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Divorce de John Murray
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Divorce (edició 1961)

de John Murray (Autor)

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359256,023 (3.94)2
Membre:DalendPearson
Títol:Divorce
Autors:John Murray (Autor)
Informació:P & R Publishing (1961), 128 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Divorce de John Murray

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  semoffat | Aug 1, 2021 |
Until about 3 years ago, I held the dogmatic "no divorce, no remarriage" position that is espoused by Carl Laney in his book "The Divorce Myth." (I've also reviewed The Divorce Myth.) However, that position began to moderate when I realized that the instruction "it is better to marry than to burn" in 1st Corinthians 7:9 was not written solely regarding virgins (or widows), but that the word "unmarried" also (and more likely in the immediate context) applied to those who were previously married (probably before their salvation), but now are "unmarried." Once I had arrived at that interpretation and understanding, my entire position on divorce and remarriage had to be re-evaluated.

I've read several different books on divorce and remarriage in the last couple of years. John Murray's book is undoubtedly the best. The book is primarily the work of six articles that he wrote for the Westminster Theological Journal from 1946-1949. There are several things which I would say about Murray and this book, before giving a brief summary of his views.
- He believes the design of God for marriage is "one man, one woman, one lifetime."
- His exegesis and hermeneutics are nearly irrefutable (in my opinion).
- His belief in the authority of Scripture is absolute.
- He does not appear to start with a conclusion to be supported, but forms logical conclusions and applications based on what the Scripture says.

The Forward to the book asserts the nature of marriage according to God's design.

Chapter One explains the O.T. instruction for divorce and remarriage as given to Israel in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. It would take too much time to elaborate on everything Murray wrote here, but it is sufficient to say that religious society in Jesus day was misusing the provision in order to divorce and remarry at will. However, the primary purpose was not to grant the right of divorce, but to declare that a divorced couple could not remarry after they each had been married to another. (The protasis is 24:1-3 and the apodosis is 24:4.) Murray's conclusion regarding the passage follows, "within the limits of this passage we have exemplified and confirmed the principle that while divorce was suffered [tolerated] in the Mosaic economy, we have no warrant to suppose that under any circumstances was it sanctioned or approved as the intrinsic right or prerogative of the husband."

Chapter 2 explains the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 5 and 19, Mark 10 and Luke 16. Again, I won't re-write everything Murray said, but a couple of salient points are these:

- He very effectively harmonizes the context and language of each of the four places that Jesus taught on divorce. There are no contradictions, just different contexts and therefore different assertions.

- He shows that Jesus' removal of the "any cause" for divorce, by which the Pharisees were living out their lusts, was actually a strengthening of the intent of the permanency of marriage.

- He demonstrates grammatically that the exception clause of fornication by an unfaithful spouse, not only permits divorce, but consequently remarriage (for the innocent party). It is possible to hold a high view of marriage, but still recognize that fornication will sometimes destroy the marriage bond and that an innocent party may be granted the option of remarriage without it being considered adultery.

Chapter 3 presents the interpretations of Paul's writings on divorce from 1st Corinthians 7 and Romans 7. In this chapter, Murray:

From 1st Corinthians,
- Carefully harmonizes the teachings of Paul with those of Jesus. As before, they are complimentary, not contradictory. They deal in a different contexts with different recipients.

- Clearly explains marital obligations and their purpose.

- Differentiates between the instructions to believing couples and mixed couples (one believing and one unbelieving spouse).

- Explains the "not under bondage" phrase as it applies to a believing spouse abandoned by an unbelieving partner.

- Warns of the problem and implications of a believing spouse divorcing an unbelieving spouse. On the contrary, he asserts the value of a believing spouse's influence on an unbelieving spouse and the witness of God's grace to them.

From Romans 7,
- He expresses the fact that verses 2-3 are an illustration of men being dead to the law. A light view of marriage would undermine the illustration's power. Paul uses the general law (without feeling the necessity to explain any exceptions), to prove his theological point.

Chapter 4 is a presentation of cases and practical applications. These are actually pretty straightforward. However, there is a bit of a practical disconnect since the book was written several decades ago. For example, he explains that in the state of South Carolina divorce was illegal and there could be conflict in the case where someone might actually have a legitimate and Biblical reason for divorce.

In conclusion, Murray does believe that there are very limited exceptions for divorce and the exception of divorce in those cases does allow for remarriage. However, he continually asserts that God's design is for a marriage to be permanent. His appeal is always to Scripture and takes great care to make sure that he is accurately interpreting each passage of Scripture. This is the most Scriptural, logical, and balanced treatment of this subject that I have read. ( )
  LeviDeatrick | Aug 4, 2017 |
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