David Powlison provides an insightful and penetrating review of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Excerpt:
Up to a point, 5LL can be informative, correcting ignorance about how people differ from each other, and making you more aware of patterns of expectation that you and others bring to the table. . . . But speaking love languages is surely not the whole story. In fact, it is practical, immoral wisdom—manipulation or pandering or both—when it becomes the whole story. Part of considering the interests of others is to do them tangible good. But then to really love them, you usually need to help them see their itch as idolatrous, and to awaken in them a far more serious itch! That’s basic Christianity. 5LL will never teach you to love at this deeper, more life-and-death level. Chapman’s reasons for giving accurate love to others, his explanation of what speaking another’s love language does, his ultimate goal in marriage, and his evaluation of the significance of love languages are deplorable.