Thursday, April 20, 2006

single and taking surveys

Friends know immediately when I become passionate about something new. Some have wrongly labled my enthusiasm for new things as "fickle." EERRRRRR!!! I still have the same old passions and interests but God uses the new ones to further define the old.

For instance ... this past weekend I changed my topic for my systematic theology paper from "the problem of evil" to "single woman-image of God." The prescribed parameters for the format of the paper were very strict: 8-9 pages. What?!! But there's so much more that I want to say! My thoughts began to form into chapters as I studied and I soon realized that the only thing left to do was ... write a book. The book will deal with Single people within the local church, how they are treated, how they ought to be treated, is marriage the more godly way of Christian living, what role does community play in their lives, and living out one's calling day by day as a Single.

What would you want to see covered in such a book?

As summer approaches I become more and more excited. The Lord has given me a passion for the Pacific Northwest. I have been given the opportunity to go out there this summer to assist a body of believers. I am uncertain of my formal responsibilities as of yet, however, my imagination is going wild with the possibilities. One desire of mine is to conduct a weekend seminar for the ladies in the congregation (and teenage girls) on God-centered Evangelism, being relational in the community, and being able to share and live one's faith in a post-modern, Bible-illiterate world. A section of Will Metzger's book, Tell the Truth (must read), provides a survey of sorts to take in the spiritual health of those in the community. The questions are relatively non-threatening, allowing the survey taker to feel free to share their own personal beliefs in regards to spiritual matters, the Bible, and the man, Jesus Christ, with the hope that I would, in turn, be able to share the Way, the Truth, and the Life with those I encounter. I would love to incorporate this into a formal study of women in the Pacific Northwest, particularly if the Lord is calling me to minister in the region long term.



Matthew Wireman said...

Thanks for the link to the Anglican site. I will post that in my latest revision to the Uber-Da Vinci List. I've enjoyed the humor and perspective on life you share on your blog...keep it up.

CraigS said...

Regarding the survey, sounds quite like a book called "Share Jesus without Fear" or something like that - saw it a few years ago.

Now, your book on singleness is all very well, but what about the book on feminism you mention in your profile? One at a time!

But I think the singleness thing has been done to death anyway, don't you?

ckhnat said...

Here's what sparked it:

I was having a conversation with a (married) friend of mine. She was bemoaning the tendency within the church to view singleness as a flaw ... something that must be fixed right away by the mamas within the local church. In the New Testament we see honor given to those who lead lives of singleness next to those who are married. I might even go so far as to say that this need of the church to marry off their singles is a flawed view of the Doctrine of Man. Both man and woman were created in the image of God. Each resembles and represents God individually. My imaging God does not depend upon a man to complete that image (as some have suggested).

I could say more ... but ... it can wait.

As for the other book ... I'm not fickle ... still a goal ... but one that is still being researched. I find daily that I myself must learn the lessons of Biblical Womanhood before I can be so bold as to instruct others how they ought to live it. Still working on it.

Jason said...

Has anyone written a Christian book about singleness that did not focus on dating? I think this one would be a first :) Seriously, there is so much more to being single than dating (like, having a life). Ya know, there are tens of thousands of Catholics in the U.S. who live fulfilled, celibate lives. Why is it so earth-shattering among Protestants? Seems like it shouldn't be.

CraigS said...

My imaging God does not depend upon a man to complete that image (as some have suggested).

Dear me, I've never heard that suggested. How appalling.

It must be our different church circles, but whenever I've heard singleness preached on, its always been held up as a high calling. Certainly not a condition to be cured.

Miles Munro's book "Single, married, divorced, re-married" has an excellent chapter on singleness. Buy it just for that chapter.

He points out that "single" means "seperate, whole, complete". God did not create any "half-people". A marriage is 2 whole people coming together.

That chapter was such a blessing to me...

Bobby said...

It sounds like it will be an interesting book, with a much-needed viewpoint. I do think in the evangelical world we have too much literature that looks upon singleness like one looks upon a chronic illness -- something to be cured.

Lorie said...

I might even go so far as to say that this need of the church to marry off their singles is a flawed view of the Doctrine of Man.

Let's not forget that woman was created, in part, so that man would not be alone. In the fall, woman was cursed with the desire to rule over her husband. Part of my reflection of the image of God, as a woman, involves desiring and functioning in the context of marriage. We were made for relationships. Do we all live them out in the same ways? No. But that's part of the image of God in us, as men and women.

Let's not forget that it's not just that marrieds feel like they have to marry singles off to cure them---most singles WANT to be married and are dying for SOMEONE to help them find "the one". Of course that's not a blanket statement that applies to all people, or even all women. But I do think that part of understanding biblical womanhood and understanding the image of God in the female is acknowledging that we were CREATED to be helpmates and companions, to be pursued and protected. There is nothing wrong with people desiring to see that come about.

ckhnat said...

Absolutely, Lorie. We ARE created for companionship. And we ARE created to be helpers. Such relationalships can also be played out outside of marriage. Singles find godly fellowship within the local church. Older men and women mentor the younger members of the congregation, looking out for them, as fathers and mothers. Brothers and sisters are in abundance. Yes, romantic love may not be found among them ... However, we are admonished to "learn to be content" as Paul. Today, those of us who are single are "called" to be single. Live out that calling for the glory of God. Should God bring someone into your life that will enable you to serve Him more together as a married couple rather than single, live out that calling for His glory.

leslie said...

Maybe someone said this already, but what about a book on just loving God and being the right individual, single or married??
I think WAY too much focus is put upon whether or not someone is single or married. I think when all of us singles get married, we're going to be like, "what was the big deal?"
I'm sure marriage is great, don't get me wrong. I just don't think it should be held up as highly as some people in the local hold it.
I also don't really agree with ministries being based on marital status. I think married people definitely need to be taught certain things (how to treat your spouse, etc).
Well, I've gotta go, that's my take for now.

ckhnat said...

HERE HERE! Leslie ... that's primarily my point. We are all fellow-heirs/laborers in Christ. Let us uphold each other and encourage each other in our individual callings.

John Dekker said...

I notice the title of the paper is ambiguous. It could mean that single women are in the image of God("Do women have souls?") OR it could imply that God has a single "woman-image". Whatever that means. But I'm sure you could find some interesting feminist theologians expounding this.

There are zillions of theories about what the image of God means. I think it was Barth who argued that the image is the sexual differentation within mankind...

ckhnat said...

good point, J.D.
(1) not the name of my paper, no worries.

(2) have Barth covered

but i'm curious ... what would be a good title for such a work ... something snappy ... something eye-catching ... something that would sell.

ckhnat said...

here's something my friend Laura and I agree on if such a book should find a home on bookshelves. The book must affirm marriage as a desirable calling.

God bless, me like Albert Mohler and Russell Moore and John MacArthur who are making a stand for marriage. However, each have a tendency to downplay the equally high calling of Singleness.

John Dekker said...

The obvious choice is something about being "Singled out by God", but that has already been done.