Issue 7: Gender and Sexuality

Chris Keller, Dan Allender

Eroticism, Fly Fishing, and Bad Metaphors: An Interview with Dan Allender

TOJ: This issue, as you know, is giving attention to sexuality and gender, and I wanted to start off by asking you to speak to the sexual climate in North America. Some have described our culture as hyper-sexualized, that the pornographic is becoming more interwoven in our cultural discourse, but concurrently rates of sexual satisfaction […]

Seth M. Rash

The Greenline

Jarvis stood on the corner of Fifth and Spruce, squinting nervously at the now open door of the cab that had nearly crushed his feet. At the same moment, Willie happened to be barreling down the sidewalk in a wild rage, throwing pedestrians out of his way, and screaming about sabotage and conspiracy. He crashed […]

Becky Crook


“The shirtless and barefoot people of the earth are rising up as never before.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.~ from Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? The shirtless and barefoot people of the earth are rising up as never before and they walk past signs that say NO SERVICE and they walk past lines […]

Jeremy R. Carrette

Intense Exchange: Sadomasochism, Theology and the Politics of Late Capitalism

Be cruel in your erotic play: snap on handcuffs, neck-collars, and chains, lock pins and clips on nipples, administer meticulous floggings; or, be a slave for a night and, with your master’s help, mimic the ancient ‘art of unbearable sensations’, tremble with the most exquisite agonies, savor the disintegration and humiliation of the self in […]

Joel James Shuman

Just Desires?

Same Sex Marriage? A Christian Ethical Analysis. By Marvin M. Allison. Pilgrim, 198 pp., $24.00. MARVIN ELLISON introduced his treatment of same-sex marriage not with a consideration of the history or theology of the Christian practice of marriage, but with a wide-ranging account of marriage law and social theory. Although this approach is not without merit, […]

Baron Miller

The Accused: An Old Testament Hermeneutic of John 8: 1–11

It is my experience in pastoral care and counseling that the issue of sexual sin is common among both men and women. All too often people are accused, either rightly or wrongly, of sexual sin and the effects of society’s perception of these people can be quite damaging. Illicit sexual experiences, sexual assault, and false […]

Becky Crook, Gary Thomas

Evangelicalism, Marriage and Holy Sexuality: An Interview with Gary Thomas

TOJ: Gary, could you say something about the involvement of the Evangelical church in the world—I know there is sometimes criticism, especially in America, of Evangelicalism being more concerned with saving souls than with working for social justice. As an Evangelical, what would you say about that criticism? GT: Do you really think so? I […]

Joel Heng Hartse

MP3 Porn: Music, sex, and community

There are, I suppose, plenty of reasons to hate the internet phenomenon MySpace: its hideously ugly and un-user-friendly design, the great boon it is to sexual predators, and it’s being owned by Rupert Murdoch. But I’ll say this: MySpace made it possible for me to be in a band with members in nearly every corner […]

John Totten

Neil Young, The Flaming Lips, and The Art of War Protest

My introduction to the concept of protest music was a bootleg cassette that featured Pearl Jam covering the Bob Dylan staple “Masters of War.” This song was originally included on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, his first important album, released in 1963, close to the beginning of the Vietnam War. For the last thirty years, pop culture […]

Debra Rienstra

A Song: of Aaron

And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made. —Exodus 32:35 When you are thunder to us, when you are smoke and fire, we sift through the air, ashen. Out of the smoke, coals drop; we pick them up, burn each other, in disgust […]

Debra Rienstra

Going Out

A poem by Debra Rienstra.

Janet Martin Soskice

Imago Dei

In a city like Rome there is no shortage of glamorous prototypes or chilling reminders of our human condition – on Byzantine apses, in Romanesque side-chapels, even on Renaissance bridges spanning the Tiber we find men and women, saints usually, redeemed and transformed. Sometimes – more darkly and less frequently- we find them distressed and […]

Heather Coaster

Genesis 38

He died and I waited And wondered if there would be another, Wondered if the empty might go away by my waiting. I waited for you To tell me what to do And where to go And how to make the empty go away. But you never came You never called And the empty stayed. […]

Debra Rienstra


John 12:1-11 Solemn, weightless, she appears in the slender doorway of his time. Heavy-sweet perfume rises, mingles with murmurous voices bruising the air, stinging her bare, bending nape; hair falls unveiled on urgent fingers. She weeps for the brother, living; for the master, dead; Time, a slivered moon, turns toward the dark. Broken pieces of […]

Scott Sammons

Untitled Nude

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul. —Song of Myself, l.15, Walt Whitman The Montague Gallery was filled with people milling about with glasses of red wine. Frederick stood before a large canvas filled with rich reds, browns and midnight blues, portraying what could be the […]

Sean Jackson

Pornography and Consumerism: An Interview with Pamela Paul

TOJ: What initially compelled you to explore the main question you begin with in your book, Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming our Lives, our Relationships, and our Families? PP: The book started off as an article for Time Magazine, really an issue exploring sex and emotional health and I think that like a lot of Americans, I’ve noticed […]

Gerard Loughlin

Gathered at the Altar: Homosexuals and Human Rights

In October 2003, Conor Gearty—Professor of Human Rights Law at the London School of Economics—gave the Second Alan Bray Memorial Lecture on ‘Reclaiming Our Tradition: Rights, Diversity and Catholic Social Thought’.[1] In his lecture, Professor Gearty offered a balanced and very generous appraisal of the Catholic Church’s commitment to human rights, and urged people not […]

Jennifer Maier

Lot’s Wife

It didn’t take a white-hot whirlwind To set me down for good on this smoking plain; I was turning hard already— tired of the edicts and injunctions, of following my husband’s righteous backside. I wanted to stay put. I had friends here, raw as unbeaten linen, but kind in their way. I stand facing the […]

April Folkertsma, Lauren Winner

An Interview with Lauren Winner

TOJ: In your book Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity, you say, “Without a robust account of the Christian vision of sex within marriage, the Christian insistence that unmarried folks refrain from sex just doesn’t make sense.” (p. 25) What is a robust account of the Christian vision of sex? How can we talk about […]

Jon Stanley

A Sinful Doctrine?: Sexuality and Gender in Augustine’s Doctrine of Original Sin: Part 1

{Theologian General’s Warning: This doctrine [of original sin] has been identified by certain members of the theological community as a contributor to the oppression and marginalization of women, and therefore as an inhibitor of the flourishing of creation as a whole. Should you continue to make use of this doctrine, please be aware of its threat […]

Sean Jackson

An Interview with Rich Stearns

TOJ: World Vision is certainly a model for people of faith in N. America for aiding those who are most vulnerable. What is World Vision doing in places like Uganda to intervene with children being made to be soldiers? And along those same lines, what challenges has World Vision seen in places like Uganda and […]

Darcy Tucker, LAMFT, MA

Emotional Eating and America’s Obesity Problem

Picture a fashion model in a magazine. Fashion industry research indicates a high probability that she has an eating disorder—either anorexia or bulimia. This should come as no surprise, since industry standards select and continue to employ models who are significantly underweight. Now think of a neighbor or coworker. Although it may not be obvious, […]

Daniel P. Rhodes, Mary McClintock Fulkerson

Language, Sexuality, and Gender in the Church: An Interview with Mary McClintock Fulkerson

TOJ: In the past several decades, many scholars and writers have begun to focus on how gender and sexuality are formed within the context of culture by the influences of culture. Could you explain what role you see culture playing in the formation of our conceptions of gender and sexuality? What might be beneficial in […]

Pamela D. H. Cochran

Forgiveness as Generosity

Our film began with the father, Mohammed, saying–as means of explanation to his wife for why they were not leaving their house in spite of its occupation by Israeli soldiers–“Forgiveness is generosity.” This is a hard saying, as his family experienced, so difficult that his son could not do it. The question of my lecture […]

Christina Maria DesVaux, JR Mahon, Sean Jackson

The XXXChurch Interview: Shock and Awe in Christian Ministry

TOJ (Sean): On your website, it states, “XXXChurch exists to bring awareness, openness, accountability, and recovery to the church, society, and individuals, in the issues of pornography, and to begin to provide solutions through non-judgmental and creative means.” What are these “non-judgmental and creative means?” And in what ways have you seen this mission statement […]

Tina Schermer Sellers

Christians Caught Between the Sheets — How ‘abstinence only’ Ideology Hurts Us

Introduction There are few subjects as explosive inside the Christian church as sexuality. The level of reactivity with which people discuss sexuality, parent around sexuality, silence sexuality, and judge and shame sexuality has no equal. For centuries we have fostered this reactivity through the silence and shame that fills most adult’s sexual story and later […]