Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating  -     By: Richard D. Phillips, Sharon L. Phillips
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Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating

P & R Publishing / 2006 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2006
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.33 (inches)
ISBN: 0875525202
ISBN-13: 9780875525204

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Publisher's Description

What does Scripture say about dating? Nothing—and everything! This book offers a biblical view of relationships but doesn’t shy away from discussing attraction, first dates, commitment and more elements that need to come together to make a successful relationship.

Author Bio

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 isn’t 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 God’s 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

Editorial Reviews

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 I’ve 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 Phillips’s 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 Luther’s life and, as we watch, may we have the same boldness and the same lifelong commitment to the gospel.

Product Reviews

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Well-explained Biblical Perspective
    May 26, 2014
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Excellent book for Biblical "dating" practices. Over the years I have purchased many Christian books on "Christian Dating" but they were more worldly in their dating advice than I agree with, or more descriptive (almost tantalizing) than I thought was necessary. I do not believe young people should date for entertainment, leaving a string of broken hearts, but to wait until they are mature and ready for a marriage commitment. This book doesn't discourage dating, but it is geared to readers who are looking for serious relationships. The authors present Biblical truths and explain what the Bible says about a marriage relationship and then backing up from there and discussing how this relates to dating and preparation for marriage. The authors have written this book in a manner which talks to both young men and women. It is very well written!

    The other reviews on this site helped me to decide to go ahead and purchase this book and I am thankful I did. I will be giving it to my son who feels he is ready for this step and I plan to purchase another for my younger son, also.
  2. Lancaster, CA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 25, 2012
    Lancaster, CA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    It most definately answered alot of questions. And it had the word of God to back it up.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 17, 2009
    With three daughters of dating age, I purchased this book with the hope that it would reinforce the biblical values that my husband and I have attempted to instill in our girls about the importance of dating only men who are marriage material. The book did not disappoint. While it starts out a bit dry, (the authors lay the foundation beginning with the story of creation/Adam & Eve/sin),as you read on you come to understand and recognize the importance of laying the foundation. This book is different than many of the books written on the topic of dating and is very thought provoking. Rather than encourage young people to focus on "compatibility factors" and self centered lists of "must have character qualities", it challenges them to build their relationship on the foundation of Christ. They are encouraged to consider every step in the dating process in light of their relationship with Christ and in line with biblical standards. Young men and women are motivated to think deeply about the dating relationship in regard to the next step, marriage. The book is most certainly targeting spiritually grounded single men and women looking to please God and discover His plan for them in regard to the dating/marriage relationship. I plan to purchase two other copies to pass on to my younger daughters as they approach the age to be married.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 20, 2008
    I absolutely loved this book. If you're thinking about dating, or even if you're skeptical or outright opposed to dating because of the worldly approach many take, you should read this book. It presents a very godly approach to dating. They begin the book looking at a lot of Scripture and explore the very general ideas of God's intentions for man and woman and the affects of sin. Then, they give some practical advice for dating. My boyfriend and I read through it together, and, although I don't think it's really intended for that (it's more for an individual read), it helped us think on a lot of issues and make some good choices.
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