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.
That means our conversation has to be a biblical conversation.We may basically define modern dating as a method of introduction and carrying out of a pre-marital relationship between a single man and a single woman: Now, the biblical support for the modern approach to dating ... Furthermore, it doesn't even appear in any society, western or otherwise, in any systematic way until the 20th century!(insert crickets, tumbleweeds, person whistling here).... While the principles supporting biblical dating have their beginnings with the very structure of the family, modern dating has its origins with the sexual revolution of the 1960s.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.The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture assumes inerrancy but then goes a step further.This doctrine simply holds that the Bible is sufficient to guide and instruct us authoritatively in all areas of our faith and life, and that there is no area of life about which the Bible has no guidance for us.In either case, no area of life falls totally outside of the guidance and authority of God's Word.My point is that we cannot simply state that the Bible "doesn't mention dating or courtship," and then think we're off the hook to pursue this area of our lives either on the world's terms or however seems best to us without diligent, submissive reference to God's Word.Some things it talks about explicitly, like salvation, or sanctification, or marriage, or elders.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.