Claire and Eli, willingly admit to their audience that this book is "raw" and based heavily on their own personal experiences. It is their look into the Christian view of marriage from their own personal perspectives.
If you were expecting this to be anything like a traditional Christian book on dating and marriage then I encourage you to never EVER read this book because it is in NO WAY a traditional view on marriage! In some ways the authors seem to look down upon and belittle the traditional standards of Christian dating and marriage. As you may have guessed from the title one of their major issues with the traditional viewpoint is the amount of emphasis that is placed on dating and marriage in the church. It goes to the point that it is almost past observation and into the realm of being blatantly offensive.
This book does challenge you to look at things in a way most Christians aren't normally challenged to but I would never recommend this book to someone who already struggles with the ideas of dating and marriage. Make no mistake that I agree that too much emphasis is placed on the fact that many Christians and churches seem to believe that all Christians have to get married, but that doesn't belittle the importance of marriage. There are times that I felt it was marriage--rather than the over focusing on marriage--that was questioned, but that's just my opinion.
However, Altared is a good reminder to churches and church staffs that you don't have to be married to be an effective Christian or an effective minister. I believe that was part of the original intent of this book and for that I applaud them. I simply ask that they present their case in a way that I feel more of an equal and less talked down to.
You can try Altared for yourself by reading Chapter One.
This book was provided to me free of cost for review purposes by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing.