photo | Martin Lopatka via flickr

50 shades of white


A couple of days ago I had a moment. Okay, it wasn’t just a moment. It was a few hours. I could tell you how it wasn’t really my fault. How I just followed a link from someone, read about her passion for fiction and clicked on a book in a series that she’s into. (more…)

→ Is Chastity Possible?


Michael Jensen asks whether the Bible’s teaching on human sexuality is even possible to fulfil:

So is Christian teaching on sexual abstinence unreasonable and unachievable? Is it simply nonsensical to tell the young couple in their twenties to wait for marriage to have sex when they can’t keep their hands off each other? Is it unreasonable and unliveable to tell a married man with a sick wife that he needs to be faithful to her, despite his growing awareness of his needs? Is it cruel to tell a single woman in her thirties that waiting for a Christian husband is better than the alternative— even if this means not having a husband at all?

Good to read, particularly on the counterproductive ways the Christian community talks about sexual purity.

“What do you saw when…?” Office small talk

Everyday Ministry, Up front

It’s Monday morning. Another working week begins. You walk through the office hallway, thinking about the tasks you need to get done today. You make eye contact with a colleague, and throw out a casual, “Hey, how was your weekend?” He looks tired, and he stares blankly into the distance and replies restlessly, “My girlfriend walked out. She’s been sleeping with my best mate.” Do you automatically respond by wondering what the office boundaries are for over-sharing? Are you filled with compassion or judgement for your colleague? Or do you feel just plain uncomfortable, and blush? What words, if any, do you reply with? (more…)

Word-watch: lessons from a naïve blogger

Everyday Ministry, Sola Panel

A few days ago I wrote a short article in which I used the word ‘submission.’ I’ve just now realized that by using this word, I was being a bit naïve. The realization of my own naivety came when I read Kara Martin’s helpful review of the book Fifty Shades of Grey on the Sydney Anglicans website. Kara’s review made me realize that what we Christians mean when we use the word ‘submission’ is often entirely different to what our non-Christian world thinks when it hears the word ‘submission.’ That’s because Christians and non-Christians are spending their time reading two very different books. As a result, Christians and non-Christians are having their passions and desires shaped by two very different worldviews. (more…)

Escaping pornography


When my grandfather was a boy, porn was something that was, for most people, hard to come by. It was the postcard passed around, the naughty story shared. While there was a sex industry—prostitutes, strip clubs, and the like—for most people this was the dark side of society, a place they never visited, rarely talked about. It was certainly not mainstream. (more…)

Plastic language, plastic marriage


I guess it is no surprise that the gay community are pressing for a change to the definition of marriage in the Commonwealth Marriage Act. I have been rather more surprised at the number of ‘ordinary Australians’ who apparently (at least according to the media) support the change. I have been absolutely amazed at the buzz amongst some quarters of the Christian community that we should lay down and die on this one.

But perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised and amazed.


Love, sex and romance: Sexual purity for every woman

A few years ago our women’s discussion group asked a friend to talk about sex within marriage. Some­­one brought a cake, and I remember lots of laughter—perhaps a little too much!—as we chatted about how to love our husbands sexually. The discussion leader answered our questions honestly and helpfully, but when someone asked about masturbation, she said, “I’d have to ask a guy that one”. The question this raised for me was, “Why? Is this really only an issue for men?”

Raising kids in a sex-crazed world


Imagine living in a world where husbands wooed their wives with Adam’s passion—bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh—and sex was enjoyed. Imagine living in a world where, after the stress of each day, husbands and wives found comfort in sexual intimacy as David did with his wife after the death of their child. Imagine living in a world in which the only reason for not having sex with your marriage partner was the urgency of prayer. It would be a sex-crazed world.1


Purity in the age of mobile porn

Up front

Until recently, I’d not owned a mobile phone. But I was aware of the growing need for one: as the kids get older, my family seems more and more reliant on using mobiles to keep in touch. It was inevitable; resistance was futile.


Who’s telling the story?



One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is that it’s always a good idea to know who’s telling you the story and why they are telling it. These are particularly important questions to ask when it comes to telling the story of sex in our society. (To see why telling the story of sex is important, see my original post on writing an evangelistic talk about sex.) In God’s kindness, while wandering aimlessly around the net earlier in the year, preparing for a talk on pornography (there’s a theme here!), I stumbled across a fascinating masters thesis on sex in advertising by Ilona Pawlowski at Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand. (more…)


Resource Talk


This is the final instalment in my series of posts introducing the range of new Matthias Media resources that have just arrived in. And today’s takes a bit of explaining. Here goes…

One of the issues we’ve grappled with for many years at Matthias Media relates to our monthly magazine, The Briefing. Each year, writers and editors pour countless hours of thought and hard work into putting together helpful magazine-length articles on a wide range of important topics. The people who happen to be subscribing to The Briefing at that time get the benefit of reading that article. But once it is published, that’s pretty much it; it’s unlikely to see the light of day again or be read by anyone else.

Frankly, magazine publishing often feels a bit ‘vapour-ish’ in an Ecclesiastes kind of a way: here one month, gone the next. Which is a shame, because the articles we publish are extremely useful material.


The noughties version of the devil made me do it?



My recent posts have been about my thinking and preparation for an evangelistic talk on the topic ‘Free for sex or living in bondage?’. Obviously the title assumes that if you don’t have a Christian view of humanity and sexuality, you are living in bondage. So is there any argument to be made that the modern secular view of sex is, in fact, bondage of some kind?


Christians and the 1950s



I began a series last Thursday about the process I’ve been through in writing an evangelistic talk on the topic of sex. We started off by thinking a bit about the secular story of sex. But it occurred to me fairly early on that Christians have a problem when it comes to communicating about their moral worldview. Everybody thinks that we just want to live back in the 1950s.