(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.
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.
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.
Joshua Harris, for instance, has promoted a model of courtship that harkens back to a model used broadly before modern dating evolved.
People attempting to follow a courtship model within today's culture, however, often run into a lot of practical questions, such as, "What if her dad is unavailable or uninterested in being involved?
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).
The Bible guides us in some areas by broader, more general principles and ideas we can build on as we strive to live the Christian life in practical ways.
In either case, no area of life falls totally outside of the guidance and authority of God's Word.
The answers he brings may be different from anything you've heard before.