Gospel Intimacy in a Godly Marriage: an interview with Alan DunnIn Reformed Baptist Fellowship on Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 11:59 am
Alan Dunn is a good friend, and one of the pastors of the Grace Covenant Baptist Church, Flemington, New Jersey, and has been since the church’s inception in 1985. He is married to Patricia, and they have three sons and one daughter. He has recently authored the book Gospel Intimacy in a Godly Marriage: A Pursuit of Godly Romance (Pillar & Ground Publications). He has previously written a book on masculinity and femininity called Headship in Marriage: In Light of Creation and the Fall.
Gospel intimacy . . . hmmm. To borrow a phrase: “Is this a kissing book?”
No, and yes. It is a “wuv, twue wuv” book. I use the term “intimacy” to speak of the all-inclusive nature of the one-flesh relationship. Marital intimacy entails a profound knitting of soul. As we pursue soul intimacy with our spouse, we will inevitably foster physical intimacy as both kinds of intimacy feed into each other. The book focuses on relational intimacy. However, sexual intimacy, which is integral to marriage, will emerge from a wholesome relational intimacy. If you’re asking, “Is this a book about sex?” I would say, “Yes, but it will improve that area of a relationship only as a result of cultivating a deeper intimacy of soul.”
Thank you for the explanation. That being so, please can you give us a précis of the book? What can we expect to find?
I’ve attempted to look at marriage in the light of who we are as men and women created in the image of God and as those redeemed by Christ and indwelt by His Spirit. I consider marriage against the backdrop of the Bible’s large emphases on God, Creation, the Fall, and Redemption. After I define the couple in terms of creation and redemption, I then consider the greatest challenge to marital intimacy: our sin. Only the gospel can address the threat that sin poses to our marital intimacy, so we need to learn how to give each other “gospel love.” We face other challenges to intimacy as well, such as who will take the lead, how to overcome our innate selfishness, how to cultivate wholesome communication patterns, and how to grow more intimate as we age and face the prospect of death.
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