Monday, March 4, 2013

Resources on the Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage Sermons

I'm late getting this and the next post up, but wanted to list a few resources I've mentioned or used in preparation for my marriage, divorce, and remarriage sermon material in our "No Easy Answers" series.

First, let me encourage you to visit the GBC website, where my notes for both messages, the audio, and the video links are all available.

I also used research collected by David Instone-Brewer in his volume, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible. This is a rather detailed volume, but he has summarized his findings in a more "popular" style book called Divorce and Remarriage in the Church.  Others have said reached the same conclusions he did (and I have) and he gives extensive bibliographies for more research as well.

Another approach to divorce, unrepentant sin, and church discipline is taken by Jay Adams.  I did not mention this in the message because I would not have had time to present it and deal with it fully.  In short, Adams says that when a spouse sins against their marriage partner in a way that strikes at the covenant bond, they should be confronted through the church discipline process.  If the spouse fails to repent, and is eventually disciplined out of the church, then the spouse is to be treated as an unbeliever.  Since this "unbeliever" has abandoned his or her responsibilities to be a godly marriage partner and departed from the church, they could be divorced for abandoning the marriage.  There is much more to the view, and it can be found in Adams' book, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible but I am uncomfortable with it because it tries to stretch the church discipline process into a divorce mechanism.  I believe the position I outlined puts divorce in the proper context and makes such a stretch unnecessary.

Of course, church discipline may come into play when unrepentant sin by a believer leads to the breaking of a marriage covenant, but that is a different issue.