One thing that keeps me showing up at this intersection between God and life is you and your musings. I hope you’ll keep leaving them here. Here is what some of you have been saying…
Saint and sinner Briana from Wheaton, IL had this to say in response to Centuries of Institutional Church Chauvinism…Based on a Mistake?: I’m so impressed by your writing and continue to avidly read what you write on this column. My question on this would be: for seekers, wouldn’t this call into question both Biblical inerrancy as well as the questions, why would God “perpetuate” centuries of chauvinism if He had the capacity to omit the error somehow? Just a question, as I don’t know whether these things are applicable.
In response to Briana I write: First, thank you for reading! I really appreciate your engagement of these issues and these questions are right-on. Second, your question inspired me to research the definition and history of “biblical inerrancy.” Interestingly, biblical inerrancy only applies to original manuscripts—-so, in other words, it is technically not a conflict for evangelicals to uphold their view that the Bible is inerrant while also acknowledging the possibility that revisions of those original manuscripts are erroneous. As for seekers and whether this sort of conversation might close their minds to Christianity…I tend to agree with St. Anselm that “faith seeks understanding” and that all Christians should at the end of the day be “seekers.” Thanks again for reading, and I hope you’ll keep coming back to converse here at this intersection.
Saint and sinner Jennifer, responding to Flirt to Convert: The Promise and Peril of Missionary Dating—which I’m now noticing was a very popular post for this site with 399 shares— asks this: How did you navigate the possibility of sexual temptation in your dating relationship with an unbeliever? It seems that a couple of years of dating would be a long time for a non-Christian man to not engage in sex or pressure his girlfriend to engage in it. I’m glad that everything worked out for you both. But is it wise to recommend dating non-Christian men to Christian women, given that men typically have stronger sex drives?
I’ve suggested to Jennifer that her question be put before the rest of us saints and sinners at this intersection between God and life. What is your wisdom here? I’ve looked for my response to Jennifer and can’t find it for some reason…but to summarize my response, I would say that no, I’m not recommending dating non-Christian men; nor am I recommending dating Christian men who (based on my own very unscientific personal experience) have just about as many hang-ups in the arena of sexuality as non-Christian men. (My post in response to a friend whose husband has a porn addiction is one example.) And, for more personal experience in the arena of premarital sex, you might also read my chapter “True Love Waits” in Grace Sticks.
All of this to say…from my married vantage point, which is no promised land either, I can say that the whole dating scene looks pretty depressing for contemporary singles these days, and my heart goes out to all men and ladies having to traverse it. May you walk carefully and avoid the landmines, with God’s help. And, contrary to what Mike Huckabee would have us believe, many of us, not just women who are motivated to use birth control, have probably at one time or another experienced strong sexual libidos.
Finally, saint and sinner Andre added one of his pet peeves to the list of Christian Code Words—this second post adds an addition.Here is Andre: I really hate this one: “God wants you to get out of your comfort zone.” Double barf. I have two problems with this. First, it uses such needlessly negative reinforcement, why not say, God wants to expand your comfort zone? Does it really always have to be uncomfortable for it to be from God? I know that growth is not always comfortable, but not always. But the larger issue is this. When a person says, “God wants you to get out of your comfort zone,” it’s code for saying, I want you to live up to my expectations, or conform to my agenda, but I’m going to use God’s name because if I say it’s from God, you can’t argue with me. After all, it’s God talking, not me.
Andre, Briana and Jennifer, keep the brilliance coming. Got any nuggets to share with them and me? Leave them below, and keep me writing here at this intersection between life and God.