The Myth of Pro-life Hypocrisy, the Problem with Celebrity Christians, & the Alternative to Purity Culture

Wisdom for Your Weekend is your regular installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web. Presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with guidance from Pastor J.D., this is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”

While we do not always agree with everything these authors post, we share these resources because we find them challenging and enriching. As we often say around the Summit, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”

Articles of the Week

How Should Christians Have Sex? Katelyn Beaty. Many Christians coming of age in the 1990s and 2000s are familiar with the “purity culture” that Beaty describes here. Often unduly motivated by shame, this culture focused on the dangers of sex outside of marriage, rather than promoting the beauty of sex within marriage. In recent years, this approach has been critiqued, and rightly so. But as Beaty points out, we cannot simply ditch purity culture for the baseline ethic of consent. We still need the Bible’s radical, daunting, and extremely compelling approach to sex.

Celebrity Christians and Our Own Idolatry, Lore Ferguson Wilbert. There is a lot to lament about the reality of “Christian celebrity,” but Wilbert turns our attention to an unexpected place: ourselves. Perhaps our disappointment with Christian celebrities has less to do with them and more to do with us—with our unreasonable expectations that they are brands rather than people. There’s a biblical word for this, and it’s not a good one: idolatry.

Write in Plain English, Laura Brown. Do you have a job? Do you use words in your job? If so, this article is for you! We all know that we should speak and write clearly. But clichés and buzzwords sneak in as quickly as a hot knife through butter, and at the end of the day, we often don’t have the bandwidth to avoid them. Here are some actionable steps to help you move the needle.

Ideas Have Consequences, Al Mohler and Reflections on Critical Race Theory, Trevin Wax. During this year’s SBC Annual Meeting, the messengers approved Resolution 9, “On Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality.” This resolution has caused a bit of a dust-up, primarily from those who think the SBC is now in the thrall of a progressive agenda. Mohler and Wax offer some helpful perspectives on the resolution.

Pro-lifers Aren’t Hypocrites, Tish Harrison Warren. I (Chris) once heard a pro-life activist describe the pro-life cause as “walking the walk, but having a hard time talking the talk.” Her point was that those who want to end abortion, by and large, tend to live out their principles with integrity, but they often don’t express that holistic perspective well. But as Warren points out, the pro-life landscape is, in fact, remarkably pro-life.

On the Lighter Side

Honest Wedding Thoughts, John Crist. It’s wedding season! You may not be proud of these thoughts, but you know you’ve had them. (PS – I love how much Crist laughs at his own jokes.)