Ten Myths About Premarital Sex

I recently picked up a copy of Premarital Sex in America by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker and was pleasantly surprised at some of the insights. While I have been writing, teaching, and speaking for years to both teens and adults on the issue of premarital sex, this book opened my eyes to some of the more important trends emerging today.

This blog is adapted from the last chapter in the book entitled, “The Power of Stories and Ten Myths about Sex in Emerging Adulthood.” The empirical data suggests that these are not true most of the time. There are exceptions, of course.

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Lessons From My Father (Part 1)

A couple weeks ago I received word that the great apologist Ron Carlson, father of my friends Jason and Jared Carlson, had suddenly died. My heart broke for the Carlson family, but I also know how proud they are of the life their father lived.

Given that my father is also an apologist, and a few years older than Ron, it got me thinking more than ever about the lessons I have learned from my dad. Below are a few of the first lessons that came to my mind. My dad has taught me so much about relationships, God, economics, and more, so it was a challenge to know where to begin!  These are just some of the key lessons that first came to my mind.

  • THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY ISSUE. It’s human nature to believe the first account we hear of an event, especially if it fits our preconceived notions. When we hear views favorable to our opinions (whether political, religious, or other) we tend to believe them, and if we hear views unfavorable to our opinions we tend to doubt them, even before we consider the evidence. My dad has told me countless times to weigh all the evidence before making up my mind. And I have seen him model this. He often says, “Remember, son, there are two sides to every issue. Try to understand both sides, and consider all the evidence, before making up your mind.” This is essentially the same wisdom Solomon gave to his son in Proverbs 18:17: “The first to speak in court sounds right—until the cross-examination begins.” Do you consider both sides before making up your mind?
  • BELIEVE THE BEST IN OTHERS. Years ago my wife and I worked for a college funding company. Some of our co-workers spoke negatively of the president of our company who we held (and still hold) in high regard. Rather than believing the rumors I went straight to the president, as my dad taught me, to get his side of the story and believe the best in him unless we found reliable evidence to the contrary. It turned out that our co-workers were totally misinformed and spreading hurtful rumors. I wish I could say I have always done this, as I’m sure there are many times I have not believed the best in other people. But this is a principle I try to live by. Do you believe the best in others?
  • WORK HARD. My dad is one of the hardest workers I have ever known. In fact, I have never met someone who worked harder than my dad. I can remember many early mornings and late nights seeing my dad writing and researching to get ahead. My father is certainly brilliant, but much of his success is due to his sheer determination to work hard. He applied this work ethic not just to his job but to his family as well. Seeing this in his life has motivated me to work hard in sports, school, work, and in my relationships, as well. Again, Solomon gave this advice to his son, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6). How hard do you work?
  • ENJOY LIFE. If you hang around my father for five minutes you will realize that he thoroughly enjoys life. In fact, if you are ever within a few hundred feet of him (especially at movie theaters!) you are certain to hear his signature laugh. He loves to tell jokes, relive funny incidents, and find the humor in almost anything. He is as intense about life as anyone I have ever met, and yet he always finds the joy in life. Do you enjoy life?
  • YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM. Whenever I started feeling sorry for myself growing up my father often reminded me of this principle. You may think this is easy for him to say, but if anyone would have the right to be a victim it would be my dad. He was sexually abused as a child, had an older sister commit suicide, and grew up with an alcoholic father. And yet he takes responsibility for his own life and refuses to see himself as a victim. In an age where it is in vogue to claim victimhood because of race, gender, sexual orientation, or some other factor, my father has refused to let me see myself as a victim. I may not choose my circumstances, but I do choose how to respond. Are you a victim?
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"The Unshakable Truth" Video

Check out this short video of The Unshakable Truth, the new book my dad and I wrote together. This was truly a special project as it was released in the 50th anniversary of my dad's ministry. It's really a milestone book for us, as it captures some of the key lessons my dad has learned over 5 decades in ministry. And, of course, I add a lot of stories and research from my own ministry and experience. EnjoyI

Check out this short video of The Unshakable Truth, the new book my dad and I wrote together. This was truly a special project as it was released in the 50th anniversary of my dad's ministry. It's really a milestone book for us, as it captures some of the key lessons my dad has learned over 5 decades in ministry. And, of course, I add a lot of stories and research from my own ministry and experience. EnjoyI

Oprah's New Prophet is Dwight Schrute???

I like the show the Office. I like Rainn Wilson who plays Dwight Schrute. He is hilarious. I like Oprah. But I can't stand the false doctrine that Oprah and Rainn promote.  

I wrote my book, Why Trust Jesus? and the book co-authored with Josh McDowell, "O" God for Christians!  Sadly, some of my peers have bought into a "social gospel" so much that we often feel apathetic to speak out against religious pluralism.  The Baha'i faith that Rainn holds to may seem open minded and inclusive, but in reality is very exclusive. For example, teachers of the Baha'i faith deny the doctrine of the Trinity. They are "intolerant" of it.

Now, in my book, I commend Oprah for reaching out to the poor. That's a good work. James, in chapter one, refers to taking care of orphans and widows as "pure religion." But religion is not the "gospel" and it won't take anyone into heaven. The so-called "New Spirituality" and pantheistic books that Oprah has endorses like Eckart Tolle's The Power of Now and Rhonda Byrne's The Secret are selling just as much as the books of New Atheists. We might not watch her show, but this woman has influence.  Watch this video of Oprah and Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight Schute), If you were sitting in a chair next to Oprah, how would you respond? What would you ask her? How would you present the true Gospel?

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