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Praise for In Love

“Every love story is really an epic waiting to be told. Ryan Messmore shows us how he discovered that epic dimension in the divine. 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

“Our culture has become increasingly confused about marriage and its meaning, but Ryan Messmore has helped clarify the importance of this vital institution.”

Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family, United States

“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

“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

“This book is a great read and delves into the depths of an authentic dating, engagement and wedding journey! Our confused culture needs the higher vision that this story provides.”

-Paul Ninnes, Co-founder & Director, Real Talk International, Australia


“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

“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. Read it!”

-Rod Thompson, Former National Principal, Laidlaw College, New Zealand and Minister, Springwood Presbyterian Churches, Australia

“Ryan Messmore has a gift for sharing wisdom in a winsome and accessible way. This book is profound, well written and short—a trifecta! 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

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.”

-Greg Fleming, CEO, Parenting Place and Co-founder, Venn Foundation, New Zealand

“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

Ryan Messmore - In Love (Cover)

Ryan's book is available now

In Love tells how one couple’s lives and love story became swept

up into an older, 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.


Hear a summary of

"In Love" by watching Ryan's TEDx talk

What Kind of Religion is Free in the Public Square?
Acton Lecture 2012

Recent events in the United States suggest a weakening of robust religious freedom. Australian policymakers and citizens need to be aware of how certain notions of religion can be embedded in public policies. Even policies that sound favourable or desirable to religious groups—policies like ‘religious exemptions’—can undermine the authority and public role of those very groups.

Selected Writings
First Things Nov. 26, 2010

Today, political activists often use the phrase “social justice” to justify government redistribution of wealth. In the mid-1800s, however, Luigi Taparelli Azeglio prefaced “justice” with “social” to emphasize the social nature of human beings and, flowing from this, the importance of various social spheres outside civic government. For Taparelli, these two factors were essential in formulating a just approach to helping those in need.

[T]he modern story fails to portray marriage as a public vocation that requires a prior period of training and transformation—mental, spiritual, relational, and moral. The Christian faith offers a different story of marital love. Its center of gravity is the notion of covenant ... This narrative of spousal covenant love shapes the drama of Scripture.

An Engaging Proposal: Lessons on Courtship & Covenantal Marriage from Ancient Israel
Touchstone Jan/Feb 2013
About Ryan

Dr Ryan Messmore serves as Assistant Headmaster for Academic Affairs at St. David's School in Raleigh, NC. 


He was the founding Executive Director of the Millis Institute at Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia; the Institute offers a bachelor's degree and a graduate degree in the liberal arts.

Messmore received a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University, master's degrees from Duke Divinity School and Cambridge University, and a doctorate in political theology from Oxford University.

Before moving to Brisbane, Messmore served as President of Campion College, a liberal arts college in Sydney. He has also served as a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, the largest research and education institution (a.k.a. “think tank”) in Washington, DC. His research and writing examined how religious commitments are brought to bear on political life to improve public discourse and strengthen civil society.

Messmore was also founding Director of Trinity Forum Academy (now Trinity Fellows Academy) in Royal Oak, MD. The program, which he designed and oversaw from 2001-2006, offers recent college graduates a nine-month residential program of advanced course work in theology and cultural engagement.

His commentary and analysis have appeared in major newspapers such as The Washington Times and The Australian, online venues such as and, and in national magazines such as First Things, Touchstone, and Comment. In 2012 he delivered the Acton Lecture in Sydney on Religious Freedom.

Ryan Messmore

More from In Love


During a typical betrothal in ancient Israel, a young man offered a cup of wine to his bride to seal their covenant. After the ceremony, they would depart from each other and perhaps not see each other for another year while he built a room for them onto his father’s homestead. When the room was ready, he returned to claim her as his bride, consummate the marriage, and inaugurate a grand, celebratory feast.

During the Last Supper, Jesus handed his disciples a cup of wine. He then told them he would soon depart to prepare rooms for them in his Father’s house. He also promised to return one day to claim the church as his bride, inaugurating what Scripture describes as “the wedding supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9).

-Epigraph, In Love


“Karin and I wanted a better story. … The Jewish Betrothal Story illumines the greatest love story ever told … [It] changed the way we talked (we gave up using phrases like “fall in love” and “love at first sight”). It changed the way we approached our engagement (in university we fasted once a week for our relationship and went through pre-engagement counseling). It changed the way we approached issues of sex (we began rethinking contraception) and it deepened our view of marriage. Most importantly, it broadened our understanding and appreciation of the biblical story and of God’s relationship with His people.” –In Love, p. 24-25


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Inspire others by sharing what was special about your engagement and/or wedding and how your relationship fits into the larger love story.  Selected entries will be posted here and on Facebook. 

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