By day, firefighter Dean Scott puts out flames in rural western Washington. By night, he tries to kindle them between Reformed singles around the country.
Scores of Christian dating websites (and dating sites that market themselves to Christians) are doing their part to solve the delayed marriage problem by promising to pair like-minded couples. But Scott's SovereignGraceSingles.com hopes to take compatibility tests to a new level, making sure that singles are on the same page theologically.
Singles who build profiles on SovereignGraceSingles answer questions such as, " How have the Doctrines of Grace changed or affected your life?" "Do you have a Quiet Time?" and "Who is your favorite biblical character and why?" Members' usernames include tulips, restingingrace0611, and ReformedSoutherner.
Baylor University professor of theology Roger Olson, author of Arminian Theology, is a bit surprised that the site, which hosts nearly 800 members and has borne 37 reported marriages, is catching on.
"It's an example of a larger dissonance between Calvinist theology and Calvinist practice,"Olson said. "If God has foreordained everything, then why should I feel any urgency to act?"
Scott said he has heard few theological objections to the site since it launched in 2005.
"It doesn't sound very Calvinist, but I think we should use all means possible, including the Internet, to find someone,"said Scott, who met his wife, Karen, on the site he built. I don't think it's antithetical to God's sovereignty at all. It's a means that he's provided to use in the lives of single, Reformed folks."
Paul David Tripp, author of Marriage: Whose Dream?, says Christians of various theological stripes have trouble deciding whether to use an online site to find ...