Foreword Reviews


When Dating Is Not Loving Your Neighbor

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Disposable is an insightful guide to Christian dating and relationships.

Contemporary dating culture includes distractions from spiritual bonding, claims Daniel E. Johnson in Disposable, a canny Christian interpretation of heterosexual relationships that explores the motivating factors behind love and marriage.

The book analyzes human desires and behaviors in an insightful way, diving into topics like predetermination, methods and approaches to dating, and building faith through relationships. One section analyzes the deeper meaning of Corinthians’s “Love is patient, love is kind,” saying that although it’s a universal perspective, the passage isn’t meant to be descriptive, but prescriptive.

The book takes living up to the Bible’s standards for love seriously. Divided into three sections, it surveys love, attitudes toward courtship, and building relationships on a spiritual basis. Each of its seven chapters includes a list of thought-provoking questions, including “Has God’s influence in your life changed the way you view relationships in general? If so, how?” Its focus is on forming a primary relationship with God, and in an unusual twist, relationships with other people become secondary, growing out of the spiritual connection and shared values.

The book’s biblical concepts are traditional, and its focus is only on heterosexual relationships between Christian, cisgender men and women. Its language around gender and sexuality is simplistic. Beyond this, the book’s message remains clear and straightforward: inviting spirituality into personal relationships, it claims, will lead to personal and interpersonal growth.

This process of spiritual growth is outlined in accessible language. The book’s examples of relationship goals are old-fashioned, sticking to Christian dogma. The text shares a message that what’s mainstream is not desirable and aims to subvert cultural trends like hooking up, premarital sex, and nontraditional arrangements.

In addition to these ideas, the book discusses free will, personal sexual autonomy around abstinence, and building on friendship first. It holds up friendship as an ideal for romantic love. Such work decenters romantic relationships as the ultimate goal or only desirable type of family structure in contrast to ultra-conservative ideals. Here, lovers and friends are to be regarded as equals.

The book will be most important to heterosexual Christians looking to be encouraged to heal what it presents as cultural wounds that prevent happy, functional relationships. Its helpful tools include discussion guides and good advice to build better, kinder, and lasting relationships.

Disposable is an insightful guide to Christian dating and relationships.

Reviewed by Claire Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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