Is courtship’s true motivation a way of extending parents “protection” of their children beyond what home schooling has done for them? This certainly is a good question. If so, is this “protection” wise.
These issues and others are discussed in the following online book written by Robin Phillips. It can be downloaded at the following link:
Robin Phillips makes some very good points and comments about the courtship and betrothal movements. I would strong recommend someone with an interest courtship or “kissing dating goodby” download and read this document.
A summary of the points are:
- The courtship/betrothal movement seems to have its roots in parents wanting to further parents’ protection of their children like they feel they do when they home school their children. Robin Phillips is 2nd generation home schooled.
- Phillips discussed the roots of courtship going back to Bill Gothard’s teaching especially Gothard’s teaching on family authority. Phillips discusses Gothard’s view on family authority including questioning it. View’s on family authority is provides the foundation for the courtship model.
- He reviews and critiques Jonathan Lindvall’s teaching on courtship including showing some pretty shocking examples of it going awry.
- Courtship’s “de-emphasizing of anything relating to romantic love.” He asks if this might be because its not something parents can easily “summon” and hence try to minimize its importance.
- Questions how biblical “emotional purity” is that is so pushed by courtship advocates.
- Explains “Why Dating Is Not The Problem And Courtship Is Not The Answer.”
Note: The author has an appendix where he questions whether Joshua Harris is a part of this courtship/betrothal movement he is critiquing in his book. Though Phillips doesn’t seem to think Harris is, Phillips does state that “people might be inadvertently sucked into the wider courtship movement through Harris’ writings as a result of the semantic similarity.” Phillips also states “Boy Meets Girl does present some disturbing parallels with the courtship movement, particularly in his emphasis on reaching a quality of character correctness before one is ready for marriage, and his rather mechanical approach to the operation of human emotions.”
Overall a good book with quite an analysis of what is driving some groups to push toward courtship. If nothing else, reading this book helps you see a motivation behind what is being promoted.
The author of this online book indicates his requests for discussion with Harris went unanswered. I guess I shouldn’t feel slighted that he also hasn’t answered my emails.
Tags: Betrothal, C.J.Mahaney, Courtship, dating, home schooling, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Josh Harris, joshua harris, Robin Phillips, Sovereign Grace, Sovereign Grace Criticism, Sovereign Grace Ministries