INTRODUCTION BY LAURA FERRIS; ARTICLE BY JON SEARLE
The title of this post is the title of an article that was submitted to this journal in spring 2010, and I’m pleased to make it available on the blog using my account.
Gay and Christian
I am gay and Christian. For many, these are seen as contradictory identities. I must admit that this essay is part of my “homosexual agenda” to normalize LGBT Christians to evangelicals. I’ll make my agenda, both for this essay and in life, explicit at the outset: I want to share my story as I’ve experienced and interpreted it; and I want other LGBT people who read this and have trouble reconciling their faith with their sexuality to be encouraged. Continue reading “Gay and Christian”
BY STEPHANIE CHIAO Dear Reader, In keeping with this journal’s mission to foster dialogue between Christian communities on campus, the editors of To An Unknown God chose “women” as this issue’s cover theme. We believe this is a pertinent and meaningful subject for our readers, and we have explored topics such as dating, leadership, sexuality, and more. As in previous issues, we hope that our … Continue reading Letter from the Editor
BY JOHN MONTAGUE
I have a question for my female readers: Women, are you romantically interested in a male friend whom you do not think is ever going to ask you out? If the answer to this question is yes, I want you to tell him or ask him on a date. Yes, I hear you protesting: “But that’s not my job; he’s supposed to—” Wait. Why is he supposed to be the one to initiate a relationship?
On two separate occasions, male friends recently complained to me that their college pastors have been haranguing them to ask women out on dates. Their stories remind me of my own undergraduate days, during which not only the leader of my college fellowship but also the pastor at my church lectured us men to date more. These exhortations were not directed at the women in our church; no, it was the men who were to be asking the women. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the women were the impetus for these sermons; it was the women who wanted to date more than the men. Why, then, did the college pastors lean on the men to initiate the dating? Continue reading “Women and Dating”
BY EMILY STONE
I feel that women bear an additional burden as Christians beyond the customary trials of faith. Speaking for myself, I have experienced trouble disclosing myself to someone who appears to be an overwhelmingly masculine, patriarchal God – the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, Jesus the son of David, etc. The Bible places such an emphasis on mannishness – an Old Testament saturated in testosterone, and a New Testament regaling further tales of men’s journeys and adventures.
How can I possibly conceive that God empathizes with my plight, or with the plight of women in general, given the virtual female obscurity in the Bible, day-to-day battles with societal roles and images, misogyny, sexual equality and so on? How can my Father help me when I struggle with sexuality, relationships, my female identity in the Christian community, and this body to which I am assigned? Continue reading “If God is not…”
BY ELIZABETH SEGRAN
I recently visited the Tate Britain. In one of the galleries, I chanced upon a trilogy of paintings by George Fredric Watts that presents a complex portrayal of Eve. Painted in 1897, they are a stunning burst of color and light, depicting the female form in all of its beauty. In one painting, titled, “She shall be called Woman,” Eve is rising up from the earth, amidst billowing clouds. The two other paintings recount her fall from grace. In “Eve Tempted,” Eve is shown greedily consumed by her desire for the forbidden fruit, while in “Eve Repentant” she is seen crumpled in a corner, unable to show her face. Continue reading “A Big Misunderstanding?”
BY WHITNEY MORET We’ve all had the discussion – with our best friends, boyfriends, families – what would happen if women ran the world? A brother balks at the idea, a father suggests that maybe women would just rather be at home with the kids, a sister recalls her domineering woman boss and catty female coworkers. According to Robin Williams, “we wouldn’t have wars, just … Continue reading Transformational Leaders
BY STEPHANIE CHIAO In December 2000, the National Coalition to Protect Children and Families surveyed five Christian campuses and found that 48 percent of males were struggling with pornography use. In a 2006 poll, Market Wire showed that 50 percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women were addicted to pornography. These statistics show that not only are Christians living the same way … Continue reading Discuss Pornography Explicitly
For some of us, it starts easily enough. We struggle with sexual temptation or porn as a reccurring stumbling block, like an unclean spirit, that we never seem to exorcise. For others I know, it goes far deeper: there is a history, an event, and hard stories to share. And of course the shame. . . Continue reading “A Testimony about Pornography”
BY ERIC TSANG “ You’re not a bad kid, Eric,” my pastor began, “but we don’t see that insignia of passion in you. We don’t think you’re a reborn Christian.” Wham! His words struck like the blow of a hammer against my chest: I felt a lurch in my stomach as my throat ran dry of air and speech; my brain dumbfounded, my heart sank two … Continue reading Finding My Passion for God
BY CHRISTINE KUANG
Matthew 26:6-13 depicts the story of Mary, who takes a pint of very costly pure nard and pours it out on Jesus’ feet. There are two things to note: first, she pours it out onto Jesus herself. She did not ask someone else to do it; she did it herself, showing her love to Him directly. Second, this pint of pure nard is probably Mary’s most prized and expensive possession, and yet she pours it all out onto Jesus and Jesus alone. Continue reading “Her Gift of Love”