Modern dating tends to assume that you need to get to know a person more deeply than anyone else in the world to figure out whether you should be with him or her.

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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 world's ideas about dating.

In doing so, some make the argument that Scripture doesn't speak to this topic. The Bible speaks to every area of our faith and life at some level.

Almost all professing evangelical Christians are familiar with and vigorously defend the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture (which states that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, it's true, and it contains no falsity or error).

I certainly agree with the inerrancy of Scripture, but that's not what I'm talking about here.

Modern dating tends to assume that you will spend a great deal of time together (most of it alone).

Biblical dating tends to encourage time spent in group activities or with other people the couple knows well.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.In fact, it advocates "playing the field" in order to determine "what one wants" in a mate. 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.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's what I hope this column will be about — applying God's Word to the topic of dating, finding a spouse, and getting married. After this column, you have my word that I'll spend the next several months answering your questions (that is, when I have answers). I have to start by explaining the theological doctrine that drives the approach I want to outline (and advocate).