I have to start by explaining the theological doctrine that drives the approach I want to outline (and advocate).That doctrine is called the of Scripture (which states that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, it's true, and it contains no falsity or error).* * * If you're reading this, you're interested in dating. In our society, dating has become something of an obsession. It's just something you do if you're single and of age (and that age is quickly dropping) in America. In fact, depending on which statistics one believes, the divorce rate for professing Christians may actually be than for Americans as a whole.
Many want to know how they can go about getting to know someone and eventually getting married without getting hurt or compromising their faith.
At Focus on the Family, we've offered a range of resources and expert advice bringing biblical principles to bear in this area.
(insert crickets, tumbleweeds, person whistling here).... While the principles supporting biblical dating have their beginnings with the very structure of the family, modern dating has its origins with the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
It is brand new, and yet, seemingly, it is all we know. Here are some fundamentals: Modern dating philosophy assumes that there will be several intimate romantic relationships in a person's life before marriage.
Well, many evangelicals who otherwise believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and who might generally agree with the sufficiency of Scripture have nonetheless embraced the area of our faith and life at some level.
Some things it talks about explicitly, like salvation or sanctification or marriage or elders.Not all will agree with Scott's approach, and we invite feedback from anyone who believes there are better interpretations for the biblical passages Scott draws from.It's our hope that this Q&A series will be valuable both for those who think the Bible gives sufficient guidance for operating within our current system as well as for those who are looking for a completely countercultural path to marriage. How can Christians think differently about this pervasive issue in media and culture? The answer to that last question is "not well." Surveys consistently indicate that professing Christians behave almost exactly like non-Christians in terms of sexual involvement outside of marriage (in both percentage of people involved and how deeply involved they are — how far they're going), living together before marriage, and infidelity and divorce after marriage.My point is that we cannot simply state that the Bible "doesn't mention dating or courtship," and then think we're off the hook to pursue this area of our lives either on the world's terms or however seems best to us without diligent, submissive reference to God's Word.If the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture is true, then God's Word does have authoritative guidance for us about how we might best glorify God in this area of our lives.Some of the messages we've presented have taken the position that Christians can apply their faith in such a way that they can still work within the system they've inherited.Other messages have stressed that Christians need to be much more counter-cultural.Scott Croft is an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church where he teaches a seminar on friendship, courtship and marriage.He is also an attorney who is used to tackling tough questions.Indeed, the central issue we need to confront — and the reason I write and speak on this topic — is that when it comes to dating and relationships, perhaps more than in any other area of the everyday Christian life, the church is largely indistinguishable from the world.That truth has brought immeasurable emotional pain and other consequences to many Christians.