Why Alex Chediak organized this book:
Many books on the area of Christian dating or courtship disagree with each other. The extent of this disagreement, however, can be difficult to discern. Caricatures, though widespread, are often not fair. “All who date are less godly than those who court.” Or “courtship people are all rigid and inflexible.” Given such generalizations, it is not surprising that singles (who now marry at a later age) have to go through numerous “discussions” in order to figure out how their would-be “potential mate” wishes to go about the relationship process. Real differences do exist between what various proponents are saying, and it is important to understand them. That’s why I organized Five Paths to the Love of Your Life—an anthology that provides dialogue and context to the “dating debate”, allowing five of the most articulate voices on Christian relationships to be readily compared and contrasted by Christian singles, pastors, and parents.
I wrote the Introduction, Conclusion, and Appendix. Five contributors each provide a chapter discussing their perspective on premarital romance and its Scriptural defense, as well as addressing a few practical situations that I posed to each of the contributors. One situation involves two high schoolers. Another considers two college students. And a third deals with a single woman in her thirties. These practical situations really tease out what the contributors have in common and where they differ. Each chapter has a concise, two-page summary at its end. The Introduction sets the stage for the discussion, and the Conclusion tries to assess areas of agreement, disagreement, and some thoughts for what to do with it all. The Appendix shows the structural framework behind the book.
The contributors span the range of evangelicalism from those who use the term “dating” (but who carefully frame the term to discourage emotional or physical promiscuity) to others who prefer “courtship” (e.g., Doug Wilson) or even “betrothal” (Jonathan Lindvall). My goal was to provide one resource that Christian young people (and their parents) could read and gain an understanding of what some of the major voices on this issue are saying, and why. Contributors include Jeramy and Jerusha Clark (I Gave Dating a Chance, He’s Hot, She’s Hot, & Define the Relationship from Waterbrook Press). Lauren Frances Winner (Real Sex from Brazos Press), Rick Holland (college pastor serving with John MacArthur), Douglas Wilson (Reforming Marriage & Her Hand in Marriage from Canon Press) and Jonathan Lindvall (president of Bold Christian Living). Each contributor writes from a commitment to the principle of chastity and to the formation of God-honoring marriages for those so called.