Some thoughts from Mark Driscoll on why he’s getting so much flack… from Christians… on his new book on sex and marriage. Here are some exerpts from a piece he wrote for CNN’s Religion Blog:
You try to write a book on marriage and sex with your wife and next thing you know there are a lot of ants crashing your picnic.
My wife, Grace, and I recently published “Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, & Life Together,” which quickly became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller.
In it, we’re brutally honest about our past struggles, share the lessons we learned along the way and talk frankly about sex. Criticism has ensued.
If you wish to find that criticism, just do a Google search. You’ll find plenty. My intent here is not to name names and pick a fight with my critics, but to provide context on why there is criticism.
We knew before we wrote the book that we’d catch a lot of flak, especially on the chapters dealing with sex. We also knew the criticism would come from every direction, as some people would think we went too far and others would think we didn’t go far enough.
But we wrote it anyway. Why? Simply put, we want to help marriages — and single people aspiring to marry — and we wanted to do so in a way that is practical, biblical and applicable to the reality of today’s culture.
If the book accomplishes that, we’ll take the criticism in exchange for helping people. We don’t think our book is perfect and we tell folks upfront (literally in the preface) to take what is helpful and leave the rest…
Many Christians, because of upbringing and past church experiences, view sex as gross and something that should not be talked about in public…
Those who view sex as gross criticize our book because we speak too openly and frankly about sex for their taste. The accusation is that the private counsel that pastors give to people in the church isn’t suitable to give in a public context.
But many critics tend to want to debate nuances of theology rather than engage head-on the practical realities that many people are facing…
While it may be fun for bloggers and critics to discuss these things, our hope was that couples would instead be the ones having these conversations to build their marriages in ways that don’t pressure, abuse or use one another.
There are some who think about almost nothing else but sex, treating it as a kind of god. This can happen in the form of addiction to sex or porn, severe promiscuity, adultery or participating in various sexual acts that the Bible speaks against, making personal preference and desire more important than what God says about sex…
Those who view sex as a god criticize our book because it doesn’t go far enough for them. Because we teach that the Bible does call some sex acts sin, such as pornography, premarital sex, homosexuality, adultery and more, we are criticized for being judgmental, prudish, antiquated and fundamentalist..
In the end, for conservatives we’re too liberal, and for liberals we’re too conservative. We can’t win.