Given his proclivity for provocative proclamations about oral sex, "real" men, and the reasons (later retracted) for Ted Haggard's infidelities, you might assume Mark Driscoll's new book on marriage, cowritten with wife Grace, would stir the pot to boiling levels. Popular Reformed blogger Tim Challies predicted that Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship, & Life Together (Thomas Nelson) would land Driscoll "all over the news in the new year," especially for a chapter titled "Can We ______?" which discusses specific sexual practices. Everything from submission to pornography to finances and date nights are discussed here, with a candidness that will, says the publisher, "send shock waves throughout the evangelical world," vowing it will be among "the most talked-about Christian marriage releases in years."
But despite Driscoll-addicted buzz, Real Marriage is strikingly conventional, emphasizing the same commonsense ideals that other Christian marriage books do: honesty, mutual respect, forgiveness, and becoming friends with one's spouse. As Mark told CT, "If you have a solid friendship that you're working on, the rest of the marriage is going to come together. The sex is going to get better. You're going to work with your sin. You're going to deal with tragedy in a way that is more hopeful than if you're just business partners doing stuff together." He and Grace, approaching their 20th wedding anniversary, spoke with CT associate editor Katelyn Beaty and Her.meneutics writer Marlena Graves about strong foundations for marriage, as well as the steamier sections of their book, out this week.1