The Eccentricities of Evangelicalism: Symbols

Having looked at the strange, conference-oriented nature of evangelicals, we turn to examine their propensity for symbols. Evangelicals have long felt the need to litter their lives and spaces with all manner of symbols. The cross, the icthus (the little fish thing), and the trinity symbol are just three examples of symbols popular among Christians today. Take the fish for a minute. For some reason, we put the fish everywhere we can. Now, obviously I know that we do so… Read more

Evangelical Eccentricities: Conferences Part Deux

One of the most hilarious aspects of evangelical culture is its love of conferences. It’s well established that adults love conferences. After all, conferences are sort of what adults do when it’s not cool for them to go to festivals anymore. But one of the funniest things about evangelicals and conferences is the tendency of young evangelicals to conference. That’s what we’re exploring today.This thought came to mind after a friend of mine and I were talking about the fall… Read more

The Eccentricities of Evangelicalism: Conferences

Enough blathering about romance, romantic systems, and all that sort of thing. It’s time to change gears, and instead blather about evangelicals and their weirdnesses. This series has been brewing for a while, and I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s all done in good humor and fun and isn’t intended to be any sort of harsh critique.Of all the sociopolitical and socioreligiousethnic groups out there, evangelicals have to stand as one of the more fascinating to study. I don’t think… Read more

Myths of Christian Romance: Risk-Proofing (2)

How important it is that we as Christians take pains to guard our hearts. It is right both for ourselves and our romantic interest that we do so. Yet we cannot forget that the pursuit of love always involves risk, and more than this, that God has built risk into the process for the continuation of our sanctification. Today, we’ll look briefly at the ways in which a man and a woman benefit from risking in romance.A woman benefits from… Read more

Myths of Christian Romance: Risk-Proofing

One of the common arguments I often hear in defense of courtship is that it helps to cut out much of the heartbreak that comes with dating relationships. Dating, goes the line, often involves a high level of emotional involvement, often to the point of attachment. Because there is no greater goal to which the couple is working, this tendency is quite unhelpful and even sinful, particularly on the part of the man, who is responsible for leading the relationship… Read more

Myths About Christian Romance: Attraction (2)

To finish up my thoughts from yesterday, I’d like to reiterate that attraction does matter in Christian romance. This includes both emotional and physical attraction. One should enjoy the person of one’s interest on a variety of levels. Too often, Christians can think that all that is needed for romance to blossom is a firm trust in God and a desire for companionship. Sure, this can and does happen, and we rejoice for whom it works. But there are many… Read more

Myths about Christian Romance: the Attraction Question

The series on the optimal system for Christian romance is now concluded. As readers of the blog will note, I’ve suggested “dateship,” in which couples fuse the best elements of both dating and courtship for a careful, thoughtful, and engaging relationship. That’s all well and good. Today, I want to look at a common myth related to Christian romance, namely, that physical attraction does not matter.There has flourished in certain circles the idea that physical attraction need not play any… Read more

Breaking the Impasse: Introducing “Dateship”

Having examined courtship and dating, and having seen each system lacking in some way, it’s time to propose another onramp to the highway of sanctified love.Here’s my solution: combine the two. I noted a few days back that the great weakness of courtship is that has a tendency to stunt relational growth between two people. It has a way of removing the nitty and gritty of life and making romance a matter of predetermined, polite, and often frustrating encounters in… Read more

Evaluating Dating

If the problem of courtship is that it has a tendency to stifle normal romantic interaction between the opposite sexes, the problem of dating is that it allows too much. Courtship, if anything, is careful. Dating, as practiced by many Christians, seems without any set structure, any means by which two people thoughtfully think through their relationship and its bigger implications.This is a big reason for the rise of courtship in certain Christian circles. Many Christians have been alarmed at… Read more

Evaluating Courtship

Having surveyed the basic scheme of both courtship and dating, it’s time to evaluate both systems by the light of critical reasoning and personal experience. We start with courtship.Courtship is in many ways an excellent answer to the romantic malpractice of the culture. It’s no mystery that the world has gone mad in the area of love. All rules are out; no holds are barred; all bets are off when it comes to dating as today’s America does it. Marriage… Read more

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