Marriage in Interesting Times: A Participatory Study Guide (Energion, 2016) has been released in paperback and is now available direct from the publisher or from Amazon. Here is the description of the book that I wrote up:
I titled the study guide “Marriage in Interesting Times,” because we are living at a time when profound changes in the way marriage is understood. Not that long ago, it was assumed by many in American society that traditional marriage not only involved a man and a woman, but the man was the head of the household and the woman was a homemaker. The man earned the money, and the woman cared for the children and kept the house in order. Then came the idea that husband and wife were equal partners in the marriage. In most cases both partners worked outside the home, and they shared more equally the duties of the home. Today, the definition of marriage has evolved one more time to include same-sex couples … So, when we talk about marriage in the twenty-first century, at least in the United States, and a number of other nations around the globe, we must remember that the legal definition, if not the religious one, includes both gay and straight couples. Yes, these are interesting times.Perhaps more helpful are comments by those who have endorsed the book. I'll be sharing each of the four in the coming days. But let me start with Ron Allen, Professor of Gospels and Letters and Preaching, at Christian Theological Seminary. Ron writes of the book:
The meaning of marriage is a multi-layered discussion in the early twenty-first century. What is marriage from biblical and theological perspectives? Who can marry? What are characteristics of a good committed relationship? How can people live with one another so as to foster the most important qualities of marriage? Dr. Robert Cornwall, a recognized and insightful Christian interpreter of our times, takes up these and other questions in this study guide which can be used by individuals reading alone and by groups. He considers key biblical texts and their implications for thinking about marriage today, calling attention to similarities as well as differences. At the same time, Cornwall goes beyond Bible study to theological reflection and to practical considerations. I am impressed by the breadth of his research and by the clarity with which he writes. Each chapter includes questions for personal reflection or group discussion, a call to prayer, and a practical call to action—something we can do in our everyday lives to enhance our understanding of marriage and our marriage practices.
Ronald J. AllenProfessor of Gospel, Letters and TeachingChristian Theological Seminary
If you are looking for a study guide that takes the Bible seriously, but also seeks to engage marriage as it exists today, especially after last summer's SCOTUS decision, I believe this is a good place to start!