Sunday 2 April 2017

20 Answers Divorce & Remarriage - Jim Blackburn - 20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers

20 Answers Divorce & Remarriage
20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers
Jim Blackburn
Catholic Answers Press
ISBN 9781941663929
eISBN 9781941663943

I am now more than half way through the 20 Answers challenge.  The goal was to read all 20 books in the 20 Answers series from Catholic Answers during Lent this year. Currently during lent 2017 you can get all 20 books for 50% off, an amazing deal, and you still have time to get them! This was another really hard read in this series. This book was hard because it speaks hard truths. Truths that many today would like to soften. Truths that for the most part the Catholic Church is one of the last holdouts in standing firm on, specifically the sanctity of marriage. Part of what makes this book so hard is that I doubt there is a reader out there who has not been touched by divorce and likely remarriage. How many of us do not have divorced parents, grandparents or friends? How many of us do not know a same sex couple who is married or planning on getting married?

Two quotes by Jim from the introduction should help show how he approached writing this book, and the value it has for us

"But not every remarriage can or should be recognized as a true marriage. Indeed, many first marriages ending in civil divorce are still actually valid, indissoluble marriages."

"It is my hope that this booklet will help equip Catholics and other Christians to validly enter into authentic marriages that are divorce-proof for life. By approaching marriage and the family as the image of Christ and the Church, may couples grow to appreciate and embrace the beautiful reality that their relationships truly are."

When my wife and I met and started dating two of her closest friends were going through divorces. In each case a spouse had been unfaithful, in one it was the husband and the other the wife. I am still amazing my wife was able to trust and start a relationship with all that was happening around us. And looking to today, I have friends going through divorce, some for the second or third time. How can I speak to them in love, and in truth and stand firm for what the Catholic Church teaches? This book goes a long way to helping us be able to answer some very tough questions. The specific questions Jim answers in the volume are:

What is marriage?
What specific attributes are inherent to the institution of marriage itself?
What purposes of marriage are essential in order for a marriage to be valid?
How does the Catholic Church view mixed marriages and marriages to non-Christians?
What is the Catholic "form" of marriage, and why is it important?
What other factors may invalidate a marriage?
Is there a way for an invalid marriage to be made valid?
What does the Church teach about divorce?
What about the so-called "exception clause" for divorce in the case of adultery?
What does the Church teach about after divorce?
May a divorced Catholic receive Communion?
Can any marriages be dissolved?
What is an annulment?
What are specific grounds for annulment?
What aren't grounds for annulment?
What is it like to go through the annulment process?
What about attending weddings?
What about same-sex weddings?
What are other offenses against the dignity of marriage?
What can a husband and wife do to ensure that their marriage is valid and divorce-proof?

As I stated this book is not an easy read, in part because it will arm us with the truth. And knowing the truth we might end up in the position of having some hard conversations. And in part it is hard because these truths are not always comfortable. 

Having read 11 of the 20 books in this series, I can state that there is no fluff in these books. These books are also not just cold hard facts. They take into account the reality of the world we live in, the relationships, and friendships we may have. But they are written to give us the truth in short, quickly digestible packets. This is another of the harder reads so far but that is not a bad thing. If you want to know the Catholic view on Divorce and remarriage than this books with be the quick and easy Guide. And if you want to go deeper, Jim also wrote 101 Quick Questions with Catholic Answers: Marriage, Divorce, and Annulment, which is about twice the length of this volume.

This is a good book in a great series, I highly recommend both.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Note 2: Lent 2017 this is an amazing series of books is being offered at a 50% discount through the end of Lent 2017. But the challenge is to read the 20 books in the 20 Answers series over Lent. That is right you can get all 20 physical books or all 20 eBooks for just $34.95! If you want a way to go deeper this Lent give this series a try! #20AnswersChallenge

20 Answers Series:
20 Answers Abortion - Trent Horn
20 Answers Angels & Demons - Fr. Mike Driscoll
20 Answers Atheism - Matt Fradd
20 Answers Death & Judgement - Trent Horn
20 Answers Divorce & Remarriage - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers End of Life - Jason Negri
20 Answers Faith & Science - Trent Horn
20 Answers God - Trent Horn
20 Answers Islam - Andrew Blezad
20 Answers Jehovah's Witnesses - Trent Horn
20 Answers Mary - Tim Staples
20 Answers Miracles - Karlo Broussard
20 Answers Mormonism - Trent Horn
20 Answers Salvation - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Scripture and Tradition - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Bible - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Eucharist - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Papacy - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Real Jesus - Trent Horn

20 Answers The Church - Trent Horn
20 Answers Witchcraft & the Occult - Michelle Arnold
20 Answers Apparitions & Revelations - Michael O'Neill
20 Answers Bible Prophecy - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Homosexuality - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Reformation - Steve Weidenkopf
20 Answers The Sacraments - Fr. Mike Driscoll

20 Answers Bioethics - Stacy A. Trasancos
20 Answers Conversion - Shaun McAfee
20 Answers Faith and Works - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Anti-Catholic Myths - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers The End Times - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers The Rosary - Tom Nash
20 Answers Seasons & Feasts – Michelle Arnold
20 Answers New Age -  Michelle Arnold
20 Answers Catholic Social Teaching – Mark Brumley
20 Answers Prayer – Hugh Barbour O. Praem and Sebastian Walshe O. Praem
20 Answers Faith & Reason – Christopher Kaczor
20 Answers The New Testament – Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Protestantism – Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Marriage & Sex – Todd Aglialoro
20 Answers The Early Church – Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Old Testament – Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Judaism – Michelle Arnold
20 Answers The Sacraments – Father Mike Driscoll

Other Books from Catholic Answers:
Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties - Trent Horn
A Daily Defense: Apologetics Lessons for Every Day - Jimmy Akin
The Apostasy That Wasn't: The Extraordinary Story of the Unbreakable Early Church - Rod Bennett
Answering Atheism - How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity - Trent Horn
Persuasive Pro Life: How to Talk About Our Culture's Toughest Issue - Trent Horn and Fr Frank Pavone
The Protestant's Dilemma: How the Reformation's Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism - Devin Rose
Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines - Tim Staples
Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians - James L. Papandrea
Demons, Deliverance, Discernment: Separating Fact from Fiction about the Spirit World - Fr. Mike Driscoll
Navigating the Tiber: How to Help Your Friends and Family Journey Toward the Catholic Faith - Devin Rose
100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura - Dave Armstrong
The Drama of Salvation: How God Rescues You from Your Sins and Brings You to Eternal Life - Jimmy Akin
The Truth is Out There (Brendan and Erc in Exile Book 1 - Brother Amadeus and Amadeus
...Memorize the Reasons! Defending the Faith with the Catholic Art of Memory - Kevin Vost
Marching Orders: A Tactical Plan for Converting the World to Christ - Dan McGuire

The Fathers Know Best - Jimmy Akin
Why We're Catholic: Our Reasons for Faith, Hope, and Love - Trent Horn
The Old Evangelization: How to Spread the Faith Like Jesus Did - Eric Sammons

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