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Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach Paperback – February 29, 2012
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“This is a straightforward, yet provocative little book. You’ll find a lot of practical, sane, biblical wisdom that will explode a number of our cultural assumptions about dating. If you are single or care about someone who is, you really should read this book. The result may just be a simpler, more God-honoring approach to dating than you thought possible.”
—Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan
“In a world of cyber relationships—fueled by Facebook, texts, and tweets—the issues surrounding sex, dating, and relationships have become increasingly complex and challenging for teens, their friends, and their parents. This cutting-edge treatment of the rapidly changing scene is a must read for parents, students, counselors, and pastors. A big thanks to Gerald and Jay for helping us think sanely through this head-scratching cultural shift from a realistic and theologically astute perspective.”
—Joseph M. Stowell, President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Jay and Gerald have written a provocative book on one of the most pressing issues of our generation—sexual purity. As the authors show, few things necessitate getting to the core of the gospel like our soul’s craving for sexual fulfillment. We cannot think too carefully about what our heavenly Father has said. Even where I reach different conclusions from the authors, I am grateful for another investigation of the biblical data.”
—J. D. Greear, Lead Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina; author, Gaining By Losing
“What a gift this book is to single men and women. Here, in brief space, is clear and closely reasoned advice that is über-biblical and Christ-centered. It flows with life-giving grace. Sex, Dating, and Relationships will be a landmark read for many in this generation.”
—R. Kent Hughes, Visiting Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary
“Simplicity is the strength of this fresh approach to sex, dating, and relationships. If at first you chafe at the idea of ‘dating friendships,’ consider whether any alternative can bring greater glory to God, account for the biblical evidence, and guard against unnecessary heartache.”
—Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Blind Spots
“Hiestand and Thomas don’t kiss dating goodbye; what fun would that be? Instead, dating is revealed for what it is, which might disturb you. The greatest strength of this book is the contribution the authors make toward thinking biblically about something not in the Bible, which isn’t so easy to do. So it is possible that some might agree with their premises and the trajectory of their arguments, yet differ on some of the specific conclusions. But all will be challenged and blessed by their wise contributions to this vitally important issue.”
—Richard W. Hove, Campus Crusade for Christ, Duke University
“How refreshing! Gerald and Jay have written a biblically based, gospel-oriented book on sex, dating, and relationships—full of genuine, down-to-earth, practical instruction. This is exactly what Christians need to counteract the worldly attitudes and actions so prevalent in our churches today. It is imperative to think through these issues, and this is the best book I have read for doing so. Dating relationships are so fraught with danger that no Christian should embark on that journey without a guide. I strongly recommend this book as just such a guide.”
—Jim Samra, Senior Pastor, Calvary Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan; author, The Gift of Church and God Told Me
“Christ-centered reflection on sex, dating, and relationships has been a long time coming; thankfully, it has finally arrived. This volume is a must-read for anyone doing ministry among humans.”
—Chris Castaldo, Director, Ministry of Gospel Renewal, Wheaton College; author, Talking with Catholics about the Gospel
“Gerald and Jay provide solid wisdom for emerging adults and parents on an issue of extreme importance in our day. Young adults who wish to follow Jesus wholeheartedly are faced daily with an onslaught of sexual temptation. What’s more, they are largely ill-equipped to negotiate the sex-saturated culture in which they live. I believe that the teaching in this book, if lived out, will lead to a godly marriage of passion and purity.”
—Joel Willitts, Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, North Park University; College Pastor, Christ Community Church, St. Charles, Illinois
About the Author
Gerald Hiestand (MA, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is the senior associate pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois, and executive director of the Center for Pastor Theologians. He is the author of a number of scholarly papers and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Gerald lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with his wife, Jill, and their four children.
Jay Thomas (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) serves as the lead pastor of Chapel Hill Bible Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He was previously the college pastor at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. Jay and his wife, Rebecca, have four children.
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Top Customer Reviews
So when I picked up this book, I expected more of the same.
I was wrong.
I hadn't expected this book to say things that nobody else was saying.
I hadn't expected this book to become one of my anticipated favorites of the year.
It was far more paradigm-shifting (and brainy) than I expected it to be.
Also, the authors win points for proposing an approach to dating that's both simple and gutsy (that is, gutsy in terms of its counter-culture philosophy). See point 5 below for my summary of the authors' prescribed method of getting a wife.
This book's focus was much narrower than the other books: it wasn't trying to say everything there is to say about romantic relationships; it was mainly trying to change how we approach romantic relationships.
A few things I learned from this book:
1. We need to take the Bible's typology seriously, especially when it comes to Christ and the Church. We also need to take the image of God seriously.
Implication: Christ is faithful to His bride; are you faithful to yours? Do you want to get married just for your own gratification or also to live out the image of God?
2. The Bible addresses three types of human relationships: marriage (sexual relations commanded), family (sexual relations forbidden), and neighbor (sexual relations forbidden).
Implication #1: Dating is an activity, not a category.Read more ›
So often we Christians are told to "guard our hearts". Whenever I heard that phrase in the past, I always thought of it as guarding my heart FROM something, not guarding it FOR something. That is exactly the kind of thinking this book causes. Rather than focusing on the negatives of premarital sexual behavior and using fear of heartbreak to motivate readers to seek purity, they remind us about the importance and beauty of sex in God's design. So we are not told to guard our hearts for our protection, or even our benefit really, but to guard our hearts for God, because of God.
Please read this book. It is my belief that by reading this book you will have lost nothing and gained much. It has caused me to strive for purity in entirely new ways, and for entirely new reasons. Yes, I want to honor God, but now I want to honor Him with my whole heart and not just my actions.
It has been some time since I have read a book on dating and relationships, probably because it has been some time since the subject has seemed urgent to me. But recently a local pastor told me that as he pastors young adults toward marriage, he has been helped by Sex, Dating, and Relationships by Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas. I decided to check it out and I am glad I did so.
Hiestand and Thomas call their approach to relationships "a fresh approach" and this is an accurate way of describing it. They don't kiss dating goodbye and they don't advocate a return to the courtship of years gone by. Instead they encourage Christians to form "dating friendships." In this little phrase "dating" is the activity and "friendship" is the relational category. You are not boyfriend and girlfriend, but friends, and you spend time together (i.e. date) as friends for the purpose of seeing if there is mutual interest and compatibility. Romance and sexual activity and commitment can wait; for now, it is simply "two friends getting to know each other with a view toward marriage.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Solid read. Pass this out to all your high school students.Published 3 months ago by Michael A. Norby
A must-read for all who are fed up with the modern ideas of sex, relationships, and dating, and who wish to have a solid Christian perspective. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an awful book that was written by conservative white men who think that a woman's "most valuable part" is her virginity. Read morePublished 6 months ago by D. Hyatt
I enjoyed the book, but didn't quite agree on the hard lines it drew in some regards. I still recommend this book to people but with the caveat to take it with a grain of salt.Published 8 months ago by Lucas
A fresh and compelling thought for those who are in the process of dating/moving towards finding a marriage partner.
A biblical alternative.
An incredibly convicting book to read but one I believe everyone should read. Takes a strict biblical approach to the concept of dating and gives no nonsense answers to common... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Alexander Castillo