Porn and the Failure of a Robust Evangelical Sexuality

I was reading the “MIM Porn Pandemic Handout,” the other day and thought I should write something about it. Psychiatrist Norman Doidge, author of the best-selling book The Brain That Changes Itself (Penguin, 2007), writes,

“Pornography, by offering an endless harem of sexual objects, hyperactivates the appetitive system. Porn viewers develop new maps in their brains, based on the photos and videos they see. Because it is a use-it-or-lose-it brain, when we develop a map area, we long to keep it activated. Just as our muscles become impatient for exercise if we’ve been sitting all day, so too do our senses hunger to be stimulated.”

To put this in very different terms, porn changes the way you view the world, yourself, and others. It gives you categories to place ideas and desires that alter how you engage reality. It is certainly not news that porn is ravaging the Christian world. But more importantly, perhaps, is the reality that as evangelicals we simply do not have categories of sexuality by which to respond personally or culturally to this epidemic. It is this point I want to hit on a bit.

continue reading

Metamorpha Retreat: Endurance

The ministry I co-founded, Metamorpha, is continuing to offer spiritual retreats based on the concept of virtue. The next retreat is on endurance. If you are in the Southern California area, this retreat will be on November 19-20. For more information and to sign up, follow this link.

Fighting Your Quarter-Life Crisis with a Good Cause

Rather than let my quarter-life crisis continue to be imminent as my twenty-fifth looms around the corner, I decided to be proactive.

When a man has a mid-life crisis, he either gets confused or depressed. If confused, he will likely buy a boat, a car, or that big TV he has always wanted. If depressed, he may become somber and run back to his old vice.

When a man has a quarter-life crisis, he either goes crazy or gets stupid. If crazy, he may start setting unreasonable, often selfish, goals. If stupid, he could do one of the countless things that men who aren't ready to grow up yet do--you know the story.

I have a goal setting personality type, which makes being unreasonable a risk for me. I've set way too many ridiculous goals in my life; and yet when I meet them, I rarely celebrate. Instead, I ponder what went wrong along the way or what I'm going to do next. Both of these steps are good things, but they've often hindered positive feelings. This means that no matter how successful my last year was, I always go into my birthday feeling like the year could have been better. Although I'm always thankful for my relationships--with Christ, my wife, family, friends, colleagues, and others--I rarely reflect on that. Instead, I'm stuck thinking about what didn't happen during the last year and what needs to happen in the next. Sometimes it's holy discontent, but other times, it's just unnecessary mourning.

continue reading
Sign-up for the Newsletter
Sign-up for the Newsletter
Get the latest updates on relevant news topics, engaging blogs and new site features. We're not annoying about it, so don't worry.