Review: Is This The One?

I received a galley copy of this e-book courtesy of

The ideas contained within Is This The One? by Stephen Arterburn are good on the whole and I think you would not feel that you had wasted your money if you bought the book: the ideas for pre-marriage ‘dates’ and for conversations to have on those dates are probably worth more than the price of the book alone!  There is a lot of wisdom contained between the book’s covers and the ideas have been tested by the author in his own life.  I do have a few quibbles, however: I sometimes found that the author’s tone grated on me somewhat; also I don’t think that I can bear to read another ‘ten point list’ after this book (the book absolutely does that concept to death!).

I chose to receive this book because I wondered whether it might be a useful pastoral resource for advising couples exploring marriage.  In summary, my answer to this question – despite some positive feedback – is no.  However, I think this needs some important clarification.  It’s written for the US context and would probably be very helpful there.  However, in the UK context, it would require quite a lot of adaptation to make it work because a lot of the ideas for ‘holi-dates’ (dates during holidays) are based around US national holidays and celebrations.  What I had hoped was that this would be a resource to put straight into the hands of young couples in my church and, having now read it, I can’t imagine doing that, both because of the adaptation needed and also because I’m not sure that its tone makes it a clear contextual fit for the UK.

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