If the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture is true, then God's Word does have authoritative guidance for us about how we might best glorify God in this area of our lives.
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.Almost all professing evangelical Christians are familiar with and vigorously defend the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture (which states that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, it's true, and it contains no falsity or error).I certainly agree with the inerrancy of Scripture, but that's not what I'm talking about here.I mention the sufficiency of Scripture as part of the groundwork for this column because it's one of those doctrines that touches every area of our lives, and it is at the heart of the approach to dating (and life) that we'll talk about here. We may define biblical dating as a method of introduction and carrying out of a pre-marital relationship between a single man and a single woman: The Scriptural support for the idea of biblical dating is largely by example and implication.
No matter how practical or specific your questions or my answers get in the coming months, I will strive to have biblical support at some level for everything I say. We will look at a number of passages over the course of our discussions that support various aspects of biblical dating, but for the moment, let me just give you some references to study: Again, we'll talk more about these and other passages as we deal with specific questions. The very idea of extended romantic or sexual involvement outside of marriage doesn't even appear in Scripture unless it is described as illicit (sinful).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.Modern dating tends to assume that there will be a high level of emotional involvement in a dating relationship, and some level of physical involvement as well.Biblical dating assumes NO physical intimacy, and more limited emotional intimacy outside of marriage.Modern dating tends to assume that a good relationship will "meet all my needs and desires," and a bad one won't — it's essentially a self-centered approach.