Edification: It’s Not That Simple, Bro

I introduced the idea of “poison-pill” thinking yesterday and tried to show that such division of the world into two categories is naïve. Beyond this, though, this categorization is unhelpful and harmful. In the next two days, I’m going to hash out two negative effects of such thinking. This thinking leads many Christians to a [Read More…]

Edification: It’s Not That Simple

I think that when faced with the questionable movie, art show, or book, the first instinct of many Christians is simply to cast out the material or ignore it. I recall one respected Christian leader characterizing material that had a mixture of good and bad moral content as “half a poison pill.” The message was [Read More…]

Edification: What is it?

Yesterday, we began thinking through the question of Christian engagement of worldly ugliness through a principle an astute reader brought up: edification. This was of course touched on in last week’s discussion, but it was only one of a number of ideas we touched on. It definitely merits more discussion, especially when one considers the [Read More…]

Continuing the “Ugliness” Conversation: the Edification Principle

I’m soon wrapping up this series on ugliness, but I want to touch on a remark made in the comments section. (By the way, to everyone who comments on my blogs, I want to say a sincere “thank you.” I do appreciate your readership and your interaction with my material. I don’t write back to [Read More…]

Is There a Way to Do Ugliness Well?

In the previous discussion, I quickly established that Christians in the movies ought not to do sins in performance that are wrong in real life. I also noted that they ought not to give a positive impression of sin in their acting (or directing, or screenwriting, etc). With that established, however, a question remains as [Read More…]

Ugliness in Hollywood

But even as I wrote that Christians shouldn’t curse and have sex in films, I’m thinking about the seeming sinfulness of being angry, killing another person, or stealing. Should a Christian steal in a film? Couldn’t one say that as there is no difference between having sex in real life and film, there’s none between [Read More…]

The Ugliness Next Door, Part Two

I want to go in a slightly different direction with this conversation. I’ve covered briefly the issues involved in watching ugliness. But what about Christians actually making ugliness? This is by all accounts a tricky issue, and I don’t pretend to have quick answers or to let on that I even know what I think. [Read More…]

The Ugliness Next Door

Let’s continue this. The culture is out there. It’s interesting, it’s fun, it’s informative, it’s enriching. Potentially, that is. If we can find out how to engage it. Or should we? One option before Christians is to withdraw and isolate ourselves from the culture. At least, as best as we can. This has traditionally meant [Read More…]

Toward a Definition of Ugliness

We began a discussion yesterday on a question that has long played in my mind. I introduced the question of “ugliness” but did little to define it. I did so for a purpose: I wanted to get any readers I do have to think for themselves about a definition of ugliness. I happen to like [Read More…]

Should Christians View Ugliness?

Here’s something to think about: as a Christian committed to a life of holiness, how should one deal with the ugliness of this world, particularly as pictured in the arts? Speaking as a Christian, this is a difficult question to wrestle with. In the last five years of my life, I’ve transitioned out of a [Read More…]


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