Wednesday, November 02, 2005

On Courtship

There are so many aspects to courtship, it seems almost misleading to call this post, "On Courtship," because I propose to deal with precisely one and only one aspect of courtship: keeping unsuitable people away. And here's the big question: should friendships be based on light, fluffy stuff like, "What's your favorite movie?" Or should it be based on more important things like theology and education? I am much more inclined to believe the latter. And so, I have dreamed up a list of questions guaranteed to scare away unsuitable people. And yes, this is partly tongue-in-cheek.

0. Which eschatology are you: pre-mil, a-mil, post-mil, pan-mil, or wind-mill?

1. So, isn't the difference between supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism fascinating? What do you think about Hodge's position?

2. Which side of the Clark-Van Til debate are you on?

3. I'm definitely of the opinion that the Federal Vision people are off their rockers. How about you?

4. In the Trivium model, where do you think classical music fits in? I've always thought the Poll-Parrot stage the most likely to be successful, but so few schools seem to be doing that.

5. Have you read All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes, or The Closing of the American Mind, or Amusing Ourselves to Death? Isn't it funny how they all seem to reference one another?

6. In the debate over infant baptism, how effective do you think the argument from silence is in promoting the paedobaptist view?

And now, on to some more personal questions.

7. When a man asks a woman, "Is there something wrong?", and the woman replies, "Nothing," but she really means there's so many things wrong she doesn't know where to begin, how close to lying do you think she is? And how much of an insensitive jerk are you prepared to call the man if he takes her words at face value?

8. How reasonable do you think it is for a woman to expect a man to read her emotions when men are naturally born to be about as sensitive as a Sherman tank? In addition, do you think women should play an active role in helping men to be more sensitive?

9. Do you think the difference between having twelve and thirteen children is so great as to be prohibitive, or do you generally view it as "just one more to the heap?"

And finally, since it is now my strong tendency to believe that people should not even enter courtship unless they are ready to marry, here's the grand finale.

10. Are you ready to get married tomorrow?

Yep, I really think I've got it here. However, a natural disclaimer: use these at your own risk. I will not be held accountable for others using these questions to perform a most needful task.

In Christ.


 
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13 Comments:

At 11/02/2005 12:25:00 PM , Blogger Esther said...

*laughs* Oh, those were good. Definitely made me laugh...and I needed that! :) Thanks for pointing me towards the post.

And um, if you should try those questions on some girl, do let us know the outcome! ;)

(I thought the one about how close is she to lying if she says "nothing" was pretty funny!!)

 
At 11/03/2005 07:50:00 AM , Blogger Susan said...

That was hilarious! The last one was the kicker :).

So did you number them from 0-10 because (a) you like the set of whole numbers better than the natural set, (b) you wanted your list to end on 10 but you had 11 questions, or (c) you were just wondering if anyone would notice (my mom is the one who spotted it - I just had to show my family this post), or (d) you wanted 10 spaces, rather than 10 questions. My brother used to tell me to start counting from zero when we'd play hide-and-seek so the full amount of time would be given.

Scary that I actually understood most of the questions. . . The ones I didn't I'll have to go research, because now I'm curious.

Never heard of the wind-mill eschatological view; I'll have to look that one up ;). And pre-mill should definitely be subdivided. . .

You seem to take a pessimistic approach to courtship. . . Funny that I always optimistically thought of courtship as a way to find a suitable person, not to scare away the unsuitable. Naturally one would conclude that I am post-mill and you are dispensational pre-mill, right? ;)

 
At 11/03/2005 09:09:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Glad you liked them, Esther and Susan. In answer to Susan, nothing quite so geeky as all that. What happened was I had written up nos. 1-6, and one or two of the personal ones, when I came up with no. 0. Being lazy, I just put it at the head of the list as no. 0 instead of renumbering everything. *O, to use LaTeX's automatic renumbering to do this!*

Ah, yes, courtship is supposed to be a positive thing, isn't it? Well, I have two things to say about that. The first is that in the process of finding a suitable person, you will have to scare away many unsuitable people. Certain it is that no Christian can marry just anyone. The Bible clearly teaches that we are to marry only in the Lord. So that knocks away a considerable portion of humanity. Then, further, of course, there's lots more issues that have to be worked out. And I'm not telling you anything you don't know. The other thing I would mention is that, frankly, courtship is a pain in the neck. It's the best we got, but that doesn't at all mean that I like it. You should probably just chaulk this up to a disillusioned 27-year-old who has been trying it for ~7 years with no success and a lot of painful failures. To sum up, this is not the part of relationship-building that I'm interested in.

So you've not heard of the wind-mill eschatological view? Where have you been? I assume you've heard of the pan-mil view? Everything will pan out in the end? Seriously, the post-mil and the a-mil views hold the most appeal to me. My brother is a graduate of Westminster Seminary East, which implies automatically that he is a-mil. My Dad is post-mil. I haven't quite heard them duke it out over this one, so I'll get back to you later on this one. Same thing with the Clark/Van Til controversy. Lane is Van Til, and my Dad, who was a personal friend of Gordon Clark, is naturally Clark. I have heard them try to duke this one out, but neither one of them seems to be able to define terms well enough to satisfy the other one, and they're both superb logicians, usually. So I'm not decided on that issue, either. I like aspects of both of them.

If you hang around the Reformed world long enough, you'll most likely hear of most of these issues. But, you see, one of the advantages of using my list of questions, for me, is that I'm a man using them on women. Women seem to have this notion that religion is all about _doing_ stuff. Certainly true. But they tend to leave out doctrine. How many women do you know who like to read big fat theological books like Calvin's Institutes? Whereas guys eat that stuff up, sometimes. On the other hand, guys have a problem coming back down to planet earth and working out their salvation with fear and trembling. Maybe God knew what He was doing, eh? Vive la difference!

In Christ.

 
At 11/03/2005 03:10:00 PM , Blogger zan said...

I agree, Adrian, courtship IS a pain in the neck. Especially for girls. I was waiting for some Christian guy to come around and none came. So I went online. Maybe you should try that? I wouldn't recommend that you keep up a long distance relationship online. You should meet them as soon as you both agree that you would like to do this.

I didn't court. I dated with the purpose of marriage. I only talked to people online that were finished with school and were serious Christians. The first guy I decided to date was the one. We only spoke online for 3 weeks until we met. I also stayed in the New England area when I was searching. I talked with people from Texas and Israel but I made them know up front that I was not interested because of the distance. If you get on the right site you might be pleasantly surprised. I know a lot of people look down on girls snagging husbands on their own but look at Ruth. :)

I could answer 0 and 6. Have no clue about the others. I do think your questions were humerous, but if you take them all seriously you are probably being a little too picky. However, picky can be good. My husband was picky until he met me. I guess love made him lose a lot of his pickiness.

My husband and I are able to carry intelligent discussions but he has many different intersts than I do on many things. He is a techie and very serious. I am proud of myself when I e-mail successfully and laugh a lot. He is a Baptist and I am more Reformed Presbyterian type.
We have a very interesting marriage with our differences and we have a great time complementing each other.

Don't lose heart about not finding the one. You are only 27. My husband was nearly 30 before he met me and I had to find him.

-Zan

I enjoyed theology when I was single and that was one of the common things my husband and I had when we chatted online (though we have different views on theology). I do agree that women are not as encouraged as men to study theology and more time is spent on teaching them to submit and dress modest. I get very tired of reading about those things myself though, I do not consider them as unimportant. I have even heard Christian women discourage women from learning theology on their own because it might persuade them to have a different view than their father or husband. My husband and I have different views on baptism, but it is more a test for me to be submissive in this area than anything else. Anyway, you are right about that. I never did read that Calvin book, BTW, but I have heard of it.

-Z

 
At 11/03/2005 08:51:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

I was mainly joking about the optimism/pessimism thing :). I agree that a lot of the courtship process is more discovering who you are not willing to marry. I was serious in my comment on Esther's blog about mentioning that I want 12 kids on occasion, although the long skirts usually do the trick ;). She must be part of a cult.

I'm not saying I'm not disillusioned a bit myself, and I'm sure 6 years from now I'd be more so. Just remember, though, that although there are oodles of women unsuited for you, as Amy from Little Women would say, "you only need one if he's [errr, she's] the right one."

I was completely joking about dispensational premill, as reformed theology and dispensational premillenialism don't mix. . . Hmmm, if Lane wins you over and you end up in the a-mill camp, that would support my original line of reasoning, as it is the less optimistic form of post-mill :). One of the pastors at my church calls post-millenialism "a-millenialism with a smile." I lean heavily post-mill, myself. And yes, I've heard the pan-mil crack. . .

 
At 11/04/2005 11:30:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Zan.

Yeah, I tried the online thing. Didn't work for me, though I'm glad it did for you. I agree that sometimes, perhaps even most of the time, there's nothing wrong with a girl "snagging", as you put it, a husband. Ruth was quite bold, and if you notice, Boaz thought she was doing entirely the right thing. He praised her up one side and down the other.

I think it would take a special kind of man to lead a woman of a different theological bent. I'm not sure I'm up to it, for one. I think I should probably stick with Reformed ladies, though their ranks are few.

Reply to Susan.

Ja, I knew you were joking. Goodness. The way you write, anyone would think you were bordering on insulting me. Let me put it this way: I don't think you could insult me if you tried, and based on many past posts, I somehow doubt you'd be serious about it anyway. I have really thick skin, which serves me rather well most of the time. Of course, that does mean I partake of the usual male insensitivity. Poo.

And I also knew you were joking about the pre-mil stuff. I'm thinking, "Whoa, there, Susan! Maybe you could relax a little, eh?" While I certainly don't think you need my permission to "be yourself" on my blog, I'll encourage it. Please don't feel like you have to walk on eggs with me. You can be really blunt, and I'll be just fine. Ok? :-)

In Christ.

 
At 11/04/2005 05:02:00 PM , Blogger zan said...

My Husband is more reformed than he knows. He is what you would call a 4.5 point Calvinist. He kind of holds to Luther's view of Limited Atonement.

I am surprised that you can't find many reformed ladies. I used to go to a Irish Free Presbyterian church about an hour away on Sun evenings because they had a lot of girls (very few guys) my age. When I became engaged to my husband I took him there to hear the pastor(the pastor was one of those great preachers that you could listen to for hours-rare). I felt a little worried because I saw some young single ladies eyeing my fiance. I could feel my claws coming out. It was really pretty funny but sad.(We didn't go back there until after we were married :))

When I say I snagged my husband I don't want you to think that I just went right up to him and asked him out. I was pretty shy but I did seek him out, he was in computer world. Infact, my mom and grandmother both pursued their husbands. My grandmother got my grandfather's attention by mowing the lawn in a pretty party dress and high heels. That caught his attention and he had to find out what she was about. The rest is history.

Hang in there. She is out there.

-Zan

 
At 11/29/2005 03:48:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with your claim that men are naturally born insensitive. I think that God gave men and women both the capacity to be sensitive and intuitive. But our culture values and expects intuition and sensitivity from women and not from men. I think that if we encouraged men to be sensitive, instead of making them feel that sensitivity is a feminine or "unmanly" quality, we would find men to be just as sensitive as women. I would argue that Jesus was a very sensitive person (except to the Pharisees and others who were legalistic), and that sensitivity is therefore required of all Christians.

 
At 5/05/2006 03:07:00 PM , Anonymous Nicole H. said...

Someone else shared this with me, and, boy, was it hilarious! Thanks for writing it up. I'm a moderator on a Christian youth Debate Forum so it provided me a bit of much-needed comic relief. Thanks!

 
At 5/05/2006 05:48:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Nicole H.

Welcome, Nicole! I am glad you enjoyed the post. God bless.

In Christ.

 
At 6/12/2006 09:50:00 PM , Anonymous Passing reader said...

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but this girl is currently about half-way through the Institutes, interesting timing...

 
At 1/06/2007 02:22:00 PM , Blogger Eltinwe said...

0. At this point... anti-pre-mil. The rest depends entirely on my mood at the time.

1. Fascinating? No. Interesting, perhaps, but nothing to rise to the level of fascinating, and I don't like Hodge enough to bother to know his position, but I would have an opinion if I bothered to read it.

2. Ambivalent. It's mostly about defining terms anyway, so it's something of a pointless argument, in my opinion.

3. Absolutely. Rockers? They had them to begin with?

4. Indifferent. I am still not sold on the Trivium model of schooling at all. Classical music should be taught my immersion from a young age, and is not necessarily part of formal schooling.

5. Read the third of those, but never particularly noticed the inter-referencing, considering.

6. a. If the "argument from silence" is the predominant argument, it is only due to the sheer ignorance of the populate, and we're in trouble. b. The argument is completely ineffective merely because nobody really listens to it. The people we are arguing with already have other opinions, and the argument that the Bible doesn't say so is about as likely to convince them as dirt. c. If you want to make that SORT of argument, make the historical one, basing it on a new covenant circumcision of the heart idea, and the fact that God never changes. Much harder to ignore.

7. She is lying. He is an insensitive jerk anyway, because he KNOWS she doesn't mean "nothing" and just ignores it. If he does not know that, he is just insensitive to the point of jerkdom anyway because he has never bothered to pay enough attention to the woman to know what she means.

8. Men don't read emotions any more than women read minds, but men are NOT naturally insensitive. That is training and desensitizing.

9. One more to the heap, but I don't necessarily want anything like that many.

10. No, sorry, I'm already married, and my husband probably wouldn't like that. I just wanted to answer your questions anyway.

*grin* Excellent and amusing questions... I really think you should ask them to girls and see what they say. I think it would make it a lot easier for you. It would rule all of them out immediately.

 
At 2/13/2007 09:11:00 AM , Blogger DaughterOfTheMostHigh said...

Dear Brother In Christ,
No girl who is desiring to serve the Lord would reject you because you wear a beard. My brother wore a beard before he married, and after they were married he shaved it off because my sister in law didn't care for it,...but it is as you said, when you are married, it is different. But in my opinion, what a person looks like on the outside is not nearly as important as the inside. Some of the most physically attractive people are the ugliest. Just my .2 cents.
In His Abiding Joy, Melissa

 

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