Best Books: God, Marriage, and Family, by Andreas Köstenberger

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Our “best books” series spotlights essential reading for Christian leaders. This week’s pick is God, Marriage, and Family, by Andreas Köstenberger.

Andreas Köstenberger’s God, Marriage, and Family is a remarkable book insofar as the amount of content it covers. The footnotes alone are worth the price of the book as they are packed with so much additional research and helpful content. The breadth of topics covered in one book is staggering: gender roles, singleness, marriage, sex, birth control, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage, and thoughts on the family-integrated church movement, among others.

Admittedly, this book is thoroughly complementarian. It stands in the legacy of the landmark book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, exploring the implications of biblical complementarianism for a host of theological and cultural issues. Subsequently, this book is controversial, as you would expect. But it is biblical, reasonable, and helpful.

Because this book is written by a scholar, it is very thorough. But it is also not technical or inaccessible, which makes it a unique book.

As a result, this a book I even give to my egalitarian friends who want to read one book to best understand the theological convictions and practical implications of complementarian theology. A few of my closest pastor friends who are egalitarian have said that they found the book very helpful, and even though they disagreed at points, they found much in it that they benefitted from.

Because this book is written by a scholar, it is very thorough. But it is also not technical or inaccessible, which makes it a unique book. For years, we have used it at our church for premarital and marital training, and the average person can read the book without trouble.

Are you a single person wanting to grow in your biblical understanding of issues related to gender roles, sex, marriage, and family?

Are you a married person who did not get much biblical preparation and therefore lacks a firm foundation on which to build your marriage and family?

Are you someone who has mainly read psychological books on these issues but lacks a robust biblical/theological framework?

Are you a volunteer who leads a small group or other ministry in your church and simply wants to be well read but don’t have the time to wade through a tall stack of complex books?

Are you a staff member or pastor at a church who wants to not only learn but also help lead others with wisdom, grace, and truth?

Then this is a great book for you.