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The Significance of Singleness

A Theological Vision for the Future of the Church

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The church needs to do a better job of speaking theologically to single Christians. Challenging prevailing evangelical assumptions about "the problem" of singleness, this book explains why the church needs single people and offers a contemporary theology of singleness relevant to all members of the church. Drawing on the examples of three important figures from the history of Christianity, the book helps today's church form a vision of life in the kingdom of God that is as theologically significant for single people as it is for those who are married.


Part 1
1. Why Singleness?
Part 2
2. Macrina: Singleness and Community
3. Perpetua: Singleness and Identity
4. Lottie Moon: Singleness and Authority
Part 3
5. How Singleness Can Shape Us into Better Theologians


"The best books are born of the most important questions. In The Significance of Singleness we are taken into the heart and mind of Dr. Hitchcock. Everyone everywhere asks and seeks to answer the questions, 'Who are we?' and 'How are we to live?' These questions are the heart of Hitchcock's very thoughtful, richly theological, profoundly personal book. It is at the same time historically situated in the ancient, formative stories of church history and also attentive to the contemporary complexities of sexuality, marriage, and family. This is a book for those who feel stretched taut over the tensions of being both holy and human in the modern world."

Steven Garber, professor of marketplace theology, Regent College; author of Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good

"In a book as refreshingly honest as it is theologically serious, Hitchcock presents a distinctly evangelical theology of singleness that demands attention even from those who do not identify as evangelical. Her stories of Christian singleness, told in clear and fluid prose, illustrate the gospel's perennial capacity to foster forms of faithful living that disrupt those well-entrenched idolatries that afflict the church no less than the wider culture."

Ian A. McFarland, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge

"Hitchcock boldly asserts that the Holy Spirit's empowering of people has never been limited by marital status. She builds a theology of singleness that challenges Western ideas of true love as always and exclusively sexual, and she rightly confronts our notion that marriage is the only proper foundation from which to build and nurture the church. The Significance of Singleness is an encouraging, unique, and thoughtful contribution to the literature on singleness."

Lisa Graham McMinn, author of Sexuality and Holy Longing: Embracing Intimacy in a Broken World

"How did we get singleness and marriage so wrong? For the New Testament, both tell a truth about God: that the kingdom is here and that God is faithful. The loss of any honored place for singleness in Protestant churches suggests that we don't believe the kingdom is really here. This erudite and accessible book, with its engagement with Scripture and saints and real life, is a step in the right direction. May there be many more."

Jason Byassee, Butler Chair in Homiletics and Biblical Hermeneutics, Vancouver School of Theology

"In The Significance of Singleness, Christina Hitchcock challenges the church to rethink its understanding of both single life and married life. Hitchcock reminds us that we find our ultimate fulfillment and purpose not in earthly relationships but in our identity in Christ. This is a timely and impassioned argument that challenges an idolization of marriage prevalent in both contemporary church and society, while not belittling or relativizing marriage itself. Hitchcock's work goes against the grain of much popular thought, but it runs along the grain of the deeper wisdom of Scripture, reminding readers that singleness provides a sign of the kingdom of God every bit as much as marriage does, and that both are necessary for the church's witness to the gospel."

Kimlyn J. Bender, professor of Christian theology, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

"The church needs the biblical vision that Christina Hitchcock provides. If the church fails to see the theological significance of singleness, it is ill-equipped to address issues such as homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, missions, and evangelism. By integrating theology, history, and Christian practices, Hitchcock offers a compelling picture of communal life in the kingdom."

David Rylaarsdam, professor of the history of Christianity and worship, Calvin Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Christina S. Hitchcock

    Christina S. Hitchcock

    Christina S. Hitchcock (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of theology at the University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she has taught for more than fifteen years. Her current research focuses on the intersection of theology and...

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