I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah: Moving from Romance to Lasting Love
List price: $13.99|
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Average customer rating:
4.0 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0849908221
Manufacturer : Thomas Nelson|
Release data : 05 April, 2005
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Great Easy Read
This was a good book - period - the reason for a 4 instead of a 5 star is due to the fact, I don't think most pre-marrieds will like it due to its black and what suggestions that most pre-marrieds have no desire to hear. I my self have been married for 7 years and still loved the book. It has some great principles for the perspective of a father and a husband, and if you are looking for a short easy read that is great - this is your book
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
I picked this book up because I've heard the author speak and have much respect for him; he is smart and well-spoken. But I was sorely disappointed by this book. Its advice is shallow and tired; I've heard it all before a hundred times. It's not bad advice, it's just... milk. The same old basic things any pastor includes in a sermon on marriage: listen to your parents, love is a choice, die to yourself, etc. Blah blah blah.
Worse yet, his use of scripture is shallow and questionable. He's one of those authors that offers an interpretation of scripture that might be true as if it is inarguably true. I need the arguments. I want to be convinced.
I suppose there's nothing wrong with milk. Certainly there are people who need it before they can get to solid food. But I expected more from Mr. Zacharias.
(Disclaimer: I only made it through 100 pages of this book - which is more than halfway - before I decided there would be better ways to spend my time.)
Rich insights, but must be gleaned with patience
One thing is clear from reading Ravi Zacharias's book, I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah: marriage is hard work. Using the biblical story of Isaac and Rebekah, Zacharias attempts to reveal God's will for marriage.
Zacharias's background as a professional speaker is obvious from reading his book. He ties in stories and examples effortlessly with a conversational tone, letting the reader know that it's safe to go on. His views on marriage are at the same time agreeable and challenging to anyone reared on biblical values. It's all been said before in other marriage books, but perhaps not in such a sober way. Zacharias's passion is to show people that marriage is a serious business. He doesn't pull any punches in this regard; everyone takes responsibility, from pastors to parents to society. In particular, Zacharias does not go easy on men, saying: "There is little doubt that men have led the way in the dereliction of duty to the family" (p. 145).
But his confidence as a speaker works against him to a large degree. He makes the assumption that people will want to listen to him. He takes his time how life ought to be--rather than presenting them as they are. Therefore, people who are looking for answers to their problems in a clear, straightforward way may decide to look elsewhere.
This is not a self-help book. Instead it reads more like a 156-page sermon and, like a sermon, tends to go off topic quite easily. The chapter titles are clever and informative, but the material in between doesn't always fit; it's not at all unusual to finish a chapter and wonder what it was about. The problem is that Isaac and Rebekah's story was intended to be a framework for how the book is structured. Unfortunately, it is used as a springboard instead, launching off into lengthy discussions only loosely tied into the subject of marriage.
While there is no doubt that parenting, church life, and personal devotions all relate to marriage, Zacharias could have done a better job of tightly joining them into the main idea. As it is, they fit more like oversized pants, requiring the reader to do the work of holding up the point: marriage God's way.
Another part of the problem is that Zacharias doesn't seem to know to what audience he's writing. Is it to those who are single and thinking of marriage? Or is it to those who are already married? Or is it to parents or pastors? A specific focus would have been beneficial. The fact is, the story of Isaac and Rebekah would make a much better Prayer of Jabez-size book: repackage it as many times as you want for different audiences.
I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah has some rich insights, but they must be gleaned with patience and a meditative approach in order to benefit from them. -- Charlie Gormely, Christian Book Previews.com