It's High Time You Folks Settled Down Together

Joshua Harris of I Kissed Dating Goodbye fame (one of homeschooling's prides, like George Thampy) has written a new book, Stop Dating the Church: Falling in Love with the Family of God.

Are you prepared to say "I do" to the bride of Christ? Harris encourages believers to "kiss dating goodbye" and settle down with a local church in the "marriage relationship" that God intended and Jesus modeled. He reveals a biblical commitment that knows its priorities, is evident in action---and is based on love. 160 pages, hardcover from Multnomah.

Is it a gimmick to milk his previous themes? Or is it that he and his first readers (he was eighteen or nineteen when he published, if I remember rightly) have reached a point in their lives where they're realizing that a fulfilling individual relationship with God is part and parcel with a fulfilling corporate relationship with God?

I think that among folks my age there's a strong groundswell out there of weariness with church-hopping, and a desire to treat the Church as if she really were the bride of Christ. Three or four Sundays ago on my way to the evening service I heard over the radio a wonderful sermon delivered by a young black man for an east-side Church of God. I'm sure he meant something quite different from what I do when he used words like "apostolic," but the respect he had for the Church, which he wanted his listeners to hold, was obvious. And the way he attached that respect, not to some super-holy-heavenly-church-that-you-can-hope-to-be-a-part-of, but to local churches, was clear and refreshing.

So perhaps there are many stripes of evangelical crying out for the same things. Sure would be nifty. And maybe we could settle down for a bit.