Introduction: The Meaning of Singleness
Setting the Scene
My upcoming book, The Meaning of Singleness, will be published by InterVarsity Press on May 9, 2023. In the lead up to its release I thought I might share a short weekly excerpt, chapter by chapter.
You can pre-order or see more information about the book (including its full contents page, endorsements & a free sample chapter) here.
Introduction: Setting the Scene
“In this book I hope to equip you to look with fresh eyes at the intelligibility of God’s purposes for singleness in the lives of his people, and so also the inhabitability of singleness within the community of that same people. An appreciation of this relationship between purpose and place will prove vitally important for the task that lies at hand. After all, a theology of singleness which celebrates purpose but neglects place can only ever be deeply abstracted, and a theology of singleness which embraces place but fails to appreciate purpose can only ever be deeply impoverished. To put it another way, theological purpose imbues the single life with genuine meaning, but pastoral place provides the context in which that meaning is inhabited as genuinely meaningful. This wonderful harmony between the purpose of the unmarried Christian life, undertaken within the place of the Christian community, means that any exploration of Christian singleness is one which will be of vital significance to not just the individual member, but to the body of Christ as a whole.
With this in mind, it might come as somewhat of a surprise to find that the first exploratory steps of this endeavor are not to be taken within the hallowed halls of the church itself, but in the landscape that lies beyond its doors. But, just as it would be reckless to abstract Christian theology from the societal context of the Christian church, so also would it be foolhardy to abstract the church from the broader cultural milieu in which it is located. As a human community, the church exists at a specific moment in human history. It always has and it always will, right up until that final moment when history ends and eternity begins. So it is that a reexamination of Christian singleness in the church of the present, for the sake of her future, is well served by first exploring the broader cultural past which it has responded to, been set against or perhaps even catechized by.”
Taken from The Meaning of Singleness by Danielle Treweek. Copyright © 2023 by Danielle Elizabeth Treweek. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com. This post is public so feel free to share it.
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