Consumerism in the Church

Consumerism in the Church

As I’ve written these last few months about the issues that divide us, I recognize that there’s a pervasive cultural reality that has a great impact upon the way we relate to one another. That’s because it’s also prevalent in the church. It’s consumerism.

When we interact with others on a consumerist level, we turn people into objects and use them. We relate primarily on the basis of what we might get. We become a world of consumers with goods to be bought and sold. We run on greed —the desire to profit from each other by the transactions we have.

[Read more…]

What Happens When Dating Dies

What Happens When Dating Dies

In my last post, I introduced you to what’s happening in today’s relationship culture among young adults. Dating is actually dead, and rampant attachment anxiety means that “hooking up” is the norm. Men and women are not burdened with commitment in their relationships.

So, what does this mean for the next generation? I think it’s some pretty scary stuff.

[Read more…]

If Dating Is Dead, What’s Next?

If Dating Is Dead, What’s Next?

My role on university campuses for the past 30 years has given me a front row seat for the movie titled Dating. Relationships between college students have become so nebulous that the defining question on campus is, “Is this a date?”

I owe my understanding of the cultural shift in dating to Dr. Scott Stanley. He visited Trevecca Nazarene University in the fall of 2014 and lectured on the topic “Sliding vs. Deciding.” Dr. Stanley is a research psychologist and professor at the University of Denver and is a recognized specialist on cohabitation (living together without being married). His assumption is that dating builds the necessary foundation skills for commitment in marriage and that the demise of dating has left us sliding into relationships rather than deciding about relationships.

[Read more…]

Sex Is Good

Sex Is Good

Sex is good. I agree. I agree wholeheartedly without reservation.

Some Christian studies have gone as far as statistical analysis on the matter of whether Christians have better sex than the rest of the world. These studies are cute, and maybe make a point, but I’m not sure they are useful to the Christian story. I’m not sure the game is won by the side that proves it has the best sex. Do we really want to compete at pure hedonism? And if we win, what have we proved?

Sex is good, but it is not the essence of life. Sex is wonderful, but it is not the most wonderful thing about being human. Sex is not the goal of relationships. Sex is not even a basic human need. It is a desire, a craving, a want. It is not a human need. Food, air, water—those are human needs. I have yet to do the funeral of anyone who died from a lack of sex or to see it as the cause of expiration on a death certificate.

[Read more…]

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With LOVE TO STAY

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With LOVE TO STAY

It’s Valentine’s Day! Are you ready? I’m sure you’ve already gathered cards, chocolates, and flowers for your loved ones, haven’t you?

The holiday gives us the chance to reflect and celebrate our special relationships. I can think of no better way to do that than with Love to Stay: Sex, Grace, and Commitment by Adam Hamilton (Abingdon Press, 2013). If you’ve still got some shopping to do, this book would make a great gift for your spouse (and your marriage).

[Read more…]