Divorce and Remarriage in the Church
Will God allow me to divorce my abusive husband?
Would it be a sin if I remarried?
Divorce and remarriage are major pastoral issues facing every church. Yet when we turn to Scripture for guidance, we often hear conflicting messages about its teachings.
David Instone-Brewer shows how, when properly understood, the New Testament provides faithful, realistic and wise guidance of crucial importance and practical help for the church today.
"The next time I teach or counsel on divorce and remarriage I'm heading straight for this book. Not only does it make the biblical texts clear, it makes it clear how to teach them."
"David Instone-Brewer knows the Scriptures, and the textual and cultural background to the Scriptures, as well as any biblical scholar in the world today. He combines this scholarship with a pastor's heart for people and a commitment to the church. Out of this powerful mix he has written an authoritative--perhaps the authoritative--treatment of divorce and remarriage in church life today. The crisp, breezy, accessible style of this book is a great strength. It is clearly written by a pastor for regular people. But underneath this accessibility is rock-solid scholarship. I think that Divorce and Remarriage in the Church will become an indispensable resource for both scholars and pastors in years to come, and has the promise of reforming church practices in thousands of congregations. I offer this book my highest endorsement."
"With fresh insights from ancient sources, Dr. David Instone-Brewer takes a deep yet engaging look at this timely topic. He writes with a scholar's mind and a pastor's heart. Clergy, counselors and church councils should read this book and then thoughtfully reflect upon his conclusions regarding a biblical perspective on divorce and remarriage. People who are thinking about marriage, divorce and remarriage should also read this book as it offers both hope and challenge."
"This is definitely the best and most compelling work I have read on the controversial subject of divorce and remarriage. Dr. Instone-Brewer marshals evidence from rabbinic literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient texts to demonstrate the conclusion that the Bible permits (not 'commands' but 'permits') divorce on the grounds of adultery (or sexual immorality of any kind), neglect or abuse. Neglect includes desertion and the failure to provide food, clothing and conjugal love. The author is also very practical and helpful as he deals with specific real-life cases. I highly recommend this work."
"Based on scholarly research, this book offers pastors, counselors and laypersons a coherent biblical understanding of divorce and remarriage. A valuable aspect of the book is that it can be read at several levels--discerning readers will appreciate the wealth of evidence that allows them to reach their own conclusions, while those interested in 'the bottom line' will find the author's summary principles on divorce and remarriage most helpful. A summary chapter gives helpful suggestions and questions especially useful for small group discussions. I look forward to using this most excellent book in my D.Min. family ministry class."
"David Instone-Brewer is one of today's foremost scholars on first-century Judaism and its bearing on the New Testament. In this book he blends his academic expertise with pastoral concern; he sorts through most of the toughest issues with both intellectual rigor and Christian compassion. His persuasive work on this subject has already had far-reaching influence."
Introduction: What's New?
1. Confessions of a Confused Minister
2. A Marriage Made in Paradise
3. God the Reluctant Divorcee
4. The Church Can't Do Without It
5. Divorce on Demand?
6. When Your Partner Walks Out
7. Till Death Us Do part?
8. Four Biblical Grounds for Divorce
9. Can I Get Married Again?
10. Is Remarriage Adultery?
11. Promises, Promises
12. The Teaching That Time Forgot
14. What Should the Church Do Now?
15. Dear Pastor . . .
Group Discussion Questions