Reviews

Joe Carter – The Evangelical Outpost

In With One Voice: Singleness, Dating and Marriage to the Glory of God, Alex and Marni Chediak provide the ultimate answer: It is more important to become a certain type of person than it is to find a certain type of boyfriend/girlfriend.

“What are you doing to become the sort of person who would be winsome and attractive to the kind of person you
want to marry?” (p. 45)

Such candid questions and refreshing candor is the hallmark of this superb book on dating and marriage. It is filled with advice that is redemptive, realistic, and relevant.

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Justin Taylor – Between Two Worlds

Guest review written by Lydia Brownback:

Is there a “right” way to approach Christian courtship and marriage? Recent debate in evangelical circles—much of it heated—reveals that a once simple path has become an intricate and confusing maze. What happened? Clearly we have latched onto some wrong ideas—worldly ideas—and in our attempt to widen the narrow way, we’ve gotten way off track. Our toleration of feminism and the accompanying loss of cultural masculinity have further obscured our approach. But since the culture has always been opposed to biblical principles, we cannot perpetually point a collective accusatory finger at the latest repackaging of rebellion.

So while it is only wise to recognize the influence culture has had on our compromised practice of Christianity, we do well to acknowledge that we, contemporary evangelicals, are the real core of the problem. When we allow feeling to replace thinking, when we orient ourselves to self-fulfillment, self-actualization, and every other self-centered ideology, when we blend secular psychology with biblical principles—what else can we expect but an erosion of biblical authority in all areas of life? Singleness, marriage, and spanning the gap between has certainly been altered by our culture, but only because we evangelicals have allowed it to do so.

As a result of all this, books advocating a variety of views on singleness, dating, and marriage have hit the Christian market with fresh fervor. With so many to choose from, how do we know the good from the bad? We may consider the experience of the author. Has he or she practiced what’s being preached for any duration? How about training? Has the author sat under the wisdom of experienced mentors? Such categories are helpful for evaluation, but the only criteria that really matters is this: is it biblical? A book with a strong scriptural foundation is not one in which the author has latched on to a passage or two to reinforce his or her views; rather, it is one in which the material presented is based on the Bible as a whole, i.e., one in which Scripture has been used to interpret Scripture.

With One Voice: Singleness, Dating, and Marriage to the Glory of God by Alex Chediak (Christian Focus Publications) is just such a book. Adding a balanced voice to the current debate, Chediak speaks pastorally—and biblically—to young men and women entering the contemporary landscape of courtship.

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Tim Challies – Challies Dot Com

With One Voice provides a biblical perspective on the increasingly difficult issues surrounding marriage and dating. It shines the light of God’s Word on this topic and shows that God’s perspective has not changed. He still tells us that “it is not good for man to be alone.” Chediak does a good job of defending the position which says that God expects that, unless He has specifically called and gifted us to be single, we will pursue marriage and do it all for the glory of God.

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Josh Riley – Worship Dot Com

There’s no shortage of relationship books on the market, to be sure. But some discount the Christian perspective to the point that they offer little hope, or encouragement, to the Christian striving to live lives pleasing to God. And some Christian books on the subject tends toward checklists and “principles,” some of which are helpful but focus too much on the goal of marriage and too little on the process of living a life of ministry and service in preparation for marriage. Others end up advocating goofy dating practices that don’t always address the issues of the heart and can leave one thinking they will be guaranteed success in marriage if only they follow a myrid of extrabiblical rules.

The Chediaks have avoided both pitfalls. Their advice is sound, biblical, and grounded in the real world, though sadly many in the contemporary evangelical may not have the discernment to recognize it. And make no Chediaks mistake about it — this isn’t the pious writing of simplistic nerds with no experience in the real world; Alex is a professor at Northwestern College in Roseville, MN, and also is serving as an apprentice at the Bethlehem Institute in Minneapolis under the direction of John Piper. His wife Marni had a successful management career with Fortune 500 companies before joining Alex in ministry.

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Ryan Corbett – Seminary Student

Rare is the book with dating and marriage as its topic that I feel I can recommended without reservation. By navigating around the deceptive and unsatisfying philosophies and techniques of the world, Alex and Marni have given us a clear restatement of God’s intentions for man and woman in marriage. With One Voice unashamedly embraces the Bible as its foundation and the glory of Christ as its goal. It does not shrink back from addressing difficult and delicate subjects with an appropriate sensitivity but a necessary boldness. Its ideas will grate upon modern suppositions, but when put into practice by believing couples, will contribute to a harmony and happiness which reflect the majesty and wisdom of God.

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