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on October 4, 2003
If you're divorced, know someone who is divorced, or even might think you could someday meet someone who is divorced, and think (as I did) that you already knew this issue, read this book and think again! This is a concise book. The text itself is only about 100 pages in medium print -- a breeze of a read. One of the most outstanding things about this book is that it not only presents the author's viewpoint, but also addresses and dismantles the claims and assertions of most opposing viewpoints. He goes verse by verse, in whole context, and not this "single verse theology" or Scripture hop-scotch that so often flows from the anti-remarriage crowd. He does this with great research from a variety of other authors (all Christians of course), including historical as well as Greek and Hebrew language background information. Tons of footnotes and references are included. There are even some issues he addresses that I didn't see addressed many other places, such as:
* How some divorce people are permitted to get remarried, but aren't allowed to do so in the church sanctuary like first-timers;
* How polygamy is proved to have existed in Paul's time, especially among the Jews and Christian converts, and the effect that has on Biblical interpretation;
* Remarriage of the so-called "guilty" party (and he debunks that term) after a divorce;
* how the church has failed to shepard married couples, and the confusion thereby brought about;
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The few negative reviews I see are mostly from those who obviously have NOT read the book, as they attribute ideas and concepts that are not actually in the book. [The one negative review here on Amazon was obviously from someone who didn't like what Adams had to say, but chose to malign the book rather than address the evidence and presentation.] Again, the evidence, presentation, and clear "bulletproof" logic and theology in this book are phenomenal. Many of the deeper concepts of true forgiveness and restoration in Christ are very convicting to read in light of how we think of other sinners -- and ourselves.
Fair Warning: This is not a "get a divorce, it's easy and God doesn't mind" book. He's very clear that all divorced results from sin. Period. Whether it's adultery (sin), someone divorcing for unbiblical reasons (sin), or even an unsaved divorcing a Christian (sin on the part of the unbeliever), it's all because of sin. You will not find the "marital euthanasia" garbage that says you can walk out because you're irritated. Remember, this man is an early founder of modern Bible-based Christian counseling. But he's also a pastor and extremely knowledgeable theologian, and it shows.
By the way, if you and an even more exhaustive study on the issue, I recommend "Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context" by David Instone-Brewer. It's three times the size, and even more "deep." This book by Adams is a WONDERFUL gift to someone stuggling after divorce.
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VINE VOICEon October 29, 2002
Pastors increasingly are facing questions from parishioners regarding how the Bible itself defines marriage, divorce and remarriage. Offering answers based on church tradition is not sufficient -- persons want to know what God's Word has to say. In this book, Jay Adams provides a very concise summary of the Biblical understanding of marriage, divorce and remarriage.
I commend Adams for his loyalty to the Scriptures in this volume. On the one hand, he departs from the ultra-traditionalists who would say that any remarriage after divorce is sinful. On the other hand, he doesn't join ultra-progressives who would imply that divorce really isn't a major theological issue in today's society. While I do not agree with his interpretation of the Matthew 18 passage as applying to divorce proceedings among two Christians, he offers many other excellent, helpful points.
This small yet substantial book is the best treatment I have found to date on what the Bible itself says on this knotty church issue. Every church leader's bookshelf should have a copy. This volume is well worth the price!
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on September 7, 1999
Jay Adams sets the tone quickly by first defining what biblical marraige is so that the divorce and re-marraige issues can be understood against this foundation. I believe he strives to teach the scripture in it's context even though it may be different than what is commonly heard among fundamental, evangelical Christians. I very much recommend this book for close study, as I have gone through it three times and have not exhausted it. Adams gives some case study examples in which he demonstrates how to apply the scriptures in twisted, complex, real life scenarios. While he is clear in maintaining that all divorce is the result of sin, he establishes that all divorce is not necessarily sinful to every party concerned. While many will not agree with all that Mr. Adams writes, most must conclude that his effort and desire is to honor the Lord in the proper and circumspect use of the Bible. This is not a 'divorce is o.k. and easy' sort of book. A helpful volumn that should get wide circulation.
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on August 30, 2000
There are so many views about divorce among Christians. America lacks teachers who are like J. Adams and present the Bible in a clear way. He simply lets the Bible interpret the Bible. I think if most American Christians had a fundamental understanding of marriage, divorce and remarriage according to the Bible, the divorce rate would not be so high among believers. This is a must read for anyone who genuinely cares about understanding what God's principles are about marriage, divorce and remarriage. Reading this book helped me to continue to love my wife and fight for my marriage. I found tremendous encouragement and support in biblical explanations and analysis presented by J. Adams. It is written very clearly and makes a lot of sense. I was disappointed when the pastor I knew said disagreed about some of the views expressed in the book. But the book lays the reasons for what marriage is and how God regulates divorce if it takes place. I highly recommend this book to couples going through separation, divorce or remarriage.
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on April 12, 2001
Adams does a thorough job of harmonizing the various Scriptural passages that deal with marriage, divorce, remarriage, and church discipline. He is clear, scholarly, and does not strain the texts.
His understanding of Scripture leads to the viewpoint that divorce does break marriage, though sin is always at the root of divorce. Remarriage is allowable for desertion or adultery.
As a pastor of 22 years, I have used Adams' book for over 20 of those years and recommended it to others. Since the book is so closely tied to Scripture, and since Adams' interpretative instinct is sharp and objective, I have seen several minister friends won over to Adams' perspective.
More importantly, I have used this work in my counseling ministry repeatedly and keep a supply on hand for loaning purposes. If you want one good book about these issues, make it this one.
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on November 11, 2001
Jay Adams supports the view that the Old Testament mentions divorce but does not allow it. To him Deuteronomy 24 talks about what is possible in society, rather than what is allowed by God. In this view, divorce was legally permissable but sinful. Despite this he believes that the Bible permits divorce and remarriage in certain circumstances - not every divorce is sinful - and he mixes the various biblical terms that cover the area in a way which misses some important distinctions. He supports the idea that Christ allowed divorce for sexual immorality and that Paul allowed it for desertion by an unbeliever. He also supports the concept that someone under church discipine is to be "treated like an unbeliever", and therefore an abandonment by them can result in dissolution of the marriage. This is a strange mixture of ideas, and is not needed if there is a proper understanding of how 1 Corinthians 7 relates to Exodus 21. - It puts an awful lot of power in the hands of the church without due cause - someone under church discipline is treated like an unbeliever - but they are not made into one.
Mr Adams says that anyone improperly divorced is actually divorced, but future marriages involve adultery because the person concerned has no right to be in an unmarried state, even though they are. He says that all persons properly divorced may remarry, but doesn't give a full answer for those improperly divorced. He is strong in his opposition of divorces going to secular courts, but leans too heavily on the involvement of the church, making their judgements authoritative without explaining what to do when a church is not inclined or competent to help. He is strong on showing that divorces are effective in ending marriage, and in showing that not all divorces are wrong, but regrettably doesn't show the full biblical list of wrongs that can end a marriage, and is overly harsh on polygamists.
Overall, obviously there are differences between the teaching of this book and the teaching of the person who has reviewed it, but the book is one of the better books on divorce, is quite well-written and is capable of teaching you a few things you didn't know before you picked it up, making it one of the better books on divorce and the Bible available today.
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on April 23, 2015
This book makes sense and is probably pretty good for the average marriage where there's a lot of bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, etc., accumulated over the years. To that end, if you're in a typical unhappy marriage and truly trying to restore things, I would strongly recommend the book: "Total Forgiveness" by RT Kendall. It's not only the best book on forgiveness I've ever read, but one of the best books I've ever read period.

The book "Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible" here though doesn't really deal with the more serious issues, such as where abuse (emotional and physical) or cases where PTSD or nervous breakdowns have occurred from the actions of your spouse come into play. Human beings are capable of doing unbelievable things to one another. While we are called to forgive and love each other, sometimes it's necessary to remove yourself from an abusive or otherwise extremely bad situation.

For more serious issues, I would recommend the book: "Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context" by David Instone-Brewer. Even if you do read and apply the book "Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible", I would still recommend reading these two other books I've recommended here as they've helped me tremendously.

As for "Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible", it's a decent book that goes over concepts that as Christians we should already be familiar with--sometimes we need reminders like this and in this case it's good to read this book. Like I said, if you're in a typical, unhappy marriage, it'll probably be helpful to you.
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on October 20, 2014
Excellent theme that many in 'hard-line' churches would find thoroughly biblical and encouraging.

Jay Adams 'hit' the 'mark' here.

Excellent purchasing experience as usual through Amazon.

I haven't shopped in stores for nearly 6 years now for most of my purchases. Online through Amazon.
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on March 3, 2015
Dr. Adams does a fine job of presenting the Biblical, and classical Protestant view of, marriage, divorce, and re-marriage, and at the same time refutes the no divorce / no-remarriage teaching of the Gothard/Ultra-Fundamental churches. The book is brief, and condensed, lacking in illustrations for that reason. I *like* what one reviewer called the "dry, pedantic" writing style, because Adams just gets to the case and presents it to you in a short, logical way. If you are interested in a more in-depth presentation, I suggest the late Dr. John Murray's book on the same topic. Honestly, in terms of accurately handling the word of truth on this subject, our Presbyterian-Reformed brethren are light-years beyond the legalistic Baptist preachers.
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on March 6, 2013
I bought this book because my wife and I have been separated for 3 1/2 years and i wanted to learn how to be a godly husband and not for the escape clause. I highly recommend this book to counselors and individuals going through marriage difficulites. Instead of looking for grounds for divorce and remarriage look for common grounds to stay married to the person you married.
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