Christian Communicators Worldwide, written by Daryl Wingard, Jim Elliff, Jim Chrisman, and Steve Burchett. As the title states, the book deals with the often debated topic of divorce plus the follow on subject of remarriage. Rather than simply sharing their opinions on the matter, they tackle this difficult yet commonplace aspect of our society using the Scripture and straightforward reasoning.
Based on conversations I have had with many professing Christians, the authors' conclusions are not going to be welcomed by many. Most modern day expositors teach at least 2 Biblical exceptions to the permanence view of marriage, namely, adultery and abandonment. However, these godly authors attack these exceptions with God's Word clearly and carefully. Here is a brief sample:
"...there is no text of Scripture that conclusively proves that God permits divorce in cases of adultery, while several passages prohibit divorce categorically. ... Matthew 19:9 is, at best, inconclusive on the subject of remarriage after divorce, and in Matthew 5:32 Jesus clearly prohibits remarriage after divorce, even for the innocent spouse, by specifying that though she was not guilty of adultery prior to the divorce, she commits adultery when she remarries."
The authors summarize their understanding of the teaching of Scripture on marriage, divorce, and remarriage at the very beginning of the book:
1. The one-flesh union created in marriage is permanent until death.
2. Initiating a divorce is never lawful.
3. Remarrying after divorce is an act of adultery if a former spouse is living.
Part 1 of the book examines the Biblical texts on the subject. Part 2 of the book discusses applications of their conclusions. The second part is extremely valuable since it contains answers to many of the situations which often confront pastors in their ministry to troubled marriages (or second marriages).
I suspect many will disagree with their conclusions. Those who do, however, must provide a more convincing interpretation of the Scriptural passages examined by this work. Opinion, pragmitism, and philosophical arguments will not suffice. The authors have based their conclusions on Scripture. Those opposed must do likewise.
Personally, I enjoyed reading the work. My own view on this matter has undergone considerable change over the past couple of years thanks, in part, to the work of John Piper. Basically, I came to the same conclusions as the authors roughly a year ago. Their work confirms my view on marriage.
I do remain in disagreement with the book's position on the matter of divorce as it relates to the qualifications for a pastor. The authors conclude that those men who have divorced their wives and remarried remain qualified for the pastorate. They provide their arguments for their position in the "application" section near the end of the book. However, I am not yet convinced of their position and the interpretation they are giving to the 1 Timothy 3 passage.
Though I disagree with their position on pastoral qualifications, I support the remainder of their book. I highly recommend it to others, especially those who are still struggling with the subject of divorce and remarriage.