While serving as a Family Division Master, John Weaver pursued a master's degree through Reformed Theological Seminary - Washington. Mr. Weaver received an M.A. in Religion degree in summer 2007, following completion of the required sixty credit hours (including certain transfer credits from Westminster Seminary - California) and acceptance of his 120 page thesis, "A JUST DIVORCE: Divorce that is Right and Just and Fair." Mr. Weaver intends to recast the material, particularly expanding "Chapter 5: A Just Divorce Proposal," into a book that he hopes to publish in the next few years as a resource for parties who are going through divorce. Below is an Abstract describing the thesis. A link to the paper in (pdf.) form has been provided for any one who may be interested in reading it.
Abstract: A Just Divorce
Although the world may view a marital breakup as “just another divorce,” Christians must seek to protect and preserve the sanctity, unity, and purity of the marriage covenant as originally intended by God, and to understand rightly any biblical justification for divorce (and remarriage) and the justness of a divorce. The biblical and ancient cultural background to the New Testament teaching of Jesus and Paul on divorce and remarriage are examined, as well as the writings of the early church, the Roman Catholic sacramental view of marriage, and a Protestant Reformation view represented by John Calvin and Calvin’s Geneva. There are valid biblical grounds for divorce and also for remarriage, but divorce may not always be just even though permissible. By analogy to generally understood principles of “just war,” i.e. just cause, just intention, last resort, formal declaration, limited objectives, proportionate means, and noncombatant immunity, the church is challenged to use wisdom in applying these considerations to determine not only whether a divorce may be biblically permissible, but also to assure that any divorce is not only justifiable, but also a just divorce in its inception, prosecution, and result. Because divorce is not purely a spiritual matter but is, as Calvin wrote, “mixed up with civil law,” a just divorce involves a concerted and cooperative effort by both the church and civil government. Christians must “develop a balanced, biblical attitude toward divorce – on the one hand, hating all those things that God hates about divorce, while recognizing that in this sinful world there are those situations in which (as God Himself demonstrated) it may be necessary to obtain a divorce.”  The church is called to compassion and love toward families that are struggling with applying biblical principles to a ruptured marriage and the consequences of divorce.
 Jay E. Adams, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible: A Fresh Look at What Scripture Teaches (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980), 24.
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