Christine Colón and Bonnie Field recenty published a book titled Singled Out: Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today’s Church. Having taught Human Sexuality for the past 10+ years at Regent and almost that long at Wheaton, I can say that many Christian students have expressed an interest in a thoughtful resource on the subjects of singleness and celibacy. This is the best scholarly treatment of the subject I’ve read.
Colón and Bonnie Field provide a historical analysis and contemporary critique of how the church and popular culture has view celibacy. They are able to draw upon several resources from throughout Christian history to explore the benefits to a high view of being single and of celibacy, not the least of which is for a more complete understanding of who God is. The authors go on to argue that celibacy also prepares a person and that person’s community—his or her friends who may be married, the local church, and so on—for the reality of a life beyond what is immediate:
…by restoring singles to its proper place within the church and grappling with the realities of celibacy, we can remind ourselves that this is world is not our final destination. As we exist in community with each other here on earth, we are preparing for an eternity within the family of God, reminding ourselves of the importance of these spiritual ties and embodying the love that will draw others into this family. (p. 222)
It is a well-written, engaging book that will be of tremendous value to both Christians who are single and those who are married.