Geared toward single adults rather than teenagers, Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating attempts to answer the question, "What does the Bible say about dating?" The fact is that dating is a twentieth-century notion so the challenge is to think biblically about a matter on which there is no direct teaching. Organized into three main sections, the book explores God's design in creation, the relationship fallen through sin, and the relationship redeemed by God's grace.
What does Scripture say about dating? Nothingand everything! This book offers a biblical view of relationships but doesnt shy away from discussing attraction, first dates, commitment and more elements that need to come together to make a successful relationship.
Richard D. Phillips (M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary; D.D., Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary) is the senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church of Greenville, South Carolina. He is a council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and of the Gospel Coalition, chairman of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, and coeditor of the Reformed Expository Commentary series.
There has been a resurgence of books in recent years on how to tackle singleness, dating, courting and just about every other area associated with people who hope to be married one day. Add Holding Hands, Holding Hearts by Richard and Sharon Phillips to this growing list.
There has been much extremism on this subject, from I Kissing Dating Goodbye to whole-heartedly embracing dating without thought given to the worldliness that can creep into a dating mindset. What I appreciate about the Phillips attempt to address this subject is best summed up in this quote from the introduction:
What does the Bible say about dating? Nothing. And everything! Our challenge is to think biblically about an activity that isnt in the Bible
Our approach is to take the biblical principles of a healthy marriage and work backwards to a healthy dating relationship. The foundations for a healthy, godly marriage begin while dating.
This gives a firm indication of where they are going to take the reader in this book. The first half of the book addresses what the Bible says about marriage from Gods design in creation, how sin has affected male/female relationships and how Christ has redeemed these relationships. The second half of the book provides biblical wisdom, gaining insight from the Proverbs while addressing such topics as the first date, when to commit, waiting on love, and how to move from dating to marriage.
Richard and Sharon Phillips have given an excellent contribution to the oft-written subject matter of singleness drawing on ten-plus years of singles ministry experience. They use a very clear-cut writing style that is Bible-centered and practical. I would say that Holding Hands, Holding Hearts rises to the top of choices of books for the Christian single person as they seek to have Christ-honoring relationships with the opposite sex. This book provides a nice balance to the extremes found in many Christian circles. Todd Burgett, Christian Book Previews.com
Rick and Sharon Phillips first set forth a careful biblical theology of dating and relationships, and then offer their mature wisdom on how to put the biblical principles into practice. The result is required reading for every single adult, for which the entire church can be deeply grateful.
Finally, someone has provided biblically based, theologically sound, and practical guidelines on dating for singles. Rick and Sharon Phillips provide clear thinking which is realistic, encouraging, and hopeful while including appropriate cautions. They address the significant questions on the minds of singles, giving answers that flow from biblical principles.
Many single adults today are confused, disoriented and frustrated with the dating scene. This terrific book brings clarity, a biblical orientation, and lots of hope.
As a biblical marriage counselor I have often been involved in helping married people resolve many distressing and difficult that they encounter in their relationship. As Ive done this counseling, I have frequently thought that many of the problems these couples were facing after the wedding could have been prevented if they had acted more wisely prior to the wedding. If singles will read and apply the biblical counsel of this book, many of the painful problems that couples might face after the wedding will be prevented.
This book is for people who want to take relationships as seriously as God takes them. Rick and Sharon Phillips have a passion for redeeming romance and preparing both singles and couples for lives that glorify God. In this no-nonsense guide they take a marriage-based approach that honors the divinely-designed differences between women and men. In biblical, practical, down-to-earth ways the Phillipss show how relationships go wrong and how, by grace, love is really supposed to work.
As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, may we not only appreciate the profound ways God used Martin Luther, but may we learn from him. Dr. Nichols gives us a front-row seat on Luthers life and, as we watch, may we have the same boldness and the same lifelong commitment to the gospel.
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