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.

Book review: “Modest: Men and women clothed in the gospel”


If the Holy Spirit was my personal shopper I wouldn’t have a problem. Long pants: modest. Short shorts: immodest. Long sleeve shirt: modest. Plunging neckline: immodest.
Modesty seems obvious, and would be simple if I could just get the right skirt length and be done with it—unfortunately the heart issue is more complicated. This is what Tim Challies and RW Glenn explore in Modest. (more…)

Our messy individualism


One of the more contentious topics tied up with the ongoing “gay marriage” debate in our western society is the question of adoption—that is, the adoption and fostering of children by homosexual couples. At one level, the concern is a very pragmatic one: why, the argument goes, should we be denying children loving homes? (more…)

An anatomy of sin

Life, Thought, Sola Panel

flickr: SashaW

The first stage in Paul’s announcement of the gospel of God’s grace is a concise anatomy of sin (Rom 1:18-32). Sin is, at its heart, a suppression of truth. This suppression of truth has a kind of logical progression to it: rejection of God (vv. 19-21) leads to worshipping the creation (vv. 22-23), then to sexual degradation (vv. 24-27), then to “all unrighteousness”, particularly rejection of family (v. 30), foolishness, faithlessness, heartlessness and ruthlessness (v. 31). Then there is the ultimate suppression of truth: the shameless promotion of sins committed by others (v. 32). At first glance, though, this logical progression might seem a little arbitrary. Does sexual immorality, for example, really lead people to approve of other people’s heartlessness and ruthlessness? (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…)

The truth that dare not speak its name (1)

Life, Sola Panel

We were reading the second half of Romans 1 in Bible study the other night, and I asked the group what they thought would happen around the water cooler at work if they actually expressed out loud what Romans 1 says about gay sex.

There was an awkward silence. (more…)

SSM – Not Again

Life, Thought, Sola Panel

Friends, this is a post I’d prefer to avoid. Same-sex marriage (SSM) is not something I want to focus on. But we don’t always get to choose which issues to discuss. And SSM really is the issue of the times. Everyone agrees, even if they’re weary of the topic. (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


If a prophet was preaching today

Up front

The prophet Ezekiel says some awful things about idolatry and its similarity with prostitution (Ezekiel 23). Israel is described as a whoring wife for worshipping other gods. Surprisingly, in an age when pole dancing is a hobby, I suspect his language would still manage to offend modern sensibilities. It made me wonder what the 21st-century prophet of humanist individualism might say… (more…)