Some people think the only thing I read are items about bad stuff in the church, books on cults, and just general “heresy hunting.” Well, in actuality, that sort of stuff accounts for only about 20% of what I study. I do have to study it and keep up with the latest news on false teaching because, after all, I’m a sheepdog! What I really enjoy reading, though, are things which deepen my understanding of the faith and the Christian walk. Sometimes I like to share the more interesting things I come across, and this is another episode of such sharing.
Randy Alcorn had an excellent article about dating guidelines. I think he should have included modesty in attire, but the guidelines he gives are quite good.
Now that we’ve addressed dating, engagement is the next step. Tim Challies has an excellent article about what an engagement to be married is really about. If only more people understood this.
A frequent progression from engagement, and sometimes in lieu of engagement, is cohabitation. Lyndon Unger has an excellent two-part series about the problems of “shacking up.” Part one here and part two here. I do want to make a point about what marriage is. A couple may be married in the Biblical sense and yet have never secured a marriage license (tax) from the state or have had someone declare them as married. In fact, this is only a fairly recent invention - especially the marriage tax license. Marriage is nothing more than the commitment between a man and a woman to share their lives with each other in a permanent and exclusive relationship, with consummation of such relationship signified by sexual relations. This is how it was done for centuries. Sometimes there were ceremonies, but that was only cultural. This is why this nation used to recognize a couple living together as being in a “common law” marriage (perhaps there are states which still recognize non-ceremonial, unlicensed marriages). The main issue with Christians is that we have to obey the laws of the land, which means we must be licensed (taxed) and have the union certified by someone. But this governmental law/recognition will most likely disappear in this nation, as it has been disappearing in other nations as same-sex fake marriages become normal. We will no longer be licensed nor need to be certified. Yet our marriages will still be marriages because those signs are not what makes a marriage.
Here’s a good resource for free, downloadable tracts.
I’ve often been asked for recommendations for women’s studies, but I’ve never studied the issue and don’t really know the field. Tim Challies helps out with a recommended list. I have found Challies to be usually quite trustworthy with his book recommendations.
Lastly, Hip and Thigh has an interesting post about a lectures regarding the Charismatic Renewal movement. This post has links to various lectures by Lyndon Unger. If you happen to catch the error in the third lecture about Jesus and Luke, Lyndon posted a note correcting his error here.