A friend from church who has a vested interest in the subject asked me to read this book: Redeeming Singleness by Barry Danylak. She said it was OK, but not overly helpful. Anyway, I thought I’d give my feedback here.
Redeeming Singleness is basically a biblical theology of singleness. The subtitle explains it well: “How the storyline of Scripture affirms the single life.” Danylak walks through redemptive history from the garden, to Sinai, to the prophets, to Jesus, and then to Paul (his section on 1 Cor. 7 was very well done, by the way). In each of these sections, he discusses marriage and singleness. I do appreciate a redemptive historical perspective, but to me this book wasn’t overly stimulating since I’ve read quite a few books that cover redemptive history better.
If you’ve never read anything on redemptive history or singleness, this will be helpful; if you have, it won’t be terribly helpful. In fact, if you are well read in these areas, you could probably do this type of study on your own by searching out the texts in the Bible that have to do with the single life. Or, you could simply do a redemptive historical study and end up on 1 Cor. 7 and Gal. 3.28 to see the ways in which singleness is a viable option for the Christian. In other words, if you know the basics of the Bible’s storyline and you’ve done some study on what the Bible says about singleness in the Christian life, you probably won’t need this book.
I agree with the woman who let me borrow it: it is OK, but not overly helpful. I was disappointed that this book didn’t include much practical discussion on singleness in our sexually messed up culture. The book really isn’t in the category of practical theology (i.e. counseling); it is more of a 200+ page book that shows how the Bible says singleness is an OK option in the Christian life. Probably most Christian singles already know this.
Who is this book for? I’d recommend this book to those who don’t know much about the big storyline of the Bible and who haven’t studied the topic of singleness. For the rest of you, it may not be what you’re looking for in this area.