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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.Worse, it has brought great dishonor to the name of Christ and to the witness of individuals and the church. For Christians, the Lord has given us His Word, and the Holy Spirit helps us to understand it.We have brothers and sisters in Christ to hold us accountable and to help us apply the Word to our lives.I certainly agree with the inerrancy of Scripture, but that's not what I'm talking about here.The doctrine of the of Scripture assumes inerrancy but then goes a step further.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.
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.
If you're a Christian, that's the biblical life you're called to.
That's what I hope this column will be about — applying God's Word to dating, finding a spouse and getting married.
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.
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.