Two Responses to David Instone-Brewer's CT Divorce Article

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about Dr. David Instone-Brewer's article in Christianity Today, which summarized the main points of the books he has written on the subject of divorce. As I mentioned, my initial reaction--before having done any of my own research--was optimistic. Having examined the biblical context more closely, and considered the responses of some prominent evangelical theologians, my hopes have dramatically waned.

If you haven't read the article, do it. Then read the responses of John Piper on the Desiring God blog, Andreas Köstenberger on his blog (which builds on and even critiques Piper's response), and finally, Instone-Brewer's response to these. If such articles aren't ultimately helpful in making an intellectually responsible determination, I recommend digging deeper. However, they should be a very good start to thinking about this eminently practical issue more critically and, ultimately, more biblically.

For those of you who think these issues should be relegated to scholars, Christian counselors, and senior pastors, think again. I can say with certainty that, if you live in the U.S., unless you've lived your life in a utopian Christian bubble, you've been touched in some significant way by divorce. You've had to think critically about it and likely offer advice to those struggling through it, either first-hand or second. This isn't some pie-in-the-sky theological quibble. It is an exigent matter of crucial concern for a substantial proportion of our fellow Americans. If we are to love them as Christ has loved us, it behooves us to approach this issue with care and rigor, not just academically, but spiritually as well.

For a more thorough treatment of this issue, Piper (full text of his chapters specific to the topic here), Köstenberger, and Instone-Brewer have penned books arguing their positions more rigorously.

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