Crossway has given me the privilege to join their Book Review Program, and I could not be more excited as I am an avid reader--typically reading one book every two weeks. They provide me up to two books a month to read and write my review here on my blog. What a great way to encourage more reading and writing out of me! Thank you, Crossway!
I hope that you find this addition to my blog helpful for you to decide whether such books discussed should be on your reading list or not. And ultimately, I desire you to increase in your knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ and in your conformity to his image in your reading.
Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel
I will never forget the time in my life where the Holy Spirit (working through my pastor) opened my eyes to the reality that ALL of the Bible--Genesis through Revelation--is about JESUS. The Old Testament is not just a series of stories to teach us how to live as I may have thought when I was taught them as a child. It points us to the coming of Jesus Christ and tells the story of the gospel--every single page of it! Jesus is not only in the New Testament, and his fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies in being born of a virgin, living a sinless life, dying on the cross for our sins, and defeating death by rising from the dead IS the gospel. Thus, the Bible in totality is about the gospel.
In a same sort of epiphany, Ray Ortlund enlightens me to the fact that ALL of the Bible points to marriage--the marriage--giving even more richness to the story of the gospel from Genesis to Revelation because marriage, after all, is a picture of the gospel. In this book, he paints the Bible as a love story in which it is the narrative of God gathering a bride for his son by providing us with a Biblical view of marriage. Christian marriage is, as a matter of fact, a metaphor to Christ and the church while Christ and the church is the actual reality.
So often, I limit myself to Genesis 1-3, Ephesians 5, and Revelation 21 when I want to read about marriage in the Bible. Ortlund, however, points out marriage in the Law, Wisdom, and Prophets as well and claims that "marriage is the wraparound concept for the entire Bible, within which other themes find their places."
In reading this book, I have a new joyful tendency to strive to be the helper fit for my husband that God called me to be because the gospel is at stake if I do not. Ortlund quotes:
The gospel has shown us that every believer has something personally wonderful at stake in the sacred reality of marriage, as it points beyond itself to the endless love of Jesus for us all. Now God wants all of us to translate that new awareness into the active hallowing of marriage here in this world.
And this world desires to redefine what marriage is.
The only con that I noticed in reading was the range of vocabulary. I found myself having to look up more words than usual in my reading to learn its definition. However, I dorkish-ly love learning new vocabulary, so this is a bonus for me and made me enjoy Ortlund's writing style even more. If you differ from me, I would hope that the readiness and accessibility of an electronic dictionary, would make this less of a nuisance for you.
Below are some reminiscent wedding photos for fun. Enjoy!