My Own Personal Bollywood

Bollywood movies crack me up. Every now and again a friend will send me a clip, a highlight, from one of the Bollywood blockbusters, and inevitably the scene is utterly preposterous. Many of these films are known for their far-too-long and over-the-top fight scenes where the mighty hero defies all the laws of physics and all the constraints of the human body to conquer an entire army of enemies—inevitably with fists a-flying. I suppose that people who enjoy Bollywood accept …

With Purity and Dignity

The Bible gives us many motivations to do battle with sin and to persist in putting sin to death. We battle sin because of a newfound desire for righteousness. We battle sin out of love and loyalty to Christ. We battle sin out of hatred for the consequences of sin. But one reason Christians too often overlook is this: We battle sin as an expression of love for others. In the first eight verses of 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul commands …

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We Are All Virgins Now

We Evangelicals are known for our obsession with virginity. Now don’t get me wrong–I affirm that it is good and God-honoring to remain sexually pure before marriage (and within marriage and after marriage). As a pastor I want to teach the people in my care the value of having their first sexual experiences with their spouse in the marriage bed and not with a prom date in the back of a car. I want my children to value sexual purity …

How Far Is Too Far?

Everyone has had to ask or answer the question at one time or another: When it comes to the physical component of a dating relationship, how far is too far? Can we hold hands? Can we kiss? Can we do a little bit more than kiss? Should we even explore the physical relationship a little bit to ensure we are compatible? I am accustomed to giving the easy answer: “It’s not about how far can we go, but how holy …

Compromising God’s Standards for Sexuality

As Christians we are adept at looking at the culture around us and seeing how it is violating God’s good standards when it comes to sexuality. Not too long ago, though, I was asked to reflect on the ways in which Christians may compromise God’s standards for sexuality–some of those hidden or sanctified sins in which we allow compromise in our lives, our marriages, our churches. I came up with five ways that Christians may compromise God’s standards for sexuality. …

Keeping Intimate Details Intimate

Once again I would like to take an opportunity to answer a question from a reader, and in this case, a question that deals with the frequency with which a husband and wife ought to engage in sexual relations with one another. Here’s the question, followed by my response. In a recent book review you said that it’s not wise for a husband and wife to tell anyone else how often they have sex together. Can you explain this a …

The Bible and Birth Control

I have been asked to write about the Christian position on birth control. This is something I have discussed in the past, but there are many ways to approach the topic and this time I would like to approach it from a bit of a different angle. I intend to share how I have gone about arriving at my own position. I will begin by immediately stating what the Bible clearly forbids when it comes to birth control. From there I …

Sex and the Mystery of Marriage

Last week I shared three articles titled A Picture-Perfect Marriage. That short series looked to Ephesians 5 and the great mystery that is marriage. I showed from that text that marriage is, and always has been, a portrait of Christ and his church. But at the end of it all I was left with a question: What is the role of the sexual relationship in this great mystery? I had to take a shot at answering that question at a …

Faithless Prayer

Acts 12 contains one of my favorite stories of the early church. It is a great little bit of writing–a short story in three acts. I was reflecting on that story recently and just had to tell you about it. The chapter begins with a description of Herod’s persecution against the church. In order to please his Jewish subjects Herod has James arrested and killed. This makes his subjects so happy that he then goes after Peter, throwing him in …

A La Carte (9/8)

Where Rock Stars Go to Die – Ted Kluck writes about Christian music. “I’m at Acquire the Fire, a huge, arena-level conference for teens. I have been told, in all earnestness, by a 19-year-old security guard wearing jeggings and six necklaces, that the only rules for being backstage at Acquire the Fire are ‘Don’t talk to the VIPs’ and ‘Don’t bother the VIPs.’” What Is the Mission of the Church? – I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long …