Essay / Theology

Divorce, Deeper Sunday School, and Destructive Criticism

Q. What do the 27th and 28th verses of First Corinthians 7 mean? i.e., do they release one in such a case from Matthew 5:32?

A. They certainly do not. They simply teach that if a man is not under obligation to a wife through having one living, he has a right to marry, and that if a woman is in a similar case, or a virgin, she has a right to marry. This is what it says, and this is what it means. Christ’s law about divorce has never been abrogated.

Q. What does First Corinthians 7:15, “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not in bondage in such a case,” mean and to whom does it apply?

A. It means exactly what it says, that if an unbelieving husband chooses to leave his wife because she becomes a Christian, or an unbelieving wife chooses to leave her husband because he has become a Christian, they shall allow them to depart. The believing husband and wife is not under bondage to live with them in such a case. It does not, however, for a moment mean what it does not say, viz. that they have a right to go and marry some one else.

Q. What course of study would you suggest for a Bible class of bright men and women who are not satisfied with the International Lessons?

A. Some years ago we prepared a series of lessons for this purpose. They cover the four Gospels in their entirety, taken up in their chronological order. The title of the book is “Lessons from the Life and Teaching of Our Lord.“ There are about 150 lessons in all, each lesson having suggestive questions with Scripture references that if studied will give God’s own answers to the questions. At the close of each lesson is a classified summary of the teachings of the passage. These studies have been widely used in Young Men’s Christian Associations, Sunday Schools and other adult Bible classes. There are numerous other courses, but many of them have to do only with the dry bones and not with the real meat of the Bible, and some of them have an unmistakable bent toward the discredited destructive criticism. The book can be obtained for $1.50.

Q. What is the best book to give a clear idea of just what the “Higher Critics” teach and how to show the fallacy of their position?

A. For the average minister of the Gospel or student of the Bible we know of no other book that states the case so fully and yet so brightly and clearly as “The Higher Criticism and the New Theology, Unscientific, Unscriptural and Unwholesome“ (number ten in the Montrose Library). This book was prepared because there seemed to be no other book that seemed to meet the needs of the average man who was befogged and befuddled by the arrogant claims to a monopoly on Biblical scholarship made by the destructive school of “Higher Critics.” It contains chapters by Prof. Wm. G. Moorehead, Canon Dyson Hague, Prof. Franklin Johnson, Sir Robert Anderson, Prof. George Frederick Wright, Prof. M. G. Kyle, Prof. James Orr and others. No minister or layman who desires to keep abreast of modern discussions can afford not to read it. It has the added advantage of being within the reach of everybody, as it is sold in paper covers for fifteen cents by the Book Room of the Biblical Institute of Los Angeles, Temple Auditorium, Los Angeles.

Originally from, The King’s Business, R.A. Torrey, August-September 1913 (pp. 437)

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