Brother Bill Heth, a professor for over 20 years at Taylor University and a staunch defender of the faith as a scholar, is a man of real courage.
After being a major player worldwide in writing and defending that divorce and remarriage were always forbidden in the New Testament, he changed his mind and openly admitted the error of his former position!
How often do you see a prominent voice in a great debate take the time to really listen honorably to his opponents, pray diligently, and seek God with the heart that cares not who’s right or wrong but only desiring the true truth.
We live in an age of file-cabinet theology. Most in the west are failing to thoroughly seek and understand the other position Biblically, and when the issue is mentioned, just dump out the contents of their “file-cabinet” in the brain that has a bunch of statements on mental 3×5 cards. But they are unwilling and/or unable to defend their position in the light of evidence they deny and/or ignore. God help us all.
Bill Heth is a man of deep faith, conviction, and honor. When we first spoke, I heard a heart full of love and concern. And a person of wide understanding. But most of all, a man who was willing to say he missed it, and now publically proclaimed how he changed his mind. And put pen to paper to show the watching world his story.
Many Godly saints in Jesus’ kingdom, including myself and my wonderful wife, have been demonized and victimized for hundreds of years by those who refuse to enter into seeking the Lord’s mind together. And the mean and ugly attitude of those who pursue and immediately reject the saints divorced and remarried for any reason are a heartbreak and unmerciful display of Satan’s power to further divide God’s church.
This work by Bill is a breath of fresh air in all the debate.
Don’t bother to read this if you have no real desire to search for the true truth together and perhaps put to death old prejudices that cause others to stumble in their faith. As a reformed stonewaller, I know how firsthand that game works… (see ARE YOU A SEEKER OR STONEWALLER? [MONDAY MANNA 73] and IDENTIFYING STONEWALLERS WHO BLOCK YOUR TRUTH [DEAR BRETHREN 4] )
My walk, and others, we’re certain, is a better one because of brother Bill and his great demonstration of courage. And truth. Here’s his story on this great and divisive issue.
Jesus on Divorce: How My Mind Has Changed – by Dr. Bill Heth
William A. Heth is Professor of New Testament and Greek at Taylor University and has served as a professor at Taylor since 1986. Dr. Heth has written extensively on the issue of divorce and remarriage. He co-authored with Gordon Wenham Jesus and Divorce. A second edition of this work was published in 1997.
What did Jesus mean when he spoke out prophetically against divorce and remarriage as it would have been understood and practiced by his first-century hearers? How literally should we interpret those pronouncements? Did Jesus intend to set forth an exceptionless absolute?
Or should we approach his divorce sayings as rhetorical overstatements intended to emphasize a particular point, but admitting of exceptions? How would his audience have understood those sayings, and what can we learn from his earliest disciples’ attempts to understand and apply Jesus’ teaching to their respective Christian communities?
Did they faithfully reflect the intent of the one they called Lord and master, or would Jesus be displeased with how they had modified his standard? Furthermore, how should we, his twenty-first century followers, apply them in our very different socio-cultural contexts? These are the kinds of questions that scholars ask as they wrestle with the NT records of Jesus’ teaching on divorce and remarriage…
Another terrific resource by Craig Keener and best seller author and scholar. The Introduction is worth the price of the book alone:
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
You may view our Archives here: AT THE BATTLE FRONT – ARCHIVES; Complete Archives; feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion. May our Father richly bless you with His grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in order to walk worthy of His name.
Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.