Rebuking the Romance Prosperity Gospel

If you are a Biblical Christian, and particularly a single Christian, then you have enough struggles concerning purity, cultural marriage-redefinition, and relationships. The last thing you need is impure teaching, bad marriage definitions, and worse relationship counsel from evangelicals. Yet for years, and often without knowing it, we’ve experienced exactly these things from segments of the well-meaning Evangelical-Industrial Complex.Recently I termed this the “Romance Prosperity Gospel” (R … [Read more...]

Virgin Tales and the Romance Prosperity Gospel

A new evangelical “documentary” movie’s trailer starts out typical. Young women pledge to stay virgins until marriage. An evangelical song plays. Younger girls dance in lacy white.Then we see a woman kneeling for her fatherly/priestly blessing. Later we hear another woman say, “I’ve just always known that I wanted to be a wife and a mother. I would hate to go off and spend thousands of dollars on an education that I wouldn’t use.”Wait — wasn’t this presentation about staying pure before m … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Remembering ‘The Office’… and Our Vows

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.After a long hiatus, I tuned in for Thursday’s series finale of The Office, having been persuaded by Amy Lepine Peterson’s thoughtful commentary. I started to work backward too, and found myself particularly moved by the “Paper Airplanes” episode scene where Jim embraces Pam and she resists -- at first. She’s frustrated that he’s putting work first again, and he’s … [Read more...]

Could You Survive Alone With Your Spouse For A Year?

My wife often likes to tell this anecdote about our honeymoon, because it highlights one of the great differences between our personalities, and it reveals our naiveté as newlyweds. We honeymooned in Washington state, and did a lot of driving through its beautiful countryside. My wife likes to talk while driving: about where we're going, what we're going to do, and so forth. I, however, dislike talking while driving. I prefer to simply absorb the passing scenery, preferably while listening to so … [Read more...]

A Downton Abbey Valentine: What to Make of Marriage in Season Three

Note: This post contains spoilers for Season 3 of Downton Abbey.Like much of Britain and America, we here at Christ and Pop Culture love us some Downton Abbey, the Julian Fellowes television series that traces the lives of a family of English nobles and their servants over the course of the early twentieth century. One of the most recent exchanges on the series came in dueling articles published at The Atlantic. On February 6, Meghan Lewit contended that the “show is terrible at romance” and … [Read more...]

A Marriage Ink Blot

As the Supreme Court prepares to here DOMA and Prop 8 challenges this March, we should all reflect on the central question of the debate: What is marriage? I take the inquiry from the title of an article and a book by three great scholars, one of whom I have the pleasure of knowing personally.So consider this as a kind of teaser.The law of contracts requires parties to meet a high capacity requirement, attempting to secure a fair playing field for free private agreements. For instance, … [Read more...]

Feminine Appeal: The Casualties of Casual Sex

Join Faith Newport and Erin Straza each week for Feminine Appeal, an e-discussion bringing a female perspective to the latest in cultural happenings and hubbub.Faith: Now that it's finally over, one of the things that stood out the most to me when reflecting on this election were all of the (often ill-advised) comments politicians made about rape as it relates to abortion. One in particular, Rep. Roger Rivard's "some girls rape easy" comment really got me thinking. It seems like all too … [Read more...]

The Female Gaze: No One Wins When Men and Women Play for Power

Each week in The Female Gaze, Faith Newport engages the trends, events, and issues that affect women—and the men who care about them.If there's one thing I'm really tired of in Christian culture, it's the seemingly constant grab for power. Some days, I see it almost everywhere I look. The people who spend thousands of dollars trying to boycott one law or another—or to get new laws on the books prohibiting this or that. The frenzied voices of our "culture wars" as everyone tries to out-shout and … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: The Power of Complements and Egalitarians

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.Last week, Rachel Held Evans organized a blogging event to promote egalitarianism titled the "Mutuality 2012 Synchroblog." Along with other bloggers, Evans wrote a few thoughtful articles on "mutuality" (egalitarianism), including one particularly interesting post on the ways in which Greco-Roman household codes might have influenced Paul's … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Ian and Larissa

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Ian and Larissa were very much in love, and from all outward signs their relationship was moving toward marriage. But in 2006, Ian received a traumatic brain injury in a terrible car accident, leaving him in ICU. He eventually made it to rehab and was able to return home, though the effects of the injury were severe and left him in need of constant … [Read more...]