Burritos, IKEA diagrams and Lust

A lot of the time when we read the Bible we come away even more confused than we did going into it. For a ‘Christian manual’ it makes all the sense of an instruction diagram in an IKEA flat pack. (Hang on why does screw 163758 look exactly the same as 384912? Why does that weird cartoon alien guy still look happy doing this? I think the cupboard’s done… wait what’s that weird noise and where is the cat?) Continue reading

Wake Up, Sleeper

There is a song on Gungor’s “Ghosts Upon the Earth” album called “Wake Up, Sleeper”. It’s groovy, folkish, liturgical prog feel (as in what’s your favorite groovy, folk, liturgical prog band?) is interrupted about half way through by an electronic sounding baseline that seemingly doesn’t fit into the song. The first time I heard it, I was caught completely off guard. Not only was it unlike anything that Gungor had produced before it was almost as if I hadn’t really been listening to the song. But once the baseline kicked in I was alert to the song in a new way.

It took on new meaning. It took on new life. I felt an energy in the song that made me want to listen to nothing but this baseline ever again.

If it was an intentional attempt to have the music correspond with the theme of the song, it worked beautifully.

I only bring this up because I want to talk about porn (you didn’t see that coming did you?) Continue reading

7 (Alternative) Reasons To Stop Looking At Porn.

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Much of religion is focused on what we shouldn’t do and why we shouldn’t do it. Undoubtedly there are things that we do to ourselves and others that cause pain and hurt. But is living in the constant fear of messing up and what that might mean, a good and free way of living for a Christian. There is a difference between not doing A so that B won’t happen (fear driven behavior) and choosing to live in another way, so that this will happen (Love driven behavior).

When it comes to addressing issues like porn addiction a more helpful approach is to move away from highlighting the shame that it might cause you and your community and instead focusing on how bringing it to light will bring life and joy and fullness instead.

Love always trumps shame.

So as a compliment to a recent blog post I read by Tim Challies on why you should stop looking at porn I want to offer some thoughts on how we should think about sin and 7 alternative reasons to not look at porn. Continue reading

“I love you, and I’m here…that’s all I got”

If you’ve been keeping track of the latest season of Louie, you will have seen the show take a slightly different route than previous seasons. For a couple of recent episodes most of the comedic noir take on life of a divorced, stand up comic Dad with his two daughters in New York has been exchanged for a more poignant perspective on Fatherhood. Especially coping with the challenges of facing up to the same mistakes you made as a kid coming back to haunt you through your own kids. Continue reading

Oversimplifying sin. Or why sin is not what you think.

A couple of days I wrote a blog that kind of went crazy. In it I questioned the manner that John Piper spoke about porn in a sermon.

Needless to say I got a lot of flack from some people. Yet I also received a lot of comments from people who had been hurt by similar styles of talking about sin in Church. I didn’t write it for John Piper fans. I wrote it for those very people whose voice has been lost because the church has piled on more and more shame.

Reading and responding to the comments it became quickly apparent that this had become something bigger than just about a view of porn addiction. Continue reading

Why John Piper is wrong about Porn

Several years ago I read an article by a Pastor I had never heard of but which transformed the way I thought about sin and addiction and their consequences. I had been a porn addict for a few years already and John Piper’s words filled me with hope and peace and strength. I still come back to this article even now and if you are struggling with porn or any sin for that matter I really, really can’t recommend it enough. Continue reading