Editorial: Marriage and the Family -- By: Thomas R. Schreiner

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 06:1 (Spring 2002)
Article: Editorial: Marriage and the Family
Author: Thomas R. Schreiner

Editorial: Marriage and the Family

Thomas R. Schreiner

Thomas R. Schreiner is a professor of New Testament at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has also taught New Testament at Azusa Pacific University and Bethel Theological Seminary. He is the author of Romans in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament and co-author of The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance. His most recent book is Paul, the Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology. In addition, he is serving as the preaching pastor of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Cultural opposition to a biblical view of marriage, family, and the role of women appears to be unending. The rise of the pro-homosexual movement constitutes one example of an anti-family agenda. Some denominations are not merely debating whether homosexuality is morally permissible. They are disputing whether or not homosexuals should be ordained as ministers of the gospel. Many unbelievers insist that rejecting the moral legitimacy of homosexuality stems from hatred. Unfortunately, some who maintain that they are believers make the same argument. The worldview of secular culture does not only oppose the church; in some instances it has invaded and captured the mind of some who claim the name of Christ. Many ordinary Christians would be shocked to discover what is taught about marriage, family, and the role of women in colleges and universities that claim to be Christian.

As believers, our desire is to submit to the lordship of Christ in every arena of life. There is no realm over which Jesus Christ should not reign as our sovereign. Hence, we submit to scriptural authority in formulating our view of marriage, the family, and the role of women. We do not trumpet our own ideas about marriage, nor do we appeal to “our experience” or “what God told me” when facing controversial questions like divorce and remarriage or the role of women. We turn to the scriptures to study and seek what God has to say about topics that provoke debate even among Christians. We acknowledge that the Bible has the final and authoritative word on how to conduct ourselves as husbands and wives, parents and children, and men and women.

If our desire is to pattern our lives by the scriptures, we must study and understand them. Before we proclaim the truth, we must ensure that we know the truth, and such knowledge can only be derived from study. The scriptures are clear, for example, that divorce is never a good thing. It is never ideal for marriages to break apart, for the covenant bond between a husband and wife to be severed. Recent sociological study confirms that children suffer significantly as a result of divorce. The claim that divorce is “better for the chi...

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