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11 February 2006
  Going Out, Getting Dumped, and Playing Mini Golf on the First Date

Going Out, Getting Dumped, and Playing Mini Golf on the First Date is a practical book. This doesn't mean it provides a list of practical dating advice for the perfect date. Nor can it be called practical because it can guarantee to make the teenage years a snap for parents by keeping kids out of sexual trouble. Instead, because it views the entire matter of sexuality from God’s perspective, Law and Gospel, its practicality is of a higher quality or genre.

That’s an immense subject to approach in only 126 pages for an audience of 13-18 year olds. However, Tim Pauls successfully accomplishes his goal by keeping his topic firmly grounded in Baptism. That is, when sexuality and dating are considered catechetically, the universal principle involved is God's institution of marriage at creation. According to God’s plan, marriage was for the sake of servanthood, not selfishness. By emphasizing the antithesis of relationships that are based on either servanthood or selfishness, Pauls brings clarity to God’s original plan for His people. In so doing, Pauls also reveals what the Baptized life in Christ ought to be. The unasked, but obvious, question by the end of the book is, "You are baptized and dating. In Christ you live in servanthood, not in selfishness. Now, what is it you want to do?"

Will this one little book make all the times of getting dumped easier to bear? Will it erase the selfishness from the lives of those who are dating? Does Romans 7 still not speak to the Baptized also? Going Out, Getting Dumped, and Playing Mini Golf on the First Date is not a fix-it for all dating woes — only the Parousia can do that! This book is a catechetical aid. It is the starting point for fruitful discussion.

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Going out, Getting Dumped, and Playing Mini Golf on the First Date
Going out, Getting Dumped, and Playing Mini Golf on the First Date

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