What is the purpose of marriage? Timothy Keller answers in The Meaning of Marriage, “It is a way for two spiritual friends to help each other on their journey to become the persons God designed them to be … there is a kind of deeper happiness that is found on the far side of holiness.” That mutual pursuit of holiness, instead of the pursuit of happiness that is all too often the goal of marriages today, is the lynchpin of Keller’s offering on Christian matrimony.
In 1989, when many in the Presbyterian Church (USA) were fleeing the city, Keller planted Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in the heart of Manhattan, New York. Now a church where more than 5,000 people gather regularly for worship on any given weekend, Redeemer reflects the city’s young, diverse and largely single cohort. So with a church full of single people, why would Keller write a book on marriage?
Precisely because of the cultural confusion, skepticism and fear of marriage among singles today. Keller wrote The Meaning of Marriage out of 37-plus years of marriage to Kathy, decades as a Biblical exegete, and from the deep well of teaching, counseling and shepherding he’s done as a pastor. In the book, Keller offers a compelling vision of God’s design for marriage and he makes no apologies for what the Bible says from Genesis to Revelation on the matter. From the first marriage of Adam and Eve to the last marriage of Christ and the Church, Keller’s articulation of what marriage can be is both challenging and irresistibly winsome.
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