In Love: The Larger Story of Sex and Marriage (Paperback) - Ryan Messmore
This book tells how one couple’s lives and love story became swept up into an ancient, beautiful story much larger than themselves. The world of romantic love and sexual ethics looks different when seen through the lens of this narrative. In Love describes their attempt to live out this ancient story’s wisdom in modern times.
Praise for In Love
“There is so much more to marriage than meets the eye; our relationships on earth have the potential to help us understand a much larger reality. Ryan Messmore points to this bigger story, and in so doing, he helps us develop a deeper understanding of the gifts of sex and marriage. For college students wrestling with questions about human sexuality and relationships, for couples preparing for marriage, or for any of us wanting to see how our real-life relationships can point to a much deeper spiritual reality, this book is a treasure trove of insight and inspiration.” - D. Michael Lindsay, President, Gordon College, United States
“Every love story is really an epic waiting to be told. Ryan Messmore shows us how he discovered that epic dimension in the divine. He discovered God’s action in the small details of his relationship with his wife Karin, and their love began to flourish in unexpected ways. This is more than another intellectual conversion story. It’s a romance. It’s theology. It’s the kind of story that changes all kinds of lives for the better.” – Scott Hahn, professor of theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville, United States
“If love is not forever, what’s forever for? Ryan and Karin’s story shows how our deepest human longing can be made beautiful, fresh, compelling and highly realistic—even in the age of the hook-up culture. In Love is a love story that opens up a brighter prospect for our generation.” - Os Guinness, author of The Call, United States
“Every so often a book comes along that jolts us, commanding attention and inspiring the embrace of goodness, truth and beauty. Ryan Messmore has gifted us with such a book. The story of Ryan and Karin’s love and marriage, told against the backdrops of Jewish betrothal practices and the Bible’s account of God’s covenant love for creation, is delightful and challenging. What kind of people will our sexual practices shape us to become? Ryan Messmore explores the question in this intimate and profound book. Read it!”
- Rod Thompson, Former National Principal, Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand and Minister, Springwood Presbyterian Churches, NSW, Australia
“Our culture has become increasingly confused about marriage and its meaning, but Ryan Messmore has helped clarify the importance of this vital institution. By recounting his own courtship and engagement and illuminating the full, rich picture of marriage throughout the Old and New Testaments, we begin to gain a glimpse of marriage as God intended it. What’s more, Ryan has given us greater insight into Christ’s passionate pursuit of His bride.” – Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family, United States
“Ryan Messmore has a gift for sharing wisdom in a winsome and accessible way. This book is profound, well written and short—a trifecta! Messmore points out the false stories we tell ourselves today about love, sex and marriage, and proposes a more excellent way. In Love will help readers place their own lives and loves in the right story. I’ll be sharing it with friends. So should you.”
- Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, and author of ‘Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom’, United States
“Ryan Messmore brings the ancient Jewish betrothal tradition to life in a way that helps us revitalize modern-day relationships and also understand the larger biblical story. From questioning phrases like ‘fall in love’ to exploring pre-engagement counselling to describing sex as body language, this book helps readers approach their own love stories with intentionality and hope.”
- Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Founder, The Veritas Forum and author of Finding God Beyond Harvard, United States
“In this economic yet comprehensive and elegant work, Dr Ryan Messmore guides his readers into a relational world, rich with hope and meaning. Drawing on his courtship, engagement and marriage to Karin, Ryan shows us that among other things love is an action. Referencing Jewish betrothal practices and Holy Scripture, Ryan places sexual desire and intercourse in a newer and fuller context; one that hovers over the question, ‘What kind of people will certain sexual practices shape us to become?’ Dr Messmore has written a grounded, compelling, richly-textured book that is wise and practical. The personal or confessional nature of In Love makes it very good reading.”
- Paul Henderson, author of Athanasius: someone from nothing and No Ordinary People: exploring what it means to be human, Australia
“To anyone thoroughly catechized in the sexual revolution, this book and the story it tells will seem bizarre. But anyone willing to listen to the story and the carefully crafted Big Picture of love and sexuality Ryan describes here will find a beauty and truth not available in the small vision on offer in Western culture today.”
- John Stonestreet, President, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, United States
“This book is a great read and delves into the depths of an authentic dating, engagement and wedding journey! In a personal and even vulnerable way, it illumines the deeper design of sex and marriage, and provides historical as well as practical insights for anyone desiring to be ‘in love’. Our confused culture needs the higher vision that this story provides. I hope many young adults, especially, will read this book.”
- Paul Ninnes, Co-founder and Director, Real Talk International, Australia
“In Love drew me into three beautifully woven love stories. The result is a vision for relationships that is exciting and achievable, and which reminds us of what we were made for. What makes it so compelling is that Ryan narrates—rather than merely argues for—that vision. I cannot wait to get this book into the hands of every young adult and deep thinker I know!” - Greg Fleming, CEO, Parenting Place and Co-founder, Venn Foundation, New Zealand
DR RYAN MESSMORE directs the Millis Institute, a Christ-centred, tertiary liberal arts program that he designed at Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia (www.millis.edu.au). He has also served as President of Campion College (Sydney) and a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.). After receiving his bachelor’s degree at Duke University and Masters of Theological Studies at Duke Divinity School, Ryan pursued an M.Phil. at Cambridge University and a D.Phil. at Oxford University (on the Trinity and political theology). He and his wife, Karin, live with their three kids in Brisbane, where they are still loyal watchers of Duke basketball games and where they teach their students (among other things) ballroom dancing. For more visit www.ryanmessmore.com.
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