Book Notice: “Marriage and Family: Biblical Essentials” by Andreas Köstenberger and David Jones

Recent rulings on gay marriage and debates on family-related issues have placed marriage and family at the forefront of the public eye. More so than at any point in history, we are now confronted with the need to carefully define the meaning of marriage and family.[1] In the light of this reality Crossway has recently published Marriage and the Family: Biblical Essentials, by Southeastern’s very own Andreas Köstenberger and David Jones. The book is an abridgment of the authors’ well-received God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation (2d ed., 2010).

Like its parent volume, Marriage and the Family seeks to provide a biblical-theological treatment of marriage and family by drawing upon the entire canon of Scripture and from the whole biblical narrative. The unifying factor is the Triune God who created man and woman in his image and called them to become one flesh. Marriage and the Family then traces the implications and expansions of this theology throughout the Bible (ch. 1). Chapters 2–8 explore the multiple facets of this theology and its application to very (post)“modern” issues: sex, reproductive technologies, homosexuality, singleness, divorce and remarriage, and parenting receive thorough biblical investigation.

The benefit of Marriage and the Family is its function as an abridgement. Its manageable size makes it a great resource for small group study, personal reading, and as an introduction to or reminder of the larger argument of God, Marriage, and Family.

Andreas J. Köstenberger is senior professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist. David W. Jones serves as Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Coordinator of Th.M. and Thesis Studies at Southeastern. Jake Pratt, PhD student in Biblical Theology at Southeastern, assisted with the abridgment.



[1] Taken from the back cover of Marriage and the Family: Biblical Essentials (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012).

An Invitation to Study Christian Ethics at Southeastern

Perhaps one is not overstating the case to say that Christian Ethics is the academic discipline that finds itself on the frontlines of the battle more than any other in the 21st century? Questions about abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, and quality of life pervade the medical field. Debates about justice dominate the political realm. Issues such as global warming and environmental pollution are at the heart of nearly every fracas in the economic realm. Discussions about homosexuality, gender, and race pervade the anthropology, sociology, and political realms of society.

And so, with ethical matters at the forefront of our minds in the 21st century, we invite you to come study Christian ethics at Southeastern, where you will have opportunities to take courses in Biblical Ethics, History of Philosophical Ethics, History of Theological Ethics, War and Peace, Wealth and Poverty, Environmental Ethics, Virtue and Moral Character, Sexual Ethics, Comparative Religious Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, and more. Guiding you in your studies will be Dan Heimbach, David Jones, Mark Liederbach, and other adjunctive faculty. Here is a brief overview of our ethics faculty and their areas of expertise:

Dan Heimbach (Ph.D., Drew University Graduate School) is Senior Professor of Christian Ethics and the author of or contributor to fourteen books including True Sexual Morality: Recovering Biblical Standards for a Culture in Crisis (Crossway); Counterfeit Sexuality: Defending Biblical Sexual Morality from Four Threats to God’s Design for Biblical Sexual Behavior (Focus on the Family) and Basic Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Godly Living (B&H, forthcoming). He has also published more than 50 journal and magazine articles, and contributed articles in the ESV Study Bible (Crossway). Dr. Heimbach has become a publishing machine; he writes many books and articles and always on such interesting topics (e.g. sex and war). A book by Heimbach always makes my heart beat faster.

David W. Jones (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Coordinator of Th.M. and Thesis Studies. He is the author of The Law and Liberty: An Introduction to Biblical Ethics (B&H Academic, forthcoming); God, Marriage and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation (Crossway); and Reforming the Morality of Usury: A Study of Differences that Separated the Protestant Reformers (University Press of America). He has also published articles in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Faith & Mission; Bibliotheca Sacra; and The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Dr. Jones is known as a meticulous researcher and fine classroom instructor.

Mark D. Liederbach (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Students, and the co-author with Alvin Reid of The Convergent Church (Crossway), co-editor with SEBTS professor Bruce Little of Defending the Faith (B&H, 2011), and contributed two chapters to the aforementioned God, Marriage and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation by Andreas J. Köstenberger with David Jones. He has published articles in Faith & Mission and Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Dr. Liederbach is known as a pastor, a scholar, a teacher, and a Troy Aikman look-alike.

Southeastern offers degrees in Christian Ethics on the Masters and Doctoral level. The Master of Arts (Christian Ethics) is a Seminary program providing specialized academic training that prepares men and women to impact the culture for Christ through prophetic moral witness and service in a variety of settings. The M.Div. with Christian Ethics weds Southeastern’s M.Div. core with 12 hours of track selectives, courses focused in ethics. It can be completed in 3 years alone or a student may complete both the M.Div. with Ethics and the M.A. (Christian Ethics) with an additional year of study.

The Th.M. at Southeastern is a post-M.Div. degree designed to build leaders through personal mentoring by the faculty and can be taken in a thesis or non-thesis track. The Th.M. in Theological Studies with a specialization in Christian Ethics prepares one either for doctoral study in Ethics or for ministry in a local church or on a mission field. David Jones is the coordinator of Th.M. and thesis studies at Southeastern.

The Ph.D. in Theological Studies with a concentration in Christian Ethics prepares students to teach ethics and theology courses to college or seminary students, and to write at the scholarly level and for the church on Christian Ethics from an explicitly evangelical perspective.

We invite you to study with our Christian Ethics faculty in the M.A., M.Div., Th.M., or Ph.D. programs of Southeastern. For more info visit our website (http://www.sebts.edu/ or http://www.sebts.edu/college/) and check out the Admissions and Academics links.

Health, Wealth & Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ?

You heard it here first: Dave Jones and Russell Woodbridge are two of sharpest knives in the drawer. Jones is associate professor of ethics at SEBTS whose expertise is in the field of financial ethics. Woodbridge is a former vice-president for Salomon Brothers AG in Frankfurt, Germany, and former associate professor of theology and church history at SEBTS. He now lives and works in Eastern Europe.

Jones and Woodbridge have teamed up to write Health, Wealth & Happiness:Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ? (Kregel, 2011), a biblical-theological critique of the health and wealth movement. The authors point out that, “Despite its departure from the historic Christian message, the prosperity gospel continues to grow exponentially around the globe” (p. 18). The prosperity movement “has an appealing but fatal message: accept God and he will bless you-because you deserve it” (p. 16). Prosperity gospelers do indeed prosper financially from their own teaching, but often deceive their crowds by removing Christ and the cross from the gospel, promising American-style prosperity in its place. In response to this phenomenon, Jones and Woodbridge deliver a deft and even-handed critique of the prosperity gospel’s teachings and effects.

The first three chapters give a historical and theological critique of the prosperity gospel. These chapters examine the foundations of this movement (chapter 1), the teachings of the prosperity gospel (chapter 2), and the faulty theology of some of this movement’s most well-known teachers (chapter 3), including modern figures such as Creflo Dollar, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, and Joel Osteen. The second part of the book offers a biblical and theological corrective to the movement’s emphases and teachings. Thus, it focuses on the prosperity gospel movement’s foci and errors, including suffering (chapter 4), wealth and poverty (chapter 5), and giving (chapter 6). Jones and Woodbridge have done pastors, teachers, and laypeople a great service by delivering a pointed critique grounded in Christian Scripture and communicated with grace and clarity. This is a timely and appropriate book.

If you are a prospective seminary student , allow me to invite you to study with David Jones at Southeastern. He holds a PhD from SEBTS in the field of financial ethics. He is associate professor of Christian ethics, coordinator of the ThM program at SEBTS, and the author of more than a dozen articles and books that cover a wide range of moral issues.