The very first issue of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy had a topless picture of Marilynne Monroe in it and that was considered pornography. Today porn is in HD and 4K, available on a cell phone for free. It is violent and degrading on a scale we have never seen before and parents have no idea.
In our modern age of iPhones and data plans, when WiFi seems more vital than oxygen, a constant stream of media washes over us. Connecting to Jesus on Sunday becomes just one point of contact, lost among a million tweets, text messages, and YouTube videos.
As an unmarried believer, I still find it amazing that I am to avoid sex all of my life only to have the freedom to enjoy it the minute I’m married. What a mind shift! It’s no wonder that for so many newly married couples, even showing each other their naked bodies stirs up feelings of embarrassment.
Most conservative churches have a definition of “normal” that my friends and I can’t live up it up. It can leave us feeling confused and isolated, because most of us didn’t choose our unorthodox demographics, we just found our lives playing out on the single, gay, childless, artistic, or job-wandering stage. So, how do we navigate life in the church when we don’t quite fit in?
From the start people said a lot of things to me about attending Bible College. Some of them I believed at first, but along the way I’ve realized most of the things they told me were actually myths.
Not long ago, my family was harmed by damaging theology. We bought into the lie of a fearful, angry God who could not possibly love us the way we were. Of a God who saw us primarily as sinners, not his children.
But here’s the thing: in the absence of belief in God, Western culture believes that the only solution to loneliness is romance. Nearly all movies, pop songs, magazines, advertisements, and dating apps beat us over the head with the constant refrain: without romance, your life is not worth living.
For all the stories we tell about Mary, we usually miss one of her most important contributions to the Christmas story: her song in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel. Mary’s song (or her “Magnificat”) was the first theological reflection on Christ in the New Testament. But we barely hear about it. I have only […]
Has America put God on trial? Are Christian views and expressions no longer welcome in the public square?
If we want to know if a particular ministry is being “successful” we should ask the following question: What signs of the kingdom have we seen or experienced during the past week? All other measurements of success fall subservient to that single question.