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Divorce and Remarriage: The Debate Continues

David Instone-Brewer took the time to respond to my previous post on divorce and remarriage. In the response he clarifies some misunderstandings connected with his CT article. His response is below:

Dear Andreas

Thank you for interacting with my work at such length and with such evident understanding of my arguments.

I share your main problem with my CT article, which is that some people who are not familiar with my work might conclude that I’m advocating divorce for minor reasons. My actual conclusions are closer to yours – that neglect has to be persistent and serious, ie more-or-less equivalent to abandonment (a concept which you rightly picked up from my books).

When I wrote the Christianity Today article, I struggled greatly with the word limit for such an important subject. There wasn’t room to define neglect, so I referred readers to my Divorce & Remarriage in the Church (the full text is at www.DivorceRemarriage.com)

The book points out that ‘neglect’ is an inadequate modern-day way of summarising the stipulations of ‘food, clothing and love’ in Ex.21.10f (as repeated in marriage contracts in Jesus’ day). It also details the way in which Jesus emphasises that a wronged partner should forgive and forgive and forgive and that turning to divorce as a remedy for persistant neglect is a last resort.

I’m sorry that I have caused confusion by not making this clear in the article itself. See my response to this and other issues here.

David Instone-Brewer

Note: Time has picked up on this debate (HT: Justin Taylor)


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