The authors of Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart, meant to serve as a corrective to the wildly popular Fifty Shades series, believe one reason erotica has found a home among Christian women is because they are simply starved for Bible-based teaching and open dialogue on sexuality in their communities of faith.
Dr. Juli Slattery, a clinical psychologist who founded Authentic Intimacy, and Dannah Gresh, best-selling author and co-founder of Pure Freedom, spoke with The Christian Post about the dangers they believe are inherent in pornographic works like E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey, which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide since its publication in 2011.
Barna Group researchers revealed in the results of a survey published last year that "there is no difference between the percentage of Christians who have read Fifty Shades of Grey and the percentage of all Americans who have read the book." more >>
Megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll recently apologized via an internal letter to his congregation for using a marketing company that promoted his book Real Marriage through what he now sees as a manipulative method to help place the book on top of the New York Times best seller list.
"My understanding of the ResultSource marketing strategy was to maximize book sales, so that we could reach more people with the message and help grow our church," Driscoll stated in the letter. "In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong. I am sorry that I used this strategy, and will never use it again. I have also asked my publisher to not use the '#1 New York Times bestseller' status in future publications, and am working to remove this from past publications as well."
Earlier this month, after a report that the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church he pastors paid a promotional company $210,000 three years ago to make sure that Real Marriage, co-written by Driscoll's wife, Grace, made the New York Times best-seller list, the church released a "Note From Our Board of Advisors and Accountability." In addition to describing a shift in the way decisions made by the church administration are reviewed, the Board addressed the book promotion controversy. more >>
A new autobiography tells the conversion story of a Western Muslim who risked everything to become a born-again Christian. The book reads like a murder-mystery novel, in which a committed follower of Muhammad researches the historic facts of Islam and Christianity to find the truth about Jesus Christ.
"It is no understatement to say that Muslims often risk everything to embrace the cross," writes Nabeel Qureshi in his new book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity.
Those who leave Islam for Christianity are cut off from their families and friends, may face death (the hadith, second only to the Quran in determining Muslim law, orders Muslims to kill apostates), and risk eternal damnation for the "only one unforgivable sin, shirk, the belief that someone other than Allah is God." more >>
The popularity of the Fifty Shades series among Christian women has prompted Dannah Gresh, best-selling author and co-founder of Pure Freedom, and Dr. Juli Slattery, a clinical psychologist who leads Authentic Intimacy, to expose what they believe are the dangers of consuming such pornographic material. In an interview with CP about their new book, Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart, Gresh and Slattery also highlight what they believe are "satanic" aspects of E.L. James' erotica series.
Gresh, who promotes chastity among young girls through Pure Freedom and heads the "Secret Keeper Girl" tour, told The Christian Post that she found it "sad" that E.L. James' Fifty Shades series, centered on the violence- and sexually-fueled relationship of the main characters Anastasia "Ana" Steele and Christian Grey, had found a home among Christian women.
"I'm sad because the book honors and glorifies bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism [or BDSM sex play]," added Gresh. She believes that Fifty Shades of Grey "and the normalization of erotica that's resulting from it will have the same impact on the Church as the advent of Internet pornography and men using it 20 years ago." more >>
A San Francisco pastor wants to relay the message that a person's identity isn't found in their successes or failures, their career, or even their sexual orientation. A person's true identity is found in who God says they are.
"We subtly believe we can make an identity ... so we try and try and never succeed," Pastor Dave Lomas told The Christian Post. "We don't find an identity, we receive one from God, our Creator."
Lomas makes his point in his newly released book, The Truest Thing About You: Identity, Desire, and Why It All Matters. more >>
Editor's Note: This op-ed orginally appeared as a blog post at PajamaPages.com. It is reprinted with permission from the author.
What would you think of a pastor who preached to his church in front of billboards advertising the newest Cadillac or Monster Energy drinks? Would you find it acceptable for a pastor to paste advertising all over the stage, filling the space with branded messages in the finest traditions of NASCAR?
Would it make it any better if the pastor was pocketing money from these ads? more >>