Book Recommendation

Some of my sermon research comes from a book that I highly recommend.  Allan Carlson and Paul Mero authored The Natural Family: A Manifesto.  (I’ve enjoyed Carlson’s books thus far so I also recommend Godly Seed and Conjugal America.)

The Natural Family argues that the natural family is a part of the created order, imprinted on our natures, and is the source of bountiful joy.  As the basic unit of society, policies regarding the family matter to citizens.

Carlson and Mero give a helpful historical analysis of the forces against the family in the first chapter.  Claiming that the 17th and 18th centuries brought philosophers who argued against the natural and traditional family, they prove it by looking at Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Rawls, and Rousseau.  They also analyze the rises of socialism, nationalism, and communism.

The real treat of the book, however, is how they argue for the family.  In other words, while the historical work on forces against the family is very helpful, they turn to the social sciences for showing why the family really matters.  This makes the book a helpful supplement to the biblical revelation.

The book will challenge many modern assumptions about the family and sex differences.  Carlson and Mero affirm and give evidence for the the unique complementarity of the sexes as a source of strength, not disharmony.  In an age when it is popular to claim that differences don’t matter or that the family structure is not important, Carlson and Mero provide helpful arguments and evidences for why they do matter and why the family structure is important.

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