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Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating

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What does Scripture say about dating? Nothing--and everything This book offers a biblical view of relationships, nd discusses attraction, first dates, commitment, and more.


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What does Scripture say about dating? Nothing--and everything This book offers a biblical view of relationships, nd discusses attraction, first dates, commitment, and more.

30 review for Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan Domanski

    Rick and Sharon Phillips led a singles ministry at Tenth Presbyterian Church for 10 years, which has informed their outlook on singleness, dating and marriage expressed in "Holding Hands, Holding Hearts." Unfortunately, the opinion they've formed can best be summed up as, "We know that almost all you Christians are approaching dating in the wrong manner, so let us tell you the right way to do it." Out of all the anecdotes they give about the couples they've counseled, it seems as though there ar Rick and Sharon Phillips led a singles ministry at Tenth Presbyterian Church for 10 years, which has informed their outlook on singleness, dating and marriage expressed in "Holding Hands, Holding Hearts." Unfortunately, the opinion they've formed can best be summed up as, "We know that almost all you Christians are approaching dating in the wrong manner, so let us tell you the right way to do it." Out of all the anecdotes they give about the couples they've counseled, it seems as though there are no happy endings; apparently no one displayed wisdom in their period of dating. Actually, one couple approached dating in a mature way: Rick and Sharon Phillips. Nearly every other dating story turns out poorly. This is not a good way to encourage Christians to date or get married. But the heart of this book is not in its anecdotes; the book is grounded in theology. So is it good dating theology? Unfortunately, no. Although the authors try to avoid it, they end up putting down singleness. "Too many Christian men rely on their male relationships for spiritual support, when what they most need is a godly woman...Only a woman is a suitable helper for a man." (p. 30) Yet Daniel, Jesus, and Paul depended much on their male companions, and never married as far as we know. The book also puts down the role of women. On page 44, they discuss God's curse on Eve: "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Now read how the authors interpret this passage: "Under God's curse, the woman desires not only to have the man but to control him. The second way to understand this curse of desire is in the context of rule. Adam was created to rule: to exercise dominion over the creation and to be the head of the woman (see 1 Cor. 11:3). But now the woman will strive against male rule and manipulate to gain control." (p. 46) Here we see a sad case of Christian authors manipulating scripture to support an unbiblical belief. When God says to Eve, "he shall rule over you," it's clear that God is not saying that it's good and morally okay for men to rule over women. (If you read it that way, you'd also have to conclude Genesis 3:15 is God telling Satan that it's good and morally okay for him to attack Jesus!) "He shall rule over you" is a curse. But they try to convince us that the real curse is woman ruling over man. Of course, not everything in this book is unbiblical. In fact, the chapter on commitment is pretty good. But I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone; there is too much chaff to sort through to make it a worthwhile read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Snyder

    I would love to give this book a better review because it did make some very valid points and offered some practical advice... which I seem to have forgotten while seething over a few other points. First of all, I don't believe that anyone who believes marriage is the end goal has any business doing "ministry" to singles, so that kind of put me off from the start. But here are three additional reasons I believe this book is more harmful than helpful: 1) Platonic friendships. Contrary the the auth I would love to give this book a better review because it did make some very valid points and offered some practical advice... which I seem to have forgotten while seething over a few other points. First of all, I don't believe that anyone who believes marriage is the end goal has any business doing "ministry" to singles, so that kind of put me off from the start. But here are three additional reasons I believe this book is more harmful than helpful: 1) Platonic friendships. Contrary the the authors' belief, they do exist. And even in the event that one friend has pondered the completely natural "I wonder" question that all singles consider when engaging with someone of the opposite sex, friendship still happens. And that's okay. Friendship is a valid, necessary thing. A spouse is not the only companion you will need in life. It is not harmful for men to seek female companionship without necessarily seeking a wife. (Also, authors are not allowed to flip-flop positions by telling me first that my guy friends are undoubtedly in love with me and then say that I am in danger of becoming "just one of the guys" and therefore unlovable to the entire male species.) 2) I am not "deterred from marriage by selfish delusions of freedom" nor do I posses "an idolatrous desire for success or money or fame," and I certainly do not have "an inability to love." Perhaps I am merely deterred by the fact that I have not yet found someone whom I feel that I could serve God better with than without. Perhaps my desires are for kingdom things and I have thus far found no one who shares my heartbeat. Perhaps marriage is not the only lifestyle that is pleasing to God. 3) While I also find the phrase "Singleness is a gift" exhausting at times, I am not so delusional as to say it is not a gift except to those very few who will remain unmarried (supposedly by choice?) all their lives. The authors state that singleness is not a gift, but a trial. This is ludicrous as it is the equivalent of saying life is not a gift, but a trial. Life is often a trial, but it is also a gift, and for those of us who are single for this season, singleness is life. It is a long, difficult, often joyless path, but it is life and life is a gift. I know this book was written about dating and therefore meant for people who are looking to take that step, but I hate the huge push on marriage like it is the holiest of all the callings. Marriage is a huge commitment that many singles feel pressured to rush into. These authors are some of the people applying the pressure.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Clare S-B

    This book was easy to read and full of wisdom and great quotes. It seems to have a very biblical and well rounded view of dating. I would highly recommend it to anyone, and it would even be a good book to read while still single. some people will like the book others will not because it's obviously a very personal topic, but its worth reading and thinking about. It is biblically centered and has some practical advice too. This book was easy to read and full of wisdom and great quotes. It seems to have a very biblical and well rounded view of dating. I would highly recommend it to anyone, and it would even be a good book to read while still single. some people will like the book others will not because it's obviously a very personal topic, but its worth reading and thinking about. It is biblically centered and has some practical advice too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Danelle

    One of the cheasiest titles and covers of all time, but some really thoughtful content concerning Biblically-centered relationships (I think most "Christian dating books" suck!). One of the cheasiest titles and covers of all time, but some really thoughtful content concerning Biblically-centered relationships (I think most "Christian dating books" suck!).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Malcolm

    Essentially a variation on the courtship model that allows for a broader concession of what a dating relationship entails. The Phillips have some valid and good things to say when they speak in broad brush strokes, but as they delve into specifics, they begin to provide extra-biblical "wisdom" to Christian singles. Most of it stems from a negative view of singleness ("singleness is not a gift...singleness is a trial") and an inflated view of marriage ("it takes a woman to make a real man"). In s Essentially a variation on the courtship model that allows for a broader concession of what a dating relationship entails. The Phillips have some valid and good things to say when they speak in broad brush strokes, but as they delve into specifics, they begin to provide extra-biblical "wisdom" to Christian singles. Most of it stems from a negative view of singleness ("singleness is not a gift...singleness is a trial") and an inflated view of marriage ("it takes a woman to make a real man"). In summary, it sounds like a couple of parents who have a solid grasp of the bible and yet view their way as the best way without much consideration for the Bible's statement of mystery in Proverbs 30:18-19: Three things are too wondrous for me; four I can’t understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship at sea, and the way of a man with a young woman.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jake Busch

    Add this to the list of books that every single Christian not-yet married should read. This will be a required reading for other men that I interact with. I cannot emphasize enough the profound effect that book has had on my biblical view of dating. If you’re reading this review and want to be married, buy it. “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight a Add this to the list of books that every single Christian not-yet married should read. This will be a required reading for other men that I interact with. I cannot emphasize enough the profound effect that book has had on my biblical view of dating. If you’re reading this review and want to be married, buy it. “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” -Proverbs 2:1-5

  7. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Phillips

    10/10. If you don’t read any other books on dating, read this one. Part one is a biblical theology of gender/relationships with a theology of attraction from Proverbs. Part two is practical advice on dating. In short: the Bible had both nothing and everything to say about dating, because it’s a cultural thing (that we can’t just kiss goodbye) and must navigate wisely. They do a very good job of the navigating, saying nothing with which I would disagree and much that is sane, sober, and deeply wise 10/10. If you don’t read any other books on dating, read this one. Part one is a biblical theology of gender/relationships with a theology of attraction from Proverbs. Part two is practical advice on dating. In short: the Bible had both nothing and everything to say about dating, because it’s a cultural thing (that we can’t just kiss goodbye) and must navigate wisely. They do a very good job of the navigating, saying nothing with which I would disagree and much that is sane, sober, and deeply wise.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Loh

    Definitely a recommended read for all who are contemplating dating or are currently in phase of courtship. In my opinion, this book offers a biblical perspective on courtship which runs in stark contrast with what the mass media tends to portray frivolously.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Davis

    I think this would have been a great book for someone who is single and thinking about dating. However, if you've been dating for awhile and understand our fallen nature in specific relation to the fall I don't think this would be a profitable read. I think this would have been a great book for someone who is single and thinking about dating. However, if you've been dating for awhile and understand our fallen nature in specific relation to the fall I don't think this would be a profitable read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    I'm 98% sure no one complaining about it has read it. I'm 98% sure no one complaining about it has read it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Amazing read!! I’m going to use this to help guide a singleness blog I’m starting. So practical for dating in this crazy world!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark Jr.

    I wrote the following review for the Christian Library Journal several years ago. The girl I refer to is now my wife: Richard and Sharon Phillips have the experience and, more importantly, the biblical knowledge necessary to deal with the sensitive topic they cover in Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating. Their words are aimed at single young adults, not teenagers. They want to help men and women who are in the appropriate season of life to be considering I wrote the following review for the Christian Library Journal several years ago. The girl I refer to is now my wife: Richard and Sharon Phillips have the experience and, more importantly, the biblical knowledge necessary to deal with the sensitive topic they cover in Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating. Their words are aimed at single young adults, not teenagers. They want to help men and women who are in the appropriate season of life to be considering marriage. As I write this, I am sending e-mails back and forth with a girl (if only my mother would read the Christian Library Journal, she would know). Holding Hands, Holding Hearts provides practical and yet incisive counsel for men and women in my position. The book provides plenty of advice which would seem very strange to the non-Christian world, but that is because the authors are willing to take with utter seriousness the demands of the Bible. In fact, the Phillipses lay considerable theological groundwork—mining primarily Genesis, the same portion of the Bible Jesus appealed to when discussing marriage—before getting to what would be the first page of most Christian dating books, and their book is not laced with quite the number of stories which make so many other books easier going. This format will be refreshing to earnest, serious, theologically focused singles (and a valuable challenge to those singles who should have those qualities). However, the Phillipses’ work could actually do to be laced with a few of those stories other books use! A book like Josh Harris’s Boy Meets Girl is just as theologically sensitive, but is a more entertaining and engaging read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This book falls under the "I-should-have-read-this-before" category. Those who consider marriage will benefit largely with the wisdom printed in its pages. It is both refreshing and realistic. Here's their final word to singles: "Finally, Christian singles, while acting in faith to seek a spouse, must make themselves useful to Christ and his church in every possible way. Singleness may not be a gift, but it certainly offers lots of time for most people. Use that time for the glory of God and the This book falls under the "I-should-have-read-this-before" category. Those who consider marriage will benefit largely with the wisdom printed in its pages. It is both refreshing and realistic. Here's their final word to singles: "Finally, Christian singles, while acting in faith to seek a spouse, must make themselves useful to Christ and his church in every possible way. Singleness may not be a gift, but it certainly offers lots of time for most people. Use that time for the glory of God and the good of Christ's people. Singleness is particularly a time for service. This means that if you have time, give it to Jesus. Devote yourself to studying his Word and to developing strong habits of prayer and worship. If you have gifts (and you do), use them for service in the church and for extending Christ's kingdom. People are perishing in sin with no one to tell them the gospel. Can you reach out to them? Can you extend a caring hand and a warm smile? Can you tell them the good news that Jesus came to redeem us from our sin?"

  14. 4 out of 5

    Johannes Ardiant

    A very practical book on how to apply the Biblical principle into courtship. Christ is our ultimate example of love, and thus we ought to ask ourselves before engaging in a dating relationship and further into marriage: "Are we willing to love in self-sacrificing, nurturing way the Bible describes? Are we willing to learn to love this way?" What should we now do as a single? One thing for sure is we ought to prepare ourselves to the next phase of our life. If you have time, give it to Jesus. Stud A very practical book on how to apply the Biblical principle into courtship. Christ is our ultimate example of love, and thus we ought to ask ourselves before engaging in a dating relationship and further into marriage: "Are we willing to love in self-sacrificing, nurturing way the Bible describes? Are we willing to learn to love this way?" What should we now do as a single? One thing for sure is we ought to prepare ourselves to the next phase of our life. If you have time, give it to Jesus. Study His Word and develop strong habits of prayer and worship. Use your gifts for service. Reach out to the lost. Extend a caring hand and a warm smile. These habits that we develop as a single will carry over into marriage, and you may pass them on to our children as well. The other thing is to learn to be content. If you cannot be contented in singleness, you will not be contented in marriage. We can be content - through Christ!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alex Winsor

    Richard and Sharon Phillips beautifully expound on what a godly, Christ-centered, biblically-founded relationship between an unmarried couple is to be. The book is well organized. First laying the foundation of what God has intended for marriage, Richard and Sharon take the reader systematically through God's Word; the second half of the book then is what Christians are to practically do when dating or seeking to date. An extremely easy read (which is what wisdom books should be), Holding Hands, Richard and Sharon Phillips beautifully expound on what a godly, Christ-centered, biblically-founded relationship between an unmarried couple is to be. The book is well organized. First laying the foundation of what God has intended for marriage, Richard and Sharon take the reader systematically through God's Word; the second half of the book then is what Christians are to practically do when dating or seeking to date. An extremely easy read (which is what wisdom books should be), Holding Hands, Holding Hearts is the greatest help I have ever received in regards to my relationship with God and how it relates to my relationship with whomever God puts me with. I will be recommending this book to all Christian singles I know, as well as those already in a relationship. Praise the Lord for this book - for the wisdom that He has given Richard and Sharon Phillips to share with His church.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    One of the best and more balanced and biblicaly focused dating books out there for Christians, most seem to gravitate at either just bashing dating due to personal experience and then promote courting (which really is just another label for dating, or the "evangelical off-brand" you could say or it) and the The Phillips worked with the singles ministry at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and they have a real love for singles and lots of practical, wise advice. It demolishes many of the One of the best and more balanced and biblicaly focused dating books out there for Christians, most seem to gravitate at either just bashing dating due to personal experience and then promote courting (which really is just another label for dating, or the "evangelical off-brand" you could say or it) and the The Phillips worked with the singles ministry at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and they have a real love for singles and lots of practical, wise advice. It demolishes many of the uber misguided views of dating/courtship and lays the foundation of getting to the heart of things, to have a right mind-set and working to establish a God-honoring relationship and being able to be content in Christ whether you are currently single or not.I recommended this book highly!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jean Pierre

    In a society where, there is a very low view on the holiness of marriage, this book provides clear biblical insight as to how singles should approach biblical dating or courtship. The chapters go through how marriage is viewed from a biblical standpoint and how singles should apply those things in their pre-marriage relationship. This book eradicates those secular views of relationships that so many Christians, unfortunately, look too. Overall, I found this book very insightful as a young man wh In a society where, there is a very low view on the holiness of marriage, this book provides clear biblical insight as to how singles should approach biblical dating or courtship. The chapters go through how marriage is viewed from a biblical standpoint and how singles should apply those things in their pre-marriage relationship. This book eradicates those secular views of relationships that so many Christians, unfortunately, look too. Overall, I found this book very insightful as a young man who is in a courtship right now. I highly encourage this book to any Christian who honestly wants to glorify God in their relationship.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    From Teenagers to adults, I recommend this book even for those who've been dating for a few years. Though this book is more for those who are starting out in dating. They back up what they are saying with Scripture verses. They talk about the first date, and how the dating life should be Biblically accoring to scripture, how Singleness is a gift from above, continue with dating should lead to getting married. Also talks about. If you are unclear about, what scriptures say's about(Christian)Dati From Teenagers to adults, I recommend this book even for those who've been dating for a few years. Though this book is more for those who are starting out in dating. They back up what they are saying with Scripture verses. They talk about the first date, and how the dating life should be Biblically accoring to scripture, how Singleness is a gift from above, continue with dating should lead to getting married. Also talks about. If you are unclear about, what scriptures say's about(Christian)Dating this is the book for you.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    This is a great book for anyone considering dating or even in the process of dating. It gives the most thorough description of what happened in the Garden of Eden to get us to where we are now that I have ever heard. This description is applied to the relationship between man, woman, and God. It gives a great description of the what the proper process of dating should be, and what kind of person one should be looking for in a date.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    A very clear guide in Christian Dating. Unlike other dating books that are immersed with practical things-to-do if you want a Christ-honoring relationship, Dr. Phillips hits the root of the problem by clarifying God's ultimate purpose in dating and really helps you understand it from a biblical point of view. Probably more helpful to read before dating, as the 2nd half of the book talks mainly about how to start the relationship right. A very clear guide in Christian Dating. Unlike other dating books that are immersed with practical things-to-do if you want a Christ-honoring relationship, Dr. Phillips hits the root of the problem by clarifying God's ultimate purpose in dating and really helps you understand it from a biblical point of view. Probably more helpful to read before dating, as the 2nd half of the book talks mainly about how to start the relationship right.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Probably the only dating book I've found to recommend to someone in the Christian community. Good general principles about how to be respectful as, first and foremost, a member of the body of Christ amidst the tumultuous dating process. Probably the only dating book I've found to recommend to someone in the Christian community. Good general principles about how to be respectful as, first and foremost, a member of the body of Christ amidst the tumultuous dating process.

  22. 4 out of 5

    WH

    So much more than a trite book on dating. Great book, not just about dating from a Christian perspective, but several other important but related aspects of Christian living, such as contentment, discerning God's will, and the importance of the local church. So much more than a trite book on dating. Great book, not just about dating from a Christian perspective, but several other important but related aspects of Christian living, such as contentment, discerning God's will, and the importance of the local church.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    This is a very helpful book for young singles. I highly recommend it. Now if only I could find a good dating book more aimed at teenagers...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Nguyen

    Good read on a biblical view of marriage. Would recommend to singles. Men, treat women like your sisters and take care of them.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Chan

    Good biblical book on how to view dating and relationships, with the end goal of marriage

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Highly recommended!! Realistic and biblical look at Christian dating. For men and women, whether you have dated, are dating, or are hoping to date.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    Excellent, balanced, Scriptural perspective on dating. Definitely recommend this to my friends - single, dating, and married. :)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nathaly

    great for any Christian, single or not

  29. 4 out of 5

    Peter Clegg

    A must read for all Christian singles.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Interesting read with helpful points regarding relationships.

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