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What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense…
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What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense

by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, Robert P. George

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Academic and scholarly look at the traditional or conjugal interpretation of marriage and revisions of that interpretation, and the implication of those changes on family, on society, on children, and the state. Not specifically about gay marriage, but the decreasing value of marriage by culture. Only briefly looks at religious arguments – mostly societal and psychological and other viewpoints. Current culture will not agree with this book, but it unemotionally and calmly presents arguments for traditional marriage and implications for change. You can see those implications all around us now. And it ain’t pretty! ( )
  Luke_Brown | Sep 10, 2016 |
This review is in progress

Civicly the meaning of marriage is probably the single most important issue America currently faces.

Traditionally ("It has long been and remains a personal and social reality" page 6), the accepted view on the institution is that marriage is an agreement between two parties, male and female, who for better or worse would be faithful to their vows, and that marriage is the bedrock of social order.

Our authors begin by delineating two views of the meaning of marriage.

The conjugal view sees marriage as a bodily, emotional and spiritual bond that pours its blessings out from the union into the world. (1) [Deficient in the description of love given is the claim that all love is effusive, which denies self-love.]

The revisionist view of marriage understands marriage to be only a loving emotional bond, intensely self-contained (independence is sought when the marriage becomes unsatisfying to one's emotional self. (1, 2)

The authors then proceed to defending marriage as an inherently good institution, "a moral reality: a human good with an objective structure" (6).

They later specifically state that they make "no appeal to divine revelation or religious authority" (10)

What moral reality is this? It is simply the defense of a concensus or norm that is subject to change when the majority in a culture become convinced of an alternate view, and believe it long enough to make the same argument.

The argument in this book that non-religious thinkers (there is no such thing) had conjugal views of marriage, thus suggesting that "no one religion invented marriage" (11), might just as readily be used to suggest there was one Source, Creator, and Lawgiver who started it all and tells us how it works, and that the fact that many religions hold to one conjugal view is evidence of this primary source, either in the form of innate knowledge or by conveyance from a primary source.

The basic natural law premise of this book fails when it separates itself from the Creator God who formed man from the dust, woman from his side, and put them into union. The God of the Bible has not just the power to create, but sovereign authority to command his creatures.

HE says:

Marriage is between one man and one woman. Homosexuality and polygamy are forbidden. Marriage fulfills certain purposes and provides certain benefits. Marriage is for all mankind, yet Christians must only marry Christians (not infidels, Roman Catholics, or those who hold to other false religions or practices). Certain restrictions apply in light of relationships physical and social. Separation upon biblical grounds is acceptable. Desertion and adultery are such cases, but the persons involved should not arbitrate their own case, but submit it to a third party. (refer to The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chap. 24, Of Marriage and Divorce, and the proof texts from which these propositions are deduced).

An excellent summary of the issues is at http://spectator.org/blog/2013/02/27/beauty-pageant ( )
  Ron_Gilbert | Dec 22, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sherif Girgisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Anderson, Ryan T.main authorall editionsconfirmed
George, Robert P.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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What we have come to call the gay marriage debate is not directly about homosexuality, but about marriage.
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Until just yesterday, no societymonogamous or polygamoushad defined marriage as anything other than a male-female union. What Is Marriage? explains the rational basis of this historic consensus and shows why the recognition of same-sex unions as marriages is unnecessary, unreasonable, and harmful for the common good. What Is Marriage? stands poised to meet its moment as few books of this generation have. If the marriage debate in America is decided in the next few years, it will be either with this books help, or despite its powerful arguments.… (more)

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