Communication in Christian Marriage

A new type of book appeared at the Christian Booksellers convention in Kansas City last month. That was a handbook for husbands, a “Total Man” approach to marriage and the family.

Several publishers have examples of the genre on their fall lists. Before long others will follow. And it’s none too soon.

Why should Christian women be put through the guilt bath again and again, while men are untouched? Why have we no male Marabel Morgans to scathe the men?

Because men don’t read, that’s why. New York trade publishers estimate that 70 per cent of book purchases in the United States are by women. The comparable figure for Christian books is 80 per cent.

And counted among the men are all the book-buying pastors, whose purchases tend to be professional rather than personal—who give baths rather than take them.

I suppose that a lot of those women will buy the new “Total Man” books and leave them on the coffee tables or the TV set, with hope and a prayer that their husbands will pick them up and read them.

Or maybe they’ll put them under the dining room table. Surprise!

What should Christian men feel guilty about?


For a long time I’ve felt that more marriages are wrecked by grunting than by any other cause, except possibly headaches.

When a woman says something and her husband just grunts, she should not submit; she should grunt back.

“Do you know who I ran into at the mall this afternoon?”

“Grunt,” from behind the newspaper or in front of the TV.

—Now at this point the wife should resist the temptation to say that it was a traffic policeman, but he’s now off the critical list. Instead she should say, “Grunt.”

To which the husband will probably reply, “Grunt grunt.”

This will establish communication between the two of them, which psychologists tell us is absolutely necessary for a good marriage.

Before long the husband may even initiate the grunts. And then we will have another new publishing genre, Christian grunt books.

At that point men may begin to read.


A Stimulating Source

The news section of CHRISTIANITY TODAY is my favorite periodical reading. It is a source of unfailing stimulation and insight. You get more news and know more about what is going on in religion than any source at my disposal. Thank you for the job you are doing!


Christian Theological Seminary

Indianapolis, Ind.

Antidote To Isolation

I would like to thank you for the high quality of CHRISTIANITY TODAY. Being a missionary in Africa isolates one from the current trends and thoughts of the evangelical world at home. CHRISTIANITY TODAY fills the need to keep informed. In addition to the editorials, articles, and news, I find the issues devoted to new books and the book reviews in every issue very meaningful.

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Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana

Clarifying The Record

Regarding your reference to my situation (News, “Terror in El Salvador,” June 17), I believe that fairness requires that the record be set straight. I was never declared a persona non-grata by the Salvadorean government nor was I legally deported, nor was it ever even insinuated that I was connected with the CIA. I was forced to leave the country when a disgruntled government official (or his wife!), whose grossly immoral son I had refused to recommend for a preaching position, used his personal influence to obligate the immigration officials to proceed against me. My passport was left untouched. When, two months later, the government became aware of what had happened, the President himself sent a telegram to our church, a copy of which I retain, informing them that the situation had been cleared up and that I could return to the country at any time. I did, only to have my life threatened in the church building at pistol point by the son I had refused to recommend. Prudence has me out of the country until the present violence, described in your article, passes and individual rights are once again restored.



Sociedad Evangelistica Las Américas, Inc.

Forest, Va.

Nets, Not Hooks

Never having heard a well-reasoned defense for the use of rock music in the cause of Christ, I read James Pennington’s article (Refiner’s Fire, July 8) with great expectations. His argument seems to be that rock and disco music are forms of “fun, not edification” which are familiar to young people, and are therefore effective bait which fishers of men should use, presumably without worrying too much about the possibility that the bait on the hook might be rotten.

Being convinced that ends can not justify means, I was a bit troubled by the possibility that Christ might have taught that fishers of men ought to use any old bait, good or bad, as long as they thought it might be effective. Troubled, that is, until I recalled that the apostolic fishermen did not use fish hooks; their fish were not lured, duped, and snared but simply gathered in with a net, with no need for bait. Has our God now become so small that he must trick men into becoming Christians by using as bait forms of music which have “failed or perhaps refused to say anything substantial about real life?”

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Little Falls, N.J.

Evangelicals On Bioethics

The review of books on bioethics by Robert A. Case (June 17) was helpful, succinct, and fair-minded. But with his reference to the “ethical forfeiture” on the part of evangelicals to these issues, I would like to take exception.… Baker’s Dictionary of Christian Ethics (edited by Carl F. H. Henry) contains a number of essays on these kind of issues. And the volume Is It Moral to Modify Man? (edited by Claude S. Frazier) [has] essays from three evangelical contributors.

In 1968 the Christian Medical Society joined with CHRISTIANITY TODAY to co-sponsor an interdisciplinary symposium on abortion, sterilization, and contraception.… During the summer of 1975, under the aegis of CMS, Christian Legal Society, the American Scientific Affiliation, the Evangelical Theological Society, the Center for the Study of the Future, the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, the Christian College Consortium, the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies, and the Institute for Christian Studies (Toronto), psychologist Dr. Craig W. Ellison of Westmont College stimulated the calling of a conference to examine “Human Engineering and the Future of Man.” … Both CMS and the ASA have sought to provide continuing forums … for the consideration of these various difficult issues. And, incidentally, CMS meets triennally with fraternal Christian organizations from around the world to discuss issues in bioethics: Amsterdam (1963), Oxford (1966), Oslo (1969), Toronto (1972), Singapore (1975), and in 1978, Davos near Zurich.


Christian Medical Society Co-Chairman

Havertown, Pa.

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