For some religious authors, the most important thing remains to be the preservation of traditional doctrines regardless of worldly rejection or the threat of obsolescence.
Such is the personal mission of pastor John D. Keller, author of the book Jesus’ Doctrine of Marriage (and winner of ReadersMagnet’s RMazing Bonanza Season 7). This is a deeper dive into his book and why he continues to stand for the traditional Christian view of marriage in the 21st century.
In Keller’s own words, the doctrine of marriage is the doctrine of Jesus Himself. It is authored by no man. He is simply the preacher and one who intends to ensure this doctrine continues to be proclaimed into the future. Jesus’ Doctrine of Marriage is his theological dissertation that explains where this doctrine fits in revelation and salvation history. It also goes to great lengths in explaining why ideas such as divorce and gender ideologies serve counter to God’s plan. Furthermore, it painstakingly details how marriage is a vital component of the God-ordained creation which is the nuclear family.
They Twain Shall Be One Flesh
Citing from the King James Version, Keller sums up the central idea of his book in one phrase spoken by Jesus: “They twain shall be one flesh.”
According to the biblical account of creation, God created man and woman distinctly so that both can be “one flesh.” God had made man in His image, and much like the Trinity, the nuclear family reflects this image. There is the man and the woman, and together they make the child.
It is from this that the rest of Keller’s dissertation flows. He even goes further to say that this idea of marriage has nothing to do with one gender being dominant or king over the other. Anything that departs from this sacred union is thereby sinful and abominable, with no exceptions. From the very start, Keller makes it clear that the traditional Christian doctrine of marriage is a firm bastion against the tide of secularism pushing for divorce, homosexuality, polygamy, and more.
Jesus’ Doctrine of Marriage then goes on to expand as to how this doctrine maintains to be the truth despite the existence of polygamy and divorce in the Bible. For starters, Keller demonstrates that Adam and Eve’s marriage union was good, just as everything created by the Lord “was good.” On the other hand, the fall of man led to a host of sinful tendencies.
This led to the hardness of hearts and the propensity towards things not of God. Keller goes to great lengths to demonstrate how even the law from the time of Moses was essentially forced to concede to these tendencies.
Still, the coming of Jesus and his doctrine of marriage makes it clear for all of mankind. Keller firmly asserts that people must repent of these tendencies, turn back to God, and stay faithful to creation-marriage. Divorce is a foe that is to be obliterated by this marriage. Great suffering and loneliness may be had by the innocent divorced by unfaithful spouses, but God assures they will be rewarded should that wayward spouse repent of their wicked ways.
From Debate to Doctrine
Reverend Keller’s extensive Bible study on the doctrine of marriage and the problem of divorce all started after a fiery debate with a preacher sometime during his early ministry. This was right after he was ordained to the Gospel ministry following his graduation from the Philadelphia College of the Bible.
He initially wrote a tract on the subject titled Apostasy and Divorce but felt a calling to produce something bigger and more in-depth. This book is the result of his 40 years of laboring to really flesh out his understanding of the doctrine of marriage.
This is all in spite of an increasingly secular world that is also increasingly hostile to the beliefs he represents. Still, he feels assured in his faith and his convictions, knowing that God’s truth will prevail. Get a copy of Jesus’ Doctrine of Marriage by John D. Keller on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ReadersMagnet Bookstore.