Would you marry a stranger?

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Would you marry a stranger?

For most people, the easy and obvious answer to that question is “No!”

But for the couples that are the subject of the new book Betrothed from Olive Press Publishers, that question is a little more complicated than it appears.

Betrothed is a collection of love stories of Christian men and women who found each other and eventually married. But they didn’t arrive at their happily-ever-after by following the typical pattern of dating, getting engaged, and saying “I do.”

These men and women – many who have served with HaYovel, a non-profit that takes volunteers on mission trips to Israel – also rejected the idea of a Christian courtship in lieu of dating. Betrothed explains why they rejected a courtship model in favor of something different.

There were times when I read this book when I thought “That’s weird” or when I didn’t agree with the practices or beliefs of the people profiled. However, I simply couldn’t put this book down. The prevailing spirit of this book is to trust God with matters of the heart. I give this book five out of five stars and recommend it to anyone interested in alternatives to the hook-up culture and also to those interested in Messianic Christianity.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from Olive Press Publishers  in exchange for my honest review.

Old Fashioned Book Review

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What are the rules of dating?

Novelist Rene Gutteridge and director Rik Swartzwelder have teamed up to create a new work that could spark some conversation about how that’s changed across generations. Their novel, Old Fashioned, is being made into a film that will be released the same weekend as Fifty Shades of Grey.

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Old Fashioned centers on two characters – a level-headed man named Clay and a spontaneous woman named Amber. Proving the adage that opposites attract, the chemistry between the two can’t be ignored, and Old Fashioned explores a different way of dating – courtship – that for most people has all but gone by the wayside.

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There’s an external struggle between Clay and Amber – they have a hard time connecting with each other – and, as it turns out, each has experiences from the past that is interfering with their ability to create a new relationship. While the story may be intended to be like a morality play – showcasing the benefits of courtship over typical modern dating – it comes across as preachy at times. Old Fashioned doesn’t fully show the joy that comes from a relationship based on freedom within limits.

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FTC Disclosure: Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.