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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 104 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 (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,999 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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This book is an excellent resource for Christians on the issue of marriage in modern society. The book is broken into two parts that can be described as one theoretical section and one pastoral section. The theoretical section focuses on the biblical and non - biblical arguments for marriage, and the pastoral section focuses on practical things the Church can do to "[give] marriage back to the world," in the words of McDowell and Stonestreet. I found the theoretical section helpful, but the pastoral section was even better. I will first review the first section, then move onto the second section.

This book is an excellent resource for Christians to learn what the Bible teaches about marriage, based off Genesis 1 and 2. When I first read through the book, I was surprised that the book did not explain and expound every teaching in the Bible on lesbianism and homosexuality. But after I thought about it more, I realized that using only Genesis 1-2 as the basis of argument about same - sex marriage is brilliant. It drastically simplifies the argument the common person has to make when talking with acquaintances, relatives, friends, and neighbors about this issue. Instead of being bogged down with every Scripture reference, imitate the approach that this book models by focusing on one major chunk of Scripture and unpacking it well. The first section also includes a chapter about how culture's view of man (anthropology) has changed, and that chapter was very helpful for framing the debate in the larger cultural context.

The second section is what the Church needs to hear and consider when dealing with the issue of same - sex marriage.
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