Program (a three-year marketplace leadership coaching ministry). Together Curt and Rhonda speak throughout the US and around the world helping couples enrich their marriages. They host DreamMaster Retreats for second half couples working together on vision and strategic plans for the years after career and family. Curt is a graduate of Dallas Seminary and served with Chuck Swindoll at the church they pastored in Fullerton, CA. The Hamners have three adult children and five grandchildren. They live in the mountains of southern California.

JOHN TRENT, Ph.D., is the Gary D. Chapman Chair of Marriage and Family Ministry and Therapy at Moody Theological Seminary. He works to help train the next generation of family pastors and Christian counselors. He's also the President of, a ministry committed to building strong relationships in these stressful times. Dr. Trent's main focus includes writing and speaking at retreats, conferences, business settings, churches, and seminars across the country. In addition to building family teams, Dr. Trent regularly speaks to corporate America on team building, recruiting and retaining outstanding employees. He has authored and co-authored more than a dozen books for both adults and children, including Love For All Seasons, The Language of Love, and The Blessing. In addition to writing books, Dr. Trent has written numerous articles for both professional and popular publications. He and his wife, Cynthia, live in Scottsdale, Arizona and have two grown daughters.

BECKY BYRD obtained a Master's Degree in Historical Theology from Wheaton Graduate School in 2016. She has a BA in Bible and Theology from Moody Bible Institute and was trained as a Spiritual Director at North Park Seminary. Her ministry experience spans from youth ministry to small groups, discipleship and connection ministry. She currently works with Dr. John Trent at Moody Bible Institute. She is learning to be an advocate for her children with special needs and enjoys serving her local church. Becky has been married to her husband, Steve, for 19 years and has four children. In her spare time she enjoys connecting with people, reading, photography, writing and exploring the awesome city of Chicago. You can connect with her at or on her blog

ERIC L. JOHNSON (PhD, Michigan State University) trained as an academic psychologist and is the Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Pastoral Care at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of Foundations for Soul Care; coeditor of God Under Fire and Christianity and Psychology: Four Views; and associate editor of the Journal of Psychology and Theology. He serves on the executive board at the Institute for Christian Psychology.

Table of Contents

Contributors 11

Section 1 Foundation

The Importance of Beginning the Conversation Curt Hamner John Trent 17

1 The Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Meaning of Marriage and Sex John C. Clark Marcus Peter Johnson 21

2 The Revelation of God's Commitment Erik Thoennes 43

Continuing Insight: Loving Like Jesus in Our Marriage Darryl DelHousaye 61

Continuing Insight: Marriage and Music in the Early Chapters of Genesis James F. Coakley 65

3 The Foundational Language of Marriage in Scripture Darrell Bock 69

Continuing Insight Cohabitation in Biblical and Theological Perspective David L. Woodall 84

4 The Choice and High Calling of Marriage and Singleness Craig Blomberg 89

Continuing Insight: Keys to Premarital Training Greg Smalley 107

Section 2 Description

5 The Language of "Embodied" Differences in Marriage Gregg R. Allison Jason E. Kanz 117

Continuing Insight: Understanding Why "Embodiment" Matters Beth Felker Jones 135

6 The Beauty and Design of Marriage: An Image for the Church and Its Gospel Curt Hamner Rebekah J. Byrd 139

Continuing Insight: Marriage-God's Design Timothy R. Jennings 150

7 The Dance of Gender in New Covenant Marriage Eric L. Johnson 155

Continuing Insight: Uncomfortable Love Brett McCracken 173

8 Reclaiming Holy Sexuality Juli Slattery 181

Continuing Insight: Shaking Souls Mike Mason 199

Section 3 Challenges

9 From Shame to Wholeness James S. Spiegel Amy E. Spiegel 205

Continuing Insight: "'Waiting" to Move toward Forgiveness Deborah Gorton 222

10 Reclaiming Beauty Amidst Brokenness Andrew J. Schmutzer 225

Continuing Insight: Shame: Creating/Finding a Healing Marriage M. Ashley Schmutzer 242

11 When Marriage Falls Short of the Christian Ideal Eric L. Johnson Jonathan T. Pennington 245

Continuing Insight: Self-Protective Façade in Marriage Tony Wheeler 265

Continuing Insight: A Social Sacrament Jared Pingleton 271

12 Divorce and Remarriage William A. Heth 277

Continuing Insight: Pastoral Considerations Chuck Hannaford 294

Continuing Insight: Ministry, Remarriage, and God's Redeeming Power for the Next Generation Ron L. Deal 299

Section 4 Mission

13 Marriage and Community in the Body of Christ Donna Thoennes 305

Continuing Insight: The Church's Mission to Enrich and Restore Marriages John McGee 324

14 A Philosophical Affirmation of Marriage from Natural Law Sean McDowell 327

Continuing Insight: Christian Suffering and the Same-Sex Attracted L. Eugene Burrus 344

Continuing Insight: Why Marriage: Celebrating the Christian View Chris Brooks 348

15 Marriage and the Mission of God Mark S. Young Priscilla R. Young 355

Continuing Insight: God's Ordained Vehicle James Spencer 372

16 For a Time We Cannot See Crawford W. Loritts Jr. 375

The Importance of Continuing the Conversation Curt Hamner John Trent 379

Acknowledgments 383

Notes 385

Scripture Index 425

Subject Index 431

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