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" or "What do you do when you live hundreds of miles from your family?

"The goal of this series of articles, beginning with this introduction, is to provide our readers with a place to bring those questions.

Scott Croft is an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church where he teaches a seminar on friendship, courtship and marriage.

We often hear complaints from readers about the confusion, hurt and sexual sin they've encountered despite their best intentions.

Not all will agree with Scott's approach, and we invite feedback from anyone who believes there are better interpretations for the biblical passages Scott draws from.

It's our hope that this Q&A series will be valuable both for those who think the Bible gives sufficient guidance for operating within our current system as well as for those who are looking for a completely countercultural path to marriage. How can Christians think differently about this pervasive issue in media and culture? The answer to that last question is "not well." Surveys consistently indicate that professing Christians behave almost exactly like non-Christians in terms of sexual involvement outside of marriage (in both percentage of people involved and how deeply involved they are — how far they're going), living together before marriage, and infidelity and divorce after marriage.

I have to start by explaining the theological doctrine that drives the approach I want to outline (and advocate).

That doctrine is called the of Scripture (which states that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, it's true, and it contains no falsity or error).

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