Archive for May 2008

Resources on Singleness

31 May, 2008 EUTC

Having examined the issue of singleness, it seemed good to me to write a post, most excellent Theopholus, so that you may know of some of the resources that exist. I may add more as I come across them.

A great place to start is the article A Biblical-Theological Perspective on Singleness by Barry Danylak.

Al Mohler takes the position that single adults who do not have the gift of celibacy ought to marry soon if they can, based on his interpretation of 1 Cor 7:8,9. See for example these articles, which arose from this talk of his on marriage. Less extreme is the view that Paul was describing singleness itself as a gift. A key proponent is Al Hsu in his book The Single Issue (in US: Singles At The Crossroads). That book is also valuable for its interview with John Stott on his views on singleness, and it is perhaps no surprise that other single British pastors take a similar view (Vaughan Roberts and Andrew Page). Another helpful book on singleness, and one also taking the singleness is the gift position is The Rich Single Life by Andrew Farmer, (free download here).

Those who don’t accept Mohler’s narrow restrictions for remaining single still expect a God-glorifying view of the issue. In this article John Piper briefly discusses respective benefits of both singleness and marriage that combined with internal longings constitute a call or compelling to one or other in an individual’s circumstances. That article followed on from this sermon to singles based on God’s promise of a name greater than sons and daughters (Is 56:4,5) from his 2007 sermon series on marriage. Piper more recently recommended that While celebrating the call to life long singleness, the church will not encourage those who don’t have the cal to wait till late in their twenties or thirties to marry, even if it means marrying while in school. Piper’s forward to the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is worth reading.

For single women desiring marriage, Carolyn McCulley encourages them that singleness is a gift, in chapter 2 of her book Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?: Trusting God With A Hope Deferred and elsewhere. The bulk of the book is taken up with looking at the model of womanhood presented by the woman described in Proverbs 31. Much more by her on singleness and biblical womanhood more generally can be found via her blog. Also from the female single Christian perspective is Lydia Brownback’s Purple Cellar blog.

The following sermons cover singleness from 1 Cor 7: Jeff Purswell (Covenant Life Church), Mark Dever (Capitol Hill Baptist Church; also in book form), Rick Holland (Grace Community Church; see relevant sermons during 3-11/03). Ben Stuart gave a challenging talk on Undivided Devotion at the Passion 07 conference. A download can be purchased for £1.99 here (also hear him here). (a ministry of Focus on the Family) has articles, blog posts and podcasts targeted at singles.