Abstinence and ‘Purity Culture’ Are Often Conflated but Aren’t The Same, Tim Keller Explains, by B. Showalter

Abstinence and ‘Purity Culture’ Are Often Conflated but Aren’t The Same, Tim Keller Explains 

I’m not totally in agreement on Keller (Link) on everything, but he is correct that too many believers (Link): falsely conflate the concepts of being sexually abstinent outside of marriage with the faults in purity culture and unfortunately ditch the concept altogether.

Yet other Christians (Link): falsely believe and teach that the Bible does not support the practice of remaining a virgin until marriage.

The progressive Christians (and (Link): occasionally, doofus conservatives) try to ease the guilty consciences of fornicators (Link): by downplaying fornication.

(Link): Abstinence and ‘Purity Culture’ Are Often Conflated but Aren’t The Same, Tim Keller Explains 

April 17, 2021

by Brandon Showalter

What’s often referred to as “purity culture” is not the same thing as remaining sexually abstinent outside of marriage, though many conflate the two, according to Tim Keller, founder and former pastor of Redeemer Church in New York City.

Keller explained in a Facebook post that in the early church, the Christian sexual ethic — that “sex was only for within a mutual, whole-self-giving, super-consensual life-long covenant” — was “revolutionary,” given the prevailing Greco-Roman ethic of the day.

Continue reading “Abstinence and ‘Purity Culture’ Are Often Conflated but Aren’t The Same, Tim Keller Explains, by B. Showalter”

A Table For One: A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time (podcast and free book on singleness from author Kinneret Lahad)

A Table For One: Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time (podcast and free book on singleness from author Kinneret Lahad)

The author was also offering a free (yes, free – and it’s totally legal) download or copy of her book about singleness (a book which I have not read; I may do so later).

I did listen to the interview she gave for the podcast linked to here:

(Link): A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time
^ Podcast on that Page

Why are you still single?

This question is often asked of single women, especially those who are deemed by loved ones or friends to be too old to be single.

In her newest book, A Table for One: A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time(Manchester University Press, 2017), Kinneret Lahad analyzes this undertheorized aspect of the gendered experience.

Singlehood is inextricably linked to a post-structural analysis of time: not only are single women judged on their single status based on how old they are, but Lahad argues that being single often ages women at a faster rate in the eyes of others.

Continue reading “A Table For One: A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time (podcast and free book on singleness from author Kinneret Lahad)”

What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway

What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway

The following article (book review) from Christianity Today covers several topics about singleness and the church I’ve been pointing out on this blog for literally years now.

One big point it brings up that I have: there are more single Christian women in the church than there are single Christian men. This means if a Christian single female insists upon following the “equally yoked” rule (that states a Christian may only marry another Christian), she will remain single.

If you are a single Christian woman who desires marriage, it is imperative you ditch the ‘equally yoked’ rule. You must learn to judge men based on their character, not what their stated religious beliefs are.

(Link): What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway

Excerpts:

New survey research sheds light on how believers navigate the stickier matters of dating and marriage.

July 10, 2019

Over the years, Christians have produced and read far more books on how relationships and singleness should work than on how these things actuallydo pan out. Vicky Walker’s new book Relatable: Exploring God, Love, & Connection in the Age of Choice, based on a survey of more than 1,400 people, aims to change that.

Walker writes from a more-or-less Protestant British perspective, but American Christians will find much they recognize.

Over the course of 12 chapters and several appendices, Relatable covers everything from the history of marriage to typical teachings on gender roles to, of course, sex. But she also gets into stickier matters like the role of technology and the church’s significant sex-ratio gap—the latter a topic that raises questions of dating outside the faith.

Continue reading “What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway”

Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality by W. Hill

Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality by W. Hill

I recognize there are flaws with Christian “Purity Culture,” but the response to those flaws (usually by liberal Christians) is just as bad.

The liberal Christians, or others who are opposed to Christian sexual purity teachings, want to reject about any and all sexual boundaries, in the process of rebelling against Christian purity teaching.

However, not all of Christian purity teaching is bad – something the anti-Purity Culture advocates don’t want to admit or discuss.

As I’ve pointed out in older posts, the anti-Purity Culture movement ends up alienating and marginalizing any adults who do choose to remain celibate or virgins until marriage.

We’re living in an age and culture where a lot of us are demanded to respect any and all sexual behaviors, except for virginity and celibacy; those are mocked, as are those who practice them. The tolerance goes only one-way with many Anti-Purity Culture adherents.

(Link): Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality 

By W. Hill, Feb 2019

Excerpts:

We can’t defeat shame by whittling down God’s law to fit our behavior. We need the good news of God’s forgiveness instead

….Doing Away with Absolution

Unfortunately, the pastor who talked up the liberation that comes from admitting you’re in the wrong now seems more interested in helping people understand why they don’t need to.

In her new book, Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, Bolz-Weber is out to set Christians free from the angst and humiliation churches have often foisted on them because of their sexual proclivities and behaviors.

But the way the book goes about doing so is by rejecting wholesale the idea of “sexual purity” and, with it, the need to confess sexual transgression.

Continue reading “Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality by W. Hill”

Unmarried and Undaunted by G. Dalfonzo

Unmarried and Undaunted by G. Dalfonzo

I am not a member of this site, so I cannot access the full article.

My one criticism of this, from what I’ve seen of this little portion, is that it seems to spiritualize singleness.

Spiritualizing it in this manner might possibly bring more respect to adult singles from a Christian marriage-worshipping, Christian marriage-obsessed culture, but for those Christians over the age of 40 who had hoped to marry, this spiritualizing of singleness, to make it sound spiritually noble, is white-washing things.

(Link): Unmarried and Undaunted

Excerpt, from their free article preview:

How singleness can inspire faithful service and hope for the Resurrection.

Christina Hitchcock always assumed she would get married one day. But as years went by and it didn’t happen, she found herself trying to piece together a vision of life without marriage.

Even though she’s now married, Hitchcock, who teaches theology at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, wrote The Significance of Singleness: A Theological Vision for the Future of the Church to show how singleness is a valuable way of life that points us to true fulfillment in Christ.

CT features editor Gina Dalfonzo spoke with Hitchcock about cultivating a renewed understanding of singleness for the whole church.

Why is the vision provided by singleness so important for the church?

Paul’s endorsement of singleness in 1 Corinthians 7 isn’t merely about having more missionaries, more martyrs, or more people with more time for the church. Singleness has theological significance because it tells us something important about who God is and what God is doing.

Continue reading “Unmarried and Undaunted by G. Dalfonzo”

Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey

Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey

I’ve noted in older posts how terrible Christian advice on the subjects of dating, marriage, and relationships are – if you’d like to see my posts on those subjects, some of them are linked to below, at the bottom of this post under the “Related Posts” section.

By the way, I would ask you to click on this link below to go to the page and read it, but, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to read any posts by single adults who leave comments, including one comment by a 60 year old lady with the screen name “janep75_2173,” who has been divorced for 20+ years, on how badly her local church treats her for being single.

(Link): Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized

What’s missing from Christian books on dating, singleness, and purity

Excerpts:

…. [The author discusses having read numerous Christian books about dating, marriage, and relationships when she was a teen-ager]

….Our theology of singleness and the “not-yet-married” has gone unmonitored, unchanged, and unimpressive for too long. Much of it is built on outdated gender roles and unhelpful clichés that don’t apply easily to today’s dating world.

For example, many of these books assume that sexual attraction is the “burden” of men and not something women struggle with.

Or, many of these books assume that men will lead a dating relationship and women will follow. Others encourage men and women to avoid and fear each other to avoid “stumbling.”

Continue reading “Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey”

The Good News About Our Longings: Sexuality and Spirituality by R. Villados

I suppose in some ways this is an okay article.

The guy who wrote it is kind of doing a take on some book or article he read about how Christians should approach sexuality, which is all well and good, but the article basically concludes by saying the solution for the chaste is to view Christianity as a “banquet.”

I know you’re randy and want to have actual sex with an actual person, but just think about how great Jesus is and that will take care of it, seems to be the conclusion.

I’ve seen this approach before to this issue by other Christians, but it does not satisfy me. It spiritualizes away a primal, very real and physical desire.

Telling me to imagine pretty sun sets if I have a craving for a piece of lasagna is not going to help me want the lasagna less.

(Link): The Good News About Our Longings: Sexuality and Spirituality by R. Villados

Excerpts

…At the core of this interplay between sexuality and spirituality is desire and longing.

What we do with our sexual desires and longings says a lot about what we believe about God. Which is why we need to clearly define terms.

…Defining spirituality and sexuality can seem like a daunting task because there’s lots of confusion with these words, so in offering a simple way forward, I have found Deb Hirsch’s definitions (found in her book, Redeeming Sex) instructive.

Continue reading “The Good News About Our Longings: Sexuality and Spirituality by R. Villados”

Joy Beth Smith Interviewed About Being a Christian Adult Single

Joy Beth Smith Interviewed About Being a Christian Adult Single

Joy Beth Smith wrote a book about Christian adult singleness called “Party For One” and was interviewed about it on the Christian program “700 Club.”

(Link):  The Subtle Art of Singleness

The Waiting

Joy Beth was raised by her mom and grew up in the Baptist church.

She participated in the True Love Waits movement where young girls betrothed themselves to Jesus and wore promise rings while saving themselves for their future husbands.

When Joy Beth was in 7th grade, she started writing love letters to this future husband and continued this practice for 10 years.  “I wrote letters all the way through college,” says Joy Beth.

She spent hours recording details of her life but one day at age 22, Joy Beth realized that she couldn’t imagine any man enjoying the experience of reading hundreds of repetitive letters.

Continue reading “Joy Beth Smith Interviewed About Being a Christian Adult Single”

My Thoughts Regarding the Article The Hard Truth About Mr. Right by Joy Beth Smith

My Thoughts Regarding the Article The Hard Truth About Mr. Right by Joy Beth Smith

This was an article or a series of excerpts by some up and coming book about singleness. Here are some of my thoughts about it.

(Link):  The Hard Truth About Mr. Right by Joy Beth Smith

A few points where I agree with the article: yes, as one gets older (assuming one wants marriage), one feels more and more pressure, and it gets stressful or sad to see one’s peers getting married off while one is still single. Yes, dating can be horrible and exhausting.

I get the feeling that Ms. Smith is in her 20s or 30s, and her article (or book) is perhaps aimed at younger singles.

I’m in between the ages of 45 and 50  myself presently, so maybe I’m older than her target demographic.  I was engaged to a guy from my late 20s into my early 30s and broke things off with him, but I have never been married.

I’m not sure if my age matters or not, but my age might mean that I’m able to spot wonky thinking in this article that a younger single may be blind to.

Continue reading “My Thoughts Regarding the Article The Hard Truth About Mr. Right by Joy Beth Smith”

Dating Is A Cess Pool and Other Lessons I’m Learning by Joy Beth Smith

Dating Is A Cess Pool and Other Lessons I’m Learning by Joy Beth Smith

(Link): Dating Is A Cess Pool and Other Lessons I’m Learning by Joy Beth Smith

Jan 17, 2018

by Joy Beth Smith

There is nothing wrong with you!

Dear Single Ladies,

There is nothing wrong with you!

Every Wednesday leading up to that Holiday- Beginning- With- A- V- That- Shall- Not- Be- Named — inspirational, hilarious, and ridiculously-relatable Christian Post contributor Joy Beth Smith is offering a fresh perspective on flying solo, in a 5-part series, based on her upcoming book Party of One: Truth, Longing, and the Subtle Art of Singleness (available for pre-order now, and wherever books are sold on Feb. 6).
This week… Dating Is a Cesspool, and Other Lessons I’m Learning.


“The purpose of dating is marriage.” I remember sitting at a conference and hearing the youth pastor, with thickly gelled hair and fervor in his eyes, say this. Heads nodded along, offering up their own silent amens.

These affirmations only spurred him on:

“And I don’t understand why our young people are dating folks that they can’t see themselves marrying. If you know that you want to head to the altar, you don’t take a detour. You take the most direct route, and that means pursuing godly girls and godly guys who you can picture the rest of your life with.”

I was hanging onto every word he said.

After all, it sounds good, right? If there’s a shortcut, you take it. If the purpose of dating is marriage, you only date people you can see yourself marrying.

There’s a lot that makes sense here, but the practical application of this philosophy has left me (and other wonderful, beautiful women like me) painfully single for the last two decades.

Continue reading “Dating Is A Cess Pool and Other Lessons I’m Learning by Joy Beth Smith”

Author Claims Andrea Tantaros’ Book About How Feminism ‘Made Women Miserable’ Was Ghostwritten by a Man

Author Claims Andrea Tantaros’ Book About How Feminism ‘Made Women Miserable’ Was Ghostwritten by a Man

Judge Won’t Let Andrea Tantaros Keep Secret Her Feminism Book Was Ghostwritten By Man

I wrote a review (or critique) of this book a few months ago. In my review, I noted it was a variation on the old conservative saw to blame feminism for why single women are having a difficult time getting dates or getting married.

I disagree. I lived life as a June Cleaver house-wife type (meaning, though I was single, I very docile, passive, sweet, ladylike) for decades, and I never got married.

Being a conservative ideal of a woman is not a guarantee you’re going to get dates or get married, so my fellow conservatives can kindly stop promoting that view.

So, as it turns out, a man – yes, a man – wrote the “anti feminist” book with Tantaros’ name on it, telling women if they want to get a man and keep one, to ditch their independence, their agency, and behave like doormats.

(Link):  Judge Will Not Allow Former Fox News Host to Conceal Identity of Her Feminism-Bashing Book’s Male Ghostwriter

(Link): Author Claims Andrea Tantaros’ Book About How Feminism ‘Made Women Miserable” Was Ghostwritten by a Man

Excerpts

Former Fox News starlet Andrea Tantaros made a name of herself in the conservative echelons of cable news punditry by (Link): blaming feminists for everything from the decline of marriage to statutory rape.

So when her book Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable was released last year it seemed par for the course that she would dedicate hundreds of pages to how she— a capable, self-sufficient, feminine anti-feminist— was so much better off than her feminist counterparts.

Continue reading “Author Claims Andrea Tantaros’ Book About How Feminism ‘Made Women Miserable’ Was Ghostwritten by a Man”

The Reason Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others by D. Brennan

The Reason Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others by D. Brennan

If you’re a single woman who’d like to be married, you definitely need to read the following page. It’s very long but well worth the read.

I will only copy some excerpts from the page, not the entire thing.

(Link): The Reason Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others

He’s not a dating expert, nor an advice columnist, psychologist or relationship therapist. His expertise lies in the field of market research and he applies his scientific skills to educate women with all they need to know about men.

In his book, “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others,” author John Molloy says that women will discover the proven facts and figures that will help them find and marry Mr. Right. Here’s an excerpt:

Is he old enough to marry?

This survey uncovered some interesting facts. The first was that there is an age when a man is ready to marry-the Age of Commitment. The age varies from man to man, but there are patterns that are easily identified:

  • …Once men reach age 47 to 50 without marrying, the chances they will marry do not disappear, but they drop dramatically.

Signing off on the scene

When we conducted a focus group with 12 men who had just proposed to women, we learned that men were far more likely to marry when they got tired of the singles scene.

…They had not stopped dating. It’s just that they were no longer going to singles hangouts and trying to pick up women several times a week.

…There were two notable exceptions to the age guidelines: men who were balding or heavy. Losing hair or putting on weight often makes men look older, and when a man looks older in singles places, he is often treated by the women as if he doesn’t belong.

Bachelors for life?

It’s easy to spot a confirmed bachelor. He’s so used to living alone that he will list the pleasures of the solo life-coming and going as he pleases, not answering to anyone as reasons for not marrying. But there’s still hope.

Continue reading “The Reason Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others by D. Brennan”