Why I wrote Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers

July 4, 2017

Jim Newheiser

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Jim Newheiser

I am very thankful and excited that P&R has published my new book, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers. I loved writing this particular book for at least three reasons:

  1. I marvel at God’s beautiful design for marriage because it reflects His gracious love for us in Christ. Studying marriage builds up my own faith and my love for the gospel.
  2. My marriage to Caroline is a rich blessing from the Lord, and my greatest earthly delight over these past thirty-seven years.
  3. It is thrilling to watch the wise and powerful principles of Scripture transform the marriages of counselees.

This book can be used in various ways:

  1. Reading this book straight through will give you a comprehensive look at what the Bible says regarding marriage, divorce, and remarriage. The first half of the book answers questions related to the biblical teaching about God’s design for marriage and how one should enter into marriage. It provides the keys to a successful marriage and shows how to face challenges. The second half of the book addresses the weighty issues of what God’s Word teaches about divorce and remarriage.
  2. The question and answer format, covering all forty chapters, makes this an excellent resource for looking up how the Bible speaks to a particular issue. For example, if you want to study which sexual sins constitute grounds for divorce or when and how sexual sin in marriage can be forgiven, you can go straight to those questions or chapters.
  3. As a counseling resource, this book is helpful for developing homework assignments. For example, a single counselee can read the chapters which address how one can know whether to marry or whom to marry and why cohabitation apart from marriage is sinful. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection that are helpful as homework assignments.

Some have asked how this book compares to Jay Adams’ volume, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible. I believe that Dr. Adams did an excellent job with his book, and it has been a standard for pastors and counselors for many years. My book takes a similar perspective on many issues, but it is more comprehensive in scope. Also, my new book interacts in more detail with some viewpoints (such as the permanence view of marriage) that were not as prominent thirty years ago when Dr. Adams wrote.

It is my intention that this book would be:

  1. Comprehensive – Not ducking the hard questions.
  2. Respectful to believers with whom I may disagree – Brothers and sisters who love Christ, believe His Word, and seek to please Him have differing views on some of these issues, particularly concerning the issues of divorce and remarriage for believers. My goal was to treat other viewpoints fairly while also explaining from Scripture how I reached my conclusions. I admit there are some extraordinarily difficult situations on which I am unable to take a rigid position.
  3. Practical – In over thirty years of counseling I have witnessed almost every imaginable situation. It is my desire to show how God’s all-sufficient Word wisely addresses every circumstance.

My prayer is that the Lord will use what He has taught me as a blessing to many of His people.