As part of the on-going series, the links below will take you to current conversations about sexuality and relationships as well as issues related to the other three categories of holistic body theology: community, cultural discernment, and service.
Stay informed about what the world and the Church are saying so we can discuss the issues, discern healthy, holistic body theology, and discover God’s truth in the midst of many opinions.
Here’s this week’s installment. (Links are organized roughly by date and similarity of content.)
Don’t be shy. Share your thoughts in the comment section, or join the original conversations via the links provided.
Physicality: Body Image, Sexuality and Relationship Issues
1) Beautiful Sex and the Impact of Porn in Marriage Incorporating the use of pornography is as beneficial to your marital sex life as having a threesome with a disease ridden meth addicted hooker.
2) ‘Love InshAllah,’ Newly Released Book Shatters Stereotypes on Muslim Women, Sex and Love “There are still misconceptions about Muslim women, because Muslim women, their bodies, their lives, have been so caught up in political debate,” Mattu said. “I feel like this is a way for people to connect with women who are revealing their full humanity.”
3) Love You! Now, the Difficult Stuff… Once people decide they are in love…too often they will duck tough conversations for fear of undermining what they see as a magical connection.
4) Should the Church Begin Arranged Marriages? With children hitting puberty earlier and earlier, and the level of sexual brokenness in our culture, having arranged marriages provides people with, hopefully, a healthier sexual outlet at a younger age.
5) 10 ways to have a horrible first date if you’re a Christian 7. Tell him you play handbells at church. And then, play them during your entire date.
6) Sex change British man gives birth to son Last night medical ethics experts called for a full inquiry into the issues surrounding transgender births, saying the interests of the child should not be risked to “fulfill the rights of an adult”.
7) Country’s first openly gay bishop preaches inclusivity beyond hospitality He called on the 300 people in the pews before him to work harder to integrate gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people into their spiritual lives.
8) To the Girl Who Has Never Dated Dating seems to have fallen into this weird category in Christian circles where we are either one date away from marriage or ruining the rest of our lives. Talk about extremes.
9) What Is Love? The Soul Knows If God is one and love is infinite, why limit ourselves when it comes to choosing a partner?
10) Interracial marriage in US hits new high: 1 in 12 “The rise in interracial marriage indicates that race relations have improved over the past quarter century…but America still has a long way to go.”
11) Unplanned Parenthood: The Blessing of an Inconvenient Pregnancy [F]ertility and childbearing highlight my addiction to control more than almost anything else…. Women are, after all, trained to control our bodies. Managing one’s appearance and conducting one’s body in a way that honors God are common female virtues in the church.
Media Literacy/Cultural Discernment
1) Kelli Anderson – Disruptive Wonder for a Change The world is full of order that doesn’t necessarily deserve our respect. Sometimes there is meaning, justice, and logic present in the way things are — but sometimes there just isn’t. [Her thoughts on media literacy begin around 9:30 with an astonishing prank.]
2) The Truth About Disney Love What Disney fails to tell us is that when you wish upon a star, it usually doesn’t come true.
3) Why Pretty Women Are Overrated Don’t let culture define you.
Community: Equality Issues (There’s so much happening this week in the wake of John Piper’s remarks that I thought it deserved its own category.)
1) The Rhetoric of Masculine Christianity Yet the most important issue is not that Piper’s view would be misunderstood. The absolute fundamental problem would be that it would be mistakenly taken as good news.
2) John Piper’s Masculine Christianity There is certainly a masculine feel to Christianity; but does this masculine feel necessarily exclude an equal female feel? Aren’t there aspects of the Christian faith that have a feminine feel to them…and should we also seek to promote these?
3) Lecrae, 116 Clique and John Piper — 100& Masculinity I assert that it is not masculinity that saved us from femininity; rather, that love compelled Christ to come and save us from fear, hate and darkness; that love compelled Christ to sacrifice all to save us from ourselves, our sin and our selfishness.
4) Writing for a Sexist World [A]s women who write we have to be feminist, explicitly feminist—because the reception of our work will often be sexist.
5) Women’s History: Give Credit Where It’s Due Motivated by the belief that men and women were made in God’s image to “rule the earth” together, these pro-woman, pro-justice believers sought to right wrongs for those who had less social power. Isn’t it time we reclaimed our own story?
6) Masculine Christianity’s Problem One of the major issues today is the rise of education among women, making some men feel intimidated.
7) Unbinding the Feet: Women in Ministry In hindering some women from the fullness of their callings, we hinder the entire Body of Christ as well.
Community: Other Issues
1) seeds matter. we don’t have to keep perpetuating systems we fundamentally disagree with. we don’t have to pass on a legacy of inequality and sexism to our children. we don’t have to comprise our integrity to keep fitting in. change starts with us.
2) Interview with Dan Brennan [W]e should never treat persons as instruments for achieving our own agendas….This is foundational for a life-giving, holiness and reverence between the sexes in marriage and friendship.
3) Does Anyone Actually Belong in Church? I want to step back and ask, “What do we mean when we say we don’t feel like we belong in church?”
4) Why Young People Are Feeling Conservative Evangelicalism The report cites the tension felt by young adults who find it difficult—if not impossible—to remain “sexually pure,” especially since most heterosexuals don’t marry until their mid-to-late twenties.
5) A love note to the workaholic One of the most commonly held and dangerous myths about vulnerability is that being vulnerable means being weak.
6) Why Jeremy Lin Matters Given Lin’s clear profession of faith, Asian American Christians in particular embrace him both as fellow ethnic kin as well as a fellow believer.
7) Christianity Out, Religion In? In fact, these days more and more Americans are discontent with religion, and instead turn to spirituality to reconnect with God, themselves, and others.
8) When Words Become Flesh Our words must become flesh.
9) What’s the Point of Church Membership Perhaps the actual problem is that we don’t want to commit to a bunch of broken people who will inevitably hurt us and let us down. So we settle for tarnished intimacy and feigned vulnerability.
10) Gong Story My real agenda was not even to disciple her, but to make her more like me – and she saw straight through it. Who wants to be like a gong?
11) Amazing Gift: Stories of Faith, Disability and Inclusion “Anybody working toward including a particular group,” said Hartmut, “soon discovers that inclusive ministry does not stop there. It leads to many other groups, whose access to the holy table deserves equal attention.”
12) The Challenge of Disability to Christianity Persons with profound cognitive disabilities tend to teach us that the truly significant thing, the main thing, is located at the ineffable core of our being.
13) In which there is a crack in everything Here’s my own life, I’m determined to share it, to pour it out unfinished, imperfect.
14) Five Principles for Surviving Community [Community] is a purposing to stand hand in hand with a variety of others, for a variety of reasons, and to say somehow–”These are MY people.” while not obscuring the fact that countless others, yet unknown, could equally fit such a description.
Service: Social Justice Issues
1)Stolen Childhood: How Do We End the Use of Child Soldiers? [A]lmost 40% of child soldiers are girls. Not only do they serve as combatants, but many are also taken as “bush wives”, a term used by militia commanders to refer to sex slaves.
2) Crocheting for a Better Tomorrow [T]he cards are meant to serve as a reminder that we should remember to feel compassion and love for our neighbors both locally and globally.
3) Do We Have to Forgive Chris Brown? Something is very, very wrong when a story about Jesus protecting a woman from male violence is being used to protect a violent man from feminist criticism.
4) Finding Our Political Will to End Poverty Remarkably, we made it through 2011 without any major cuts to programs focused on hungry and poor people. We maintained the safety net in this country, and it is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.
5) Cost-Effective Compassion The difficulties in assessing the impact of antipoverty efforts only magnify the need for understanding the impacts of different types of programs.