Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Gleanings from the Pastor's Perspective: Marital Devaluation

The Pastor’s Perspective
“Marital Devaluation”
First Published: August 16, 2001

A Couple of weeks ago, I shared with you some sobering statistics from William Bennett’s Index of Leading Cultural Indicators. On the heels of that comes more solemn news. George Barna’s email last week led with this headline “Born Again Adults Less Likely to Co-Habit, Just as Likely to Divorce.” The Barna report synopsis reads: “Two years ago we released a study showing that born again Christians actually had a slightly higher incidence of divorce than did non-Christians. This week's report, which focuses on cohabitation, marriage and divorce, shows that the numbers have evened out. Based on more than 7000 interviews conducted among adults in the past eighteen months, our latest report shows that:

  • The percentage of born again adults who have been married and divorced is now statistically equivalent to that among non-born again adults.
  • One-third of adults have co-habited – and those who have done so have a higher incidence of divorce.
  • Catholics are more likely than Protestants both to co-habit and to experience a divorce.

The complete report of Barna’s current analysis of cohabitation, marriage and divorce is now on his web site at .

I mentioned a few tapes to you last time, but didn’t get to tell you about an excellent set of tapes that I recently surveyed. This set, called “The Open View of God - A Critique,” tackles one of the major “new” heresies impacting evangelical churches. It was presented by Dr. Donald A. Carson (Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity International University) and Dr. Grant R. Osborne (Professor of New Testament, Trinity International University) at the Mid-Winter Evangelical Free Church of America Ministerial, in January 2001 at Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas. There are six messages in the series: 1. Preliminary Response: Bible (Don Carson); 2. Preliminary Response: Philosophical and Theological (Don Carson); 3. A Preliminary Response: Church Fathers and other Figures (Don Carson); 4. The Open God Versus the Bread of God (Don Carson); 5. An Arminian Confronts the Openness Debate (Grant Osborne); and 6. Portrait of a Limited God (Don Carson). Certainly our college and seminary students, and interns will be interested in this subject, but so will many others. Even Christianity Today has been promoting this new aberration, so we all need to be forewarned and forearmed. I’ve put this set in the library for circulation. Take advantage of the wonderful resource we have in this tape ministry.

Your friend,

Ligon Duncan

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