Once again, the experts disagreed.

Few social problems have vexed the evangelical community as greatly as divorce and remarriage. With the recent spate of books flowing from the pens of evangelical authors, one might have expected some consensus. Yet, positions seem as sharply defined now as before. Marked differences were on display at the recent National Conference on Divorce and Remarriage in Milwaukee.

The conference, sponsored by the Jackson Psychiatric Center of Milwaukee, brought together a variety of leading experts, including representatives of Judaism (Rabbi David Shapiro, contributing editor of Judaism), Catholicism (Dennis Doherty, Marquette University theologian), the legal field (John McLario, general counsel for the Christian Legal Defense and Education Foundation), several noted evangelical pastors (Californians Paul Steele and John MacArthur, Jr., and Grand Rapids-based Jerome DeJong), seminary professors (Charles Ryrie of Dallas Theological Seminary and Carl Laney of Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland), editor emeritus of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, Harold Lindsell, and a practicing psychiatrist (Basil Jackson of Milwaukee).

The purpose of the gathering was not to give easy prepackaged answers. Rather, the meetings were to help “bridge the gap between the ivory tower of the theologians and the practical front line of the … practitioner,” in the words of Jackson, the organizer. He urged listeners to hear the answers given by people “expert in the field” so that they might go away prepared to develop their own solutions to the dilemma of divorce and remarriage.

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