How do a man and woman go from meeting to marriage? Should they date, or court, or ‚Äúdort‚ÄĚ (some in-between)? Actually in church history, this type of debate is quite recent because this type of dating is quite recent. Many don't know the concept we know as ‚Äúdating‚ÄĚ is relatively new in human history, 80-90 yrs old in US, even newer in some similar cultures.
By the end of the 20th century, conservative US Christian culture in growing numbers began to revisit 20th century Western-American practices of dating and re-evaluated its common assumptions in light of Scripture and recognized many dangers (I think in a good way). Some kissed dating goodbye, at least in its recreational worldly forms. In its place many have revived courtship models.
In many Christian circles, websites, bookstores, churches, and communities, this has become quite a hot topic in the last couple decades. But I want to move beyond labels and terminology and precise methodology to what Scripture says.
Let's not approach this question first with American glasses on, but let's put biblical glasses on and as best we can transport back to Bible culture, interpret the OT properly in light of the NT, and then try to draw out applications that apply to every culture. Should we follow Boaz and Ruth's method? Or should we betrothe as Mary and Joseph did? Or be arranging marriages like others did in the OT? Let's read together how it occurred for Ruth and Boaz in their ancient Israelite culture, which I guarantee will look more than a little different than our culture, even those who strive to be most ‚Äúbiblical.‚ÄĚ But by God's help we want to discern principles from this passage that transcend culture.
Pastor Phil Layton is committed to expository preaching, the sufficiency of Scripture for ministry and all of life, the doctrines of grace, spreading a passion for a high view of God and His Word, and pursuing a ministry that is Scripture-saturated, Christ-centered,...