I recently purchased D. Kevin Brown's new short book on dating. As part of the Energion Publications Topical Line Drives series, To Date or Notto Date is a very short work that offers a counter-cultural view of the progression of relationships that all too often involves a lengthy period of dating.
I agree with most of what Kevin has to say. The dating culture infects the church to essentially the same extent it does the world. This is a culture that seeks to delay marriage for as long as possible and serves to create an acceptance of "falling in love" and then breaking up as a normal behavior. We wonder why the "church" has such a problem with divorce and never ask what we are doing to prevent this other than giving kids a pep talk on chastity while thrusting them into a model where intimacy ahead of marriage is almost inevitable and the idea of "breaking up" when things get rough or stale follows them into marriage.
According to Kevin there is a better way. I agree. It is not the job of Christian parents to drive their kids to Youth Group every week and then toss them out into the world to sample as many dating partners as possible before "finding the one" or settling because the biological clock is ticking. Parents should be far more involved in guiding their children through the process of finding a marriage partner than they are in driving kids to sporting events and selecting a college.
There is not really much that is new in To Date or Not to Date. A lot of this ground has been covered by much longer and comprehensive works. To introduce ground-breaking information is not Kevin's intent and not really the purpose of the Topical Line Drives series. This instead serves as a good introduction to a topic that seems incredibly foreign to most religious Americans. It is quite inexpensive as an e-book from Amazon, a mere $.99 and it is a great way to introduce new parents to planning for the inevitable conversations that will happen.