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Love and Marriage Archives

Love believes all things

posted by Scot McKnight

What does the apostle Paul mean in 1 Cor 13:7 when he says Love “believes all things”? Everyone who has ever commented on this verse qualifies it with this: Paul is not saying be gullible or foolish or believe anything […]

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Marriage and Divorce 5

posted by Scot McKnight

What about the all-important words of Jesus on divorce and remarriage? [I can’t say I agree with Luck in all that he says here.] William F. Luck’s Divorce and Re-Marriage: Recovering the Biblical View   discusses Jesus’ teachings in two chps, […]

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Marriage and Divorce 4

posted by Scot McKnight

One of the more interesting sources for information about divorce can be found in the prophets. What practices can be inferred from them? William F. Luck’s Divorce and Re-Marriage: Recovering the Biblical View  examines this sort of question in chp 4. […]

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Marriage and Divorce 3

posted by Scot McKnight

What terminates a marriage? Or what are the grounds for a permissible divorce? William F. Luck’s Divorce and Re-Marriage: Recovering the Biblical View  examines this sort of question in chp 2 of his book. Marriage, Luck is arguing, is a b-lateral […]

Marriage and Divorce 2

posted by Scot McKnight

So what is marriage? Is it a legal contract? A covenant? A sacrament rendered effective by a priest? William F. Luck’s Divorce and Re-Marriage: Recovering the Biblical View  examines this sort of question in chp 2 of his book. When a […]

Marriage and Divorce 1

posted by Scot McKnight

I don’t think I’ve discussed divorce on this blog, and it is a topic I believe is important for a blog like this, and I was just waiting for something to spark interest … and it arrived in the mail […]

Forgiveness for Groups

posted by Scot McKnight

Everett Worthington, Jr., a well-known expert on the emotional and psychological dimensions of forgiveness, has given us a book so many need: forgiveness applied to more than just interpersonal dimensions. His new book is called A Just Forgiveness: Responsible Healing […]

Should We Marry Younger?

posted by Scot McKnight

Wow, did you see this piece in CT? It’s by Mark Regnerus. Indeed, over 90 percent of American adults experience sexual intercourse before marrying. The percentage of evangelicals who do so is not much lower. In a nationally representative study […]

Marriage as Parable of Permanence 9 (Singleness)

posted by Scot McKnight

In our last post in this series, John Piper has a chapter on singleness, and I didn’t know what to expect. I say this for two reasons: some leaders in recent years have made some incredibly insensitive remarks about singleness […]

Marriage as Parable of Permanence 8

posted by Scot McKnight

We are discussing marriage by examining the recent book of John Piper’s called This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence. What then about this “submissiveness” that is so emphatic in Piper’s complementarian approach to reading the roles of husbands and […]

Marriage as Parable of Permanence 7

posted by Scot McKnight

We are discussing marriage by examining the recent book of John Piper’s called This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence. If you know the debates today among (mostly) evangelicals — I don’t know this debate outside that circle, you know […]

The Big Shift

posted by Scot McKnight

Laura Sessions Stepp, a well-known journalist at The Washington Post, has a book about the nature of life for women in the hook-up culture, and the book is nothing less than a bold revelation of things you might not want […]

Marriage as Parable of Permanence 6

posted by Scot McKnight

We are discussing marriage by examining the recent book of John Piper’s called This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence. Piper is a well-known advocate for what most call “complementarianism,” and I don’t know how to define this in a […]

Marriage as Parable of Permanence 5

posted by Scot McKnight

We are discussing marriage by examining the recent book of John Piper’s called This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence. Piper connects marriage to justification and to forgiveness. For marriage to “display God” the husband and the wife are to […]

Marriage as Parable of Permanence 4

posted by Scot McKnight

We are discussing marriage by examining the recent book of John Piper’s called This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence. “Marriage,” Piper says, “is more wonderful than anyone on earth knows” (29). And he argues that we need God’s grace […]

Marriage as Parable of Permanence 3

posted by Scot McKnight

We are discussing marriage by examining the recent book of John Piper’s called This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence.  In the first chp Piper examines marriage in two respects: * It is from God.* It is for God’s glory. […]

Top Five Mistakes in Marriage?

posted by Scot McKnight

What, in your view, are the top five mistakes made in marriage by couples? I got this question from Gretchen Rubin here. Her top five are: 1. Wanting the gold stars of appreciation.2. Using a snappish tone.3. Getting angry about […]

Marriage as Parable of Permanence 2

posted by Scot McKnight

We started yesterday, with a post of our own, a series on marriage by examining the recent book of John Piper’s called This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence. Question added at 9:25am CT (find at bottom of post).John Piper, […]

Marriage as Parable of Permanence 1

posted by Scot McKnight

I begin a series today on John Piper’s new book about marriage (This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence ) but I do so by posting a recent essay of mine from Out of Ur: it was called there “The […]

Unhooked

posted by Scot McKnight

In a recent post we discussed the hooked up culture and the neuroscience connected to hooking up — the brain, so those authors argue, is the most influential sexual organ. That book discussed the facts and interpretation of neuorscience. Laura […]

Hooking Up Culture

posted by Scot McKnight

There are four major reasons given to teenagers at the time of their sexual awakening, for not engaging in sex. 1. It’s wrong — and some just say “Because it’s wrong!” while others reach into their sacred texts, like the […]

Romance and Marriage Vows

posted by Scot McKnight

David Blankenhorn, in a column in 1997 (and anthologized in a book my class is reading —  Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying (The Ethics of Everyday Life) ), discusses the potential symbolic value of marriage […]

Valentine’s Day and the Song of Songs

posted by Scot McKnight

The Song of Solomon is a love song between lovers and for lovers. Perhaps it was a play or designed to be dramatically played before others. Perhaps it was designed for the king’s courtiers as entertainment. Perhaps it is a […]

A Personal Story

posted by xscot mcknight

Here is a letter sent to us. Any comment of mine is worthless.

Augustine on the Protestant Sex Ethic

posted by xscot mcknight

Protestants today may be thoroughly surprised to learn that things weren’t always so permissive and open when it comes to sexuality — that is, between husbands and wives. Gilbert Meilaender, in The Way That Leads Home (chp. 4), puts Augustine […]

Marriage as a Seamless Story

posted by xscot mcknight

We are all for churches and Christians extending mercy to the divorced, but we are also all for advocating the permanency and richness of marriage and I sometimes think an emphasis on this is too often assumed and not taught […]

Love in the Key of Delight 44

posted by xscot mcknight

We finish the Song of Solomon today. The Song ends with the woman summoning her man to the bed:

Love in the Key of Delight 43

posted by xscot mcknight

And now her shepherd lover responds back:

Love in the Key of Delight 42

posted by xscot mcknight

Suddenly the woman turns to her (“their”) sister, who is young. She describes her sister’s body and then compares herself to her sister (vv. 8-10). He does the same — compares himself to another — in vv. 11-12. Here are […]

Love in the Key of Delight 41

posted by xscot mcknight

The woman, after declaring where it was that their love was first aroused, now suddenly teaches what love is all about. Here are her words:

Love in the Key of Delight 40

posted by xscot mcknight

The woman speaks in 8:5b through 8:10, and then her shepherd love speaks in 8:11-13 and the woman closes off this potent and totally delightful exploration of love in 8:14. Here is how she begins the finale:

Love in the Key of Delight 39

posted by xscot mcknight

As at 3:1-5, the woman wants to take her lover to her mother’s home, and not only to her home but into her mother’s bedroom — to her “chamber” (8:2). And, once again, not clear when it comes to fantasy […]

Love in the Key of Delight 38

posted by xscot mcknight

Chp 8 of the Song of Songs is a dialogue about love and this chp closes it off. As I have worked through this text I think the three-character interpretation does have merit — but it is not entirely clear. […]

Love in the Key of Delight 36

posted by xscot mcknight

The shepherd lover, whom I am not convinced is Solomon but who is insteadn the woman’s husband/lover, has spoken — he has extolled the woman’s physically rapturous beauty. She now responds:

Love in the Key of Delight 35

posted by xscot mcknight

This week the following verses (6:4-5), from the beginning of the week, struck me:

Love in the Key of Delight 34

posted by xscot mcknight

The man, with his love back with him, extols her physical beauty once again.

Love in the Key of Delight 33

posted by xscot mcknight

The following lines are a puzzle for interpreters. Who is saying these words?

Love in the Key of Delight 32

posted by xscot mcknight

The man, having extolled the beauty of his lover as that of a royal city decked out with heavenly splendor and creating awe — like encountering God — now extols her beauty:

Love in the Key of Delight 31

posted by xscot mcknight

The Song of Songs is a pastiche of songs and episodes. After the Shulamite woman sought and seemingly found her lover, he now echoes back to her a song that extols her physical beauty:

Love in the Key of Delight 30

posted by xscot mcknight

The narrative of Song of Songs 5:2–6:3 surprises. The woman is in bed, her lover knocks at the door, she delays, he departs, she searches, she enlists the women of Jerusalem to tell him if they find him that she […]

Love in the Key of Delight 29

posted by xscot mcknight

The narrative that gives rise to the extolling by the woman of her lover’s physical attributes was that she was on the hunt for him after he seemingly departed from her bedroom door. So, the women of Jerusalem ask:

Love in the Key of Delight 28

posted by xscot mcknight

An assignment for you. The woman has just described her lover’s physical attributes; he described her earlier. I’ll post both of these descriptions and ask you what you see in their differing descriptions:

Love in the Key of Delight 27

posted by xscot mcknight

The women of Jerusalem ask the young yearning lover-woman what’s so special about her lover, and she answers with a listing of his attributes:

Love in the Key of Delight 26

posted by xscot mcknight

Here’s a question the women of Jerusalem ask the woman who is seeking to find her absent lover:

Love in the Key of Delight 25

posted by xscot mcknight

Song of Songs 5:2-8 tells a story of invitation, delay, disappointment and search — the woman is asleep, her lover knocks on the door, she delays in responding, he disappears and she searches for him. Love sometimes issues an urgent […]

Love in the Key of Delight 23

posted by xscot mcknight

Whether in her dream or in the reality of being awakened from a dream, the woman has teasingly said to her shepherd lover at the door that she is not attired to come to the door. But something happens that […]

Love in the Key of Delight 22

posted by xscot mcknight

The shepherd’s lover now will give a second long speech; the first one was in 2:8–3:11 which was followed by his speech (4:1–5:1). Now she speaks in 5:2–6:3:

Love in the Key of Delight 21

posted by xscot mcknight

The young shepherd lover continues his delight in his lover by cmparing her to his own garden of delights, a garden locked so that only he and she will enjoy that garden:

Love in the Key of Delight 20

posted by xscot mcknight

A word for men … the Song of Songs brings into poetic imagery the delight of love. The delight in love that both a woman and man enjoy — only rarely, however, do both bring into poetic expression to one […]

Love in the Key of Delight 18

posted by xscot mcknight

The shepherd-lover announces his intent in 4:6 in words that are charged with emotion that is masked for all but the two lovers themselves — we watch only by entering into the imagery:

Love in the Key of Delight 17

posted by xscot mcknight

You can’t read the following verses (Song 4:1-5) without both knowing just exactly what the young man delights in in his lovely lover and also all he’s leaving unsaid. Just read it and see what it images for you:

Love in the Key of Delight 16

posted by xscot mcknight

We enter into a difficulty at Song of Solomon 3:6-11: are there two major characters (Shulamite woman and Solomon, her lover) or three (Shulamite, her shepherd lover, and Solomon)? I have for a long time fallen prey to the view […]

Love in the Key of Delight 15

posted by xscot mcknight

When I look over the woman’s speech that we have looked at this week, I am reminded again of her utter delight in her lover. There are characteristics of this woman’s love that are worth our reminding ourselves of:

Love in the Key of Delight 14

posted by xscot mcknight

Moving from chp 2 to chp 3 in Song of Songs moves us from a scene where the young woman has invited her lover into her home for the night … and suddenly she declares to the women of Jerusalem […]

Love in the Key of Delight 13

posted by xscot mcknight

The next verse is from the woman — and she speaks to the maidens of Jerusalem. Oh so nice.

Love in the Key of Delight 12

posted by xscot mcknight

The woman, either in conjuring up her lover in her mind or reporting of a previous encounter, now recalls what her lover said through the lattice. His words are basically these: “Let’s escape into the flowery areas or let’s find […]

Love in the Key of Delight 11

posted by xscot mcknight

Our next section in the Song of Songs, 2:8–3:5, describes the woman’s rendition of her lover’s visit to her home — either in reality or in her mind — and then her nocturnal search and finding of her lover.

Love in the Key of Delight 10

posted by xscot mcknight

As on last Friday, so today: I’ll sum up some ideas about love and marriage from our reading this week of Song of Solomon 1:12–2:7.

Love in the Key of Delight 9

posted by xscot mcknight

This dialogue of admiration continues. He glows about how beautiful she is and how she leaves the rest in her wake… and she glows right back:

Love in the Key of Delight 8

posted by xscot mcknight

The young woman, enthralled with her lover’s presence and delighting their Edenic space, now declares who she is:

Love in the Key of Delight 7

posted by xscot mcknight

Now the young man speaks back:

Love in the Key of Delight 6

posted by xscot mcknight

The young man has just extolled the beauty of his lover, comparing or imagining her ornamentation to that of Pharaoh’s royalty. It is now her turn to answer back:

Love in the Key of Delight 5

posted by xscot mcknight

The Song of Solomon is a love song between lovers and for lovers. Perhaps it was a play or designed to be dramatically played before others. Perhaps it was designed for the king’s courtiers as entertainment. Perhaps it is a […]

Love in the Key of Delight 4

posted by xscot mcknight

The young woman wants to know where her young lover will be during the siesta time of midday. His response? Read this:

Love in the Key of Delight 3

posted by xscot mcknight

The young woman, intoxicated with the delightful love of her young lover, describes herself in the presence of the other women of Jerusalem — who watch her love like a chorus surrounding the scene — with these words:

Love in the Key of Delight 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Song of Songs 1:2-4, the words of the young woman, reads:

Love in the Key of Delight 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Church kids, in the middle of a boring sermon, sometimes wander around in the Bible to keep themselves occupied. Those who wander accidentally into the Song of Songs not only wander but begin to wonder just what it is they […]

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