Wheaton College's Arthur F. Holmes on the bride's vow to obey...

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As an indication of how quickly decadence arrived at Wheaton College, when I was in high school, I was friends with Paul Holmes, the son of the patron saint of his generation of Evangelical philosophers, Arthur F. Holmes. And at that time, Prof. Holmes wrote an essay for Inter-Varsity Press titled "Marriage as God Planned It" in which he said:

A home is never satisfactorily united through mere physical or economic motivation. A home is united through common interests, common prayers, common purposefulness. This, too, emerges quite clearly from Ephesians 5, where the unity of the home is patterned after the relationship between Christ and the Church. This sort of unity is built upon love and mutual honor. It is unity that knows leadership in God's appointed way. The wife's vow to love, honor, and obey is Biblical.1

Try to imagine a Wheaton faculty member—say Doug Moo—uttering this basic truth of father-rule today...

even (or especially) in the privacy of his own home. Try to imagine IVP publishing it.

So then, in my own lifetime, the most famous Evangelical philosopher matter-of-factly endorsed the word 'obey' that he heard repeated in the bride's vow of every last Christian wedding he attended.

  • 1.  - "Marriage as God Planned It" in Essays on Love (Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove; 1968); p. 103.
Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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