In a dazzling manifesto, Stephen Post, professor of religion and ethics at Case Western Reserve, asserts that marriage and family are essential. But Post does more than trot out the shopworn, feel-good sentimentality of Hallmark Specials or the equally tired, vaguely menacing family values cant.

Post--whose grandfather was divorced by etiquette doyenne Emily Post--saves his fiercest ire for the so-called "culture of divorce." Americans, mired in expectations of endless passion and taught to care for nothing other than personal fulfillment, have forgotten that families are the building blocks of society. We divorce without a second thought. Following Barbara Defoe Whitehead's suggestion that divorce is bad for kids, Post suggests that if Americans embraced the age-old Christian teaching that raising children is the primary purpose of marriage, divorce rates would decline.

Post rounds out his chapters on marriage and kids with compelling discussions of adoption and aging parents.

For a Christian take on family that goes beyond the Promise Keepers line, look no further.

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