Item description for Remarriage After Divorce in Today's Church: 3 Views (Counterpoints) by Mark L. Strauss, Gordon John Wenham & William A. Heth...
Overview A biblical and practical summary of the three main views among evangelicals on remarriage after divorce, including some of the practical implications for church life, author interactive responses to each chapter, and group discussion questions.
Publishers Description A biblical and practical case for three main evangelical views on remarriage after divorce Among born-again Christians, 27 percent have experienced divorce as compared to 24 percent in the general population. Yet no consensus exists among evangelicals on their views of remarriage, leaving many Christians confused. This single volume summarizes and explores three main evangelical views: no remarriage, remarriage after adultery or desertion, and remarriage for a variety of reasons. Each of the three contributors offers his point of view succinctly with biblical support, and each interacts with the others to help readers come to their own conclusions. Contributors include: Gordon J. Wenham No remarriage after divorce William A. Heth Remarriage (two grounds) Craig S. Keener Remarriage (variety of reasons)"
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.48" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2006
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310255538 ISBN13 9780310255536 UPC 025986255534
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More About Mark L. Strauss, Gordon John Wenham & William A. Heth
Mark L. Strauss has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Remarriage After Divorce In Today's Church?
A change of pace for the Counterpoints series Aug 16, 2006
This is the 7th "Counterpoints" book I've read, and it's quite different from all the others in this series. All 3 authors see the Bible as granting Christians permission to divorce under certain circumstances. The 3 positions defended are:
Permission only to divorce, & never to remarry (Gordon Wenham) Permission to remarry only in cases of adultery or desertion (William Heth); and Permission to remarry for a variety of reasons. (Craig Keener)
This book is more of an introductory primer to the remarriage-after-divorce debate: the chapters are shorter (about 30 pages each, contrasted w/ 50-100 in earlier Counterpoints) and the responses 5-6 pages. Also the argumentation is more abridged and less technical: none of the authors refer to the original biblical languages much in defending their positions, other than a passing reference to the word _porneia_ ("adultery, sexual immorality") and its possible meanings in Matt. 19:9. Also, the authors frequently refer to other published works, not just in defense of thier own views, but as a substitute for defending their own views; at several points the contributors dismiss a defense of a certain point they are making by simply mentioning another author or book that defends it, and adding that the issue is treated more exhaustively there. This book, more than any of the other Counterpoints that I've read, left me wanting to read more from each of the contributors on the topic.
One benefit of this more cursory treatment is that the book is an easier and quicker read than earlier Counterpoints books. It also returns to the original practice (abandoned in recent years) of allowing each author to respond to the others' chapters, which are usually some of the most engaging parts of this series of books. The authors are also very respectful of each other in the responses, without any puffed egos, practically falling over themselves to show goodwill and appreciation to each other -- although the responses are occasionally redundant, repeating some of the main points that the authors make in their own chapters.
Another positive about this book is that it focuses exclusively on the issue of remarriage, which is sometimes eclipsed in similar books on this topic, by the topic of divorce itself. While it is certainly important to have a biblical understanding of divorce, it is no less important to have a biblical understanding of remarriage -- especially if (like me) you are a pastor who is asked to marry 2 individuals who have already been married before. So this book is more pastoral and practical than some of the Counterpoints books, as it addresses a topic that impacts the way people live and not just how they think.
Overall, this is a very good intitial look at the question of what the proper biblical response is to divorced Christians who want to remarry. Each author balances biblical and pastoral/ practical issues in trying to come up with an appropriate answer. Probably the biggest downside to this book is that it is unlikely to change anyone's opinion on the subject, due to (a) its brevity; and (b) a number of presuppositional questions which strongly affect how one interprets the biblical data. However, the editor (Mark Strauss) does a good job of listing these presuppositions in a final concluding chapter, which does not so much try to identify a "winner" in the debate so much as point out some of the key issues on which the debate hangs.
a thought provoking, short book Jul 9, 2006
Up to a year or so ago, I had always thought divorce and remarriage was acceptable in the cases of unrepentant adultery or desertion. I would quote the exception clause in Matthew 19 as well as the one about an unbeliever leaving in 1 Corinthians 7. Yet, I had simply accepted them without a lot of thoughtful study or consideration. After some study, I came to the determination that remarriage while the spouse is alive is prohibited. I've held this viewpoint ever since. This book has been very helpful for me. Gordon Wenham is one of the leading proponents of the No-Remarriage position. I've thought he has had a rock solid argument and agree(d?) with him wholeheartedly. William Heth, who had co-authored a book with Wenham, after many years as a no-remarriage advocate has now changed his stance on remarriage to the traditional Reformation/Protestant understanding of remarriage allowable in cases of unrepentant adultery and desertion by an unbelieving spouse--the position I had formerly accepted blindly. Heth changed his position because of many of the same questions & issues that I still feel uncomfortable with on this side of the remarriage/theological fence. Heth deals with texts; he doesn't run from them (so does Craig Keener...although I certainly don't agree with his permissive viewpoint of other circumstances than adultery and desertion). All three authors extensively deal with the many practical issues that result from divorce and remarriage. This book is very balanced in its approach and allows each position to be presented clearly and evenhandedly. While the book is short enough to start a debate and answer as well as create some questions, it is not complete enough in its format to fully convince or change one's mind. It's a great primer and exposure to the viewpoints, but not sufficient enough to fully examine them in detail. Then again, it is not designed to do that. Whether or not remarriage is possible, I know that the Lord will be with me and either way it will be excellent--with a wife, or without one. Praise God for His sovereign goodness to work all things to our joy and His glory!