Jim Pakala

Jim Pakala, Library Director, Covenant Theological Seminary

The issue of spousal abuse as a basis for separation is fraught with difficulties that only begin with definitions or understandings of abuse and separation. I know of a Presbytery that had a struggle with a case of serious physical abuse of a woman by her husband. At least one ruling elder at the woman’s church demanded that, as a church member, she stay with her husband despite accumulating evidence that her life could be in jeopardy. As far as I know, an overwhelming majority of the elders and the ministers at both the congregation and presbytery levels concluded that the situation required that the status quo could not continue. Although I don’t think unanimity would have emerged, a book like this may have helped considerably.