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Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage (Thoughtful Response) Paperback – July 28, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sometimes it seems like all the logical arguments for traditional marriage were trumped by the two words: marriage equality. Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet provide an important perspective with compelling prose and selected interviews. They explain how we got to where we are today, set forth the case for marriage, and provide an action plan for the 21st century. You need this book order to understand what is going on and in order to be an effective witness for Christ.
Kerby Anderson, President, Probe Ministries; Host, Point of View radio talk show

The marriage terrain has undergone a seismic shift over the past decade, leaving Christians disoriented and confused about where to turn for help. Thankfully, John and Sean have written a clear and reliable guide to all of the major questions. This is a book that trades in shrillness for substance, offers wisdom and not platitudes, and counsels faithful hope, rather than despair.
Matthew Lee Anderson, Lead Writer at MereOrthodoxy.com; Author, The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith

John and Sean have supplied the evangelical church with a much-needed, practical guide for reasoning well within the reality of same-sex marriage in our society. This well-written work is a sobering yet hopeful examination of the factors that have led to our current social ethic on sex, marriage and identity, as well as an insightful map showing the Christian community our pathway back to regaining our cultural influence. This book is a must read for everyone who is seriously seeking to move from simply winning arguments to the gospel call of winning souls.
Chris Brooks, Campus Dean, Moody Theological Seminary—Michigan; Senior Pastor, Evangel Ministries, Detroit, Michigan


Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet are two of the brightest minds on the planet. But their best quality is love. They love Jesus. And they love people. So with keen intellects and love-filled hearts, Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design For Marriage, was written. This is an important book! Buy one for yourself and a friend.
Derwin L. Gray, Lead Pastor, Transformation Church, Indian Land, South Carolina; Author, Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future

Sean and John have lovingly and studiously offered a framework that will help believers sort through all the opinions, questions, emotions, debates and confusion happening on marriage and sexuality today. I am very thankful for this book!
Dan Kimball, Founding Pastor, Vintage Faith Church; Author of many books, including Adventures in Churchland

Spectacular! This is the book on same-sex marriage that we've all been waiting for. A clear, winsome and engaging treatment of one of the most important topics of our time.
Eric Metaxas, Bestselling Author, Bonhoeffer and Amazing Grace; Cohost, BreakPoint

Biblically-informed, pastorally-focused, and culturally-sensitive, Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet have given us a superb guide to the same-sex marriage debate. They not only show us what's right and wrong, but they also offer us a way forward in repentance and faith. Read this as soon as possible.
C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D., Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee


John Stonestreet and Sean McDowell aren't content to win an argument about the present controversies. They also seek to cast into the future a compelling case for the necessity of marriage as the one-flesh union of a man and a woman for life. This book is packed with truth, hope, joy and gospel love. Read it and start thinking about how to articulate the good of marriage, no matter how confused the culture may be.
Russell D. Moore, Ph.D., President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention, www.russellmoore.com

So what do you think about same-sex marriage? It’s not if Christians will have to share their views on same-sex marriage but when. The problem is that many Christians don’t know what to say. Finally there’s a book that helps Christians think clearly, compassionately, and courageously about how they should engage the new reality of same-sex marriage. This book also offers practical wisdom for navigating difficult personal and family situations. Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet are to be thanked for engaging this important issue. When students raise the question of how to think about same-sex marriage from a Christian perspective, this will be the first book I recommend!
Jonathan Morrow, Speaker and Author, Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible's Authority Founder, ThinkChristianly.org

The mainstreaming of homosexuality is such a contentious issue in society today primarily because it creates a very radical view of human sexuality and the family that no society has ever faced before. Those of us trying to navigate this issue in thoughtfulness and truth have a valuable gift in what McDowell and Stonestreet provide for the Church in this important book. They are uniquely well-versed to provide this wisdom and insight, both from much study and experience as thought leaders.
Glenn Stanton, Director of Global Family Formation Studies, Focus on the Family
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Sean McDowell (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a gifted communicator with a passion for reaching the younger generation with the gospel message. A professor at Biola University in the apologetics program, Sean is the author or coauthor of fifteen books, including "The Apologetics Study Bible for Students." He travels widely, speaking at camps, churches, universities, and conferences.
John Stonestreet is a speaker and fellow of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, as well as the co-host with Eric Metaxas of "Breakpoint," the Christian worldview radio program founded by Chuck Colson. John is a sought-after speaker at conferences, colleges, and churches on the subjects of theology, apologetics, and faith and culture. He holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Bryan College and is the coauthor of "Making Sense of Your World."
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Product Details

  • Series: Thoughtful Response
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (July 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080101834X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801018343
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Gilson on August 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
For some time now I've been recommending Girgis, George, and Anderson's "What Is Marriage" as the best available explanation for why marriage is for a man and a woman. It's still on my list, but from this point on, for Christian readers in particular, I'm recommending this book instead. I shy away from saying this in my reviews, but this time it fits: This book is a must-read.

The earlier book, What Is Marriage, remains the best available natural-law explanation and defense of man-woman marriage. It relies on no biblical sources and makes no moral judgment regarding homosexuality. Rather, it explains from common-sense principles why marriage is what it is. It runs slightly toward the academic, philosophical side.

By contrast, this book:

Presents a biblical as well as common sense defense of marriage,
Includes ideas and recommendations for what we can do about it, in view of the rise of same-sex marriage, and
Does so thoughtfully yet readably: it's accessible to just about every reader.

Why This Book?

The authors open their book with the arresting admission, "No one wants to be a bigot." True enough. Same-sex marriage is on the rise, and to oppose it is hardly popular. So why face the opposition, daunting as it is? Why face the insults? Why write on it?
" The simple answer is, it matters.... the speed at which same-sex marriage went from unthinkable to unquestioned is unparalleled in modern memory. A shift of these proportions leaves an enormous cultural wake. Given what is at stake, we can stay silent no longer."

No one doubts there is much at stake here; it may be the one thing both sides agree on.
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Format: Paperback
May not be what you want to think, but it is what you need to at least consider. As a senior in high school, I’ve read this book with an open mind, but with previous conceptions on the subject of course. I mean, how could an eighteen-year-old in southern Orange County, California ignore the subject of homosexuality and same-sex marriage? It’s simply impossible, unless you are a deaf and blind monk secluded in the hills of San Juan Capistrano. With that said, I have had to consider these arguments of for and against homosexuality, especially after being in the middle of the whole Prop 8 vote and such debates across society in my teens. Furthermore, a group of fellow high-schoolers and I decided to discuss this book to try and better our stance on what to do in this modern age of this sexual revolution. Although this book is initially titled "Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage", the overall end-goal of the book is to find what marriage truly is in definition and concept in any lifestyle. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage, though quite prevalent throughout the book, isn’t the only subject Stonestreet and McDowell wrestle with. Stonestreet and McDowell address other various topics such as divorce and even abortion. Such a spectrum of subjects and topics are typical nowadays in media, books, and everyday conversation; but, the approach that the authors take in discussing these topics is exactly what it is – a logical discussion. There is no argumentative bashing, bigoted condemnation found in this one-hundred-and-sixty-paged book. I find this extremely unique in our culture nowadays on the controversy of marriage, especially from two mainstream Christian authors.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book written by John Stonestreet and Sean McDowell articulates a sound response to the marriage debate. This book is very readable, well argued and interesting. It includes logical arguments to defend the true and historical meaning of marriage, while sharing a genuine love towards homosexuals. The argument in this book provides evidence that there is a nature of what marriage actually is. This book provides evidence that marriage is not merely a contract that society determines but rather there is an intrinsic nature. This book builds upon wisdom the British scholar G.K. Chesterton who said, “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.” Marriage is something that really does exist. The existence of marriage is just a real as the true nature of circles, numbers and beings. This book says, There’s also a big IF when it comes to same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage should be legal IF marriage is only a way that the government acknowledges feelings of love and affection between people. IF that’s all there is to marriage, keeping marriage from same-sex couples would be discrimination along the lines of racism and sexism or perhaps based on religious convictions that are not shared by everyone. But what if, on the other hand, marriage is about more than just our feelings of love and affection, as important as they are? For example, what IF it matters in marriage who is in love and not just that they are in love? That seems true enough at first glance, doesn’t it? After all, there are many other couples, like those who are underage or closely related, who are not allowed to marry.” This book gives good reasons for the nature of marriage apart from the Bible and religion.Read more ›
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