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The sufficiency of Scripture is taught explicitly and implicitly in many passages, but perhaps the most obvious is 2 Timothy -17: So how does the sufficiency of Scripture apply to our coming discussions?

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 area of our faith and life at some level.

We often hear complaints from readers about the confusion, hurt and sexual sin they’ve encountered despite their best intentions.

Many want to know how they can go about getting to know someone and eventually getting married without getting hurt or compromising their faith.

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.

At Focus on the Family, we’ve offered a range of resources and expert advice bringing biblical principles to bear in this area.

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If you’re a Christian, that’s the biblical life you’re called to.

You’ve done it, you’re doing it, you’d like to do it, or you need to teach somebody else how to do it. It is considered the natural precursor to marriage, and is generally considered something to be desired, whatever form it might take. If you were to Google the word “matchmaker,” you would receive something in the neighborhood of 21,200,000 responses — with a few of these outfits claiming to be Christian, but most making no such claim. As evangelical Christians, we’re called to be distinct in the ways we think and act about all issues that confront us and those around us. Granted, not all of these people are evangelicals, but we’re not doing so well either.

Indeed, the central issue we need to confront — and the reason I write and speak on this topic — is that when it comes to dating and relationships, perhaps more than in any other area of the everyday Christian life, the church is largely indistinguishable from the world.

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.

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