I’m a sex-positive theology nerd.
I blog about hope, sexuality and consent, from a perspective rooted in my Christian faith.
I’m here to map out a new perspective on purity and its related topics, including virginity, marriage, sex, bodies and inclusion.
I’m not 100% sure what this ‘new perspective’ will look like, but it’ll involve building up consent culture and taking down purity culture.
To help you navigate my posts, I put them into four ‘light’ categories — dip into whichever works for you:
- Sunlight: easy-going, oriented towards positive practice, usually consistent with established Christian thought (lots here on sex, consent and the Bible)
- Firelight: examining where things go wrong (e.g. abuse dynamics), challenging traditional perspectives (especially around marriage, inclusion and salvation)
- Moonlight: undercutting the roots of gender violence and purity, examining difficult Bible passages (especially concerning virginity), considering controversial topics (like BDSM or erotica)
- Starlight: my theological reflections, creative writing and personal experiences (including those as a blogger)
I’ve written in more detail about:
Thank you for visiting.
Sex worth celebrating (Sunlight)
These posts are about sex and consent and what good looks like. The most popular posts are:
- To the evangelical couple considering sex therapy
- The key to lifelong sex? Get the right advice.
- Sex and consent: everything I didn’t know when I married
- Is the One True Love biblical? On hope, choice and responsibility
Index page: Sex worth celebrating
Hope worth sharing (Sunlight)
- Dear Christians: non-conformity is not the path to transformation
- sometimes I wonder… if Rachel Jankovic understands scandal (a response to her criticism of Kaitlin Shetler’s viral poem)
- Year of Hell, Remember Nothing, & The Wish: lessons on hope
Index page: Hope worth sharing
Bible worth reading (Sunlight)
- Esther in the Bible: surprisingly political
- Flesh: what Paul meant when he used the word ‘sarx’ (Psst! — he wasn’t being sex-negative)
- To my egalitarian friends: please don’t hate on the Old Testament law (or at least, not on my blog)
Index page: Bible worth reading
Abuse dynamics (Firelight)
Looking at problems of patriarchy and where things go wrong. Most popular posts here are:
- I dated Christian Grey… and I don’t care to see him again
- The lying abusers who pose as victims: lessons from Mr Wickham
- #ThatsHarassment: David Schwimmer makes six short videos showing sexual consent violations
Index page: Abuse dynamics
Unmeaning marriage (Firelight)
I’m not against marriage (very happily married myself!), but I do believe the church needs to unthink and rethink a lot of what we’ve claimed to know on this subject.
- When we don’t explain the Trinity, the gospel gets ugly (especially for wives)
- Priestesses in the church? Why CS Lewis’ argument was right, but his conclusion wrong
- Books of 2017: Titles of interest to egalitarian Christians
- Gary Thomas’ claim that Christians should have more children is unbiblical
Index page: Unmeaning marriage
Atonement and inclusion (Firelight)
I think many of the issues I currently have with evangelicalism are about a faulty theology of hope. These posts aim to break down some of the false shibboleths that I see stifling hope and inclusion.
The most popular posts in this section are:
- 45 reasons why the culture behind #ChurchToo fails to understand consent
- To stay or to go? On church, LGBT+ affirmation, and uncomfortable places
- An open letter to Nate Sparks on leaving evangelicalism
Index page: Atonement and inclusion
Virginity, honour and violence (Moonlight)
Depending on who you talk to, “purity” is either a wonderful word to describe a high concept, or a toxic word used to oppress people (most often women). For myself, I believe that purity, when properly understood, is a good thing, but that ‘purity culture’ is a form of gender based violence.
For the theologians and biblical scholars out there, I also think the debates on the ‘New Perspective on Paul’ have massive implications for how we understand purity. For that reason, my discussion of purity heavily overlaps with the theology covenantal belonging, salvation and hope.
Posts I’m proud of in this section are:
- Rethinking virginity: yes, it is about purity, but it’s not like a silk scarf
- How I used to interpret Deuteronomy 22:13-21, and how I explain it now (in fewer than 500 words)
- Let’s talk about that Deuteronomy 22 law where a girl marries her rapist. Because it’s not about marriage or sex.
- Books of 2017: ‘The Twilight of Cutting’ taught me about more than FGM
Index page: Virginity, honour and violence
Art or licence? (Moonlight)
Reviews and commentary on how we portray sex and consent in film, books, art and theatre.
- An open letter to my pro-porn friend: ethic impossible?
- Endless Second: a brilliant and much-needed play about consent and reconciliation
Index page: Art or licence?
Fifty Shades (is abuse) (Moonlight)
These books are a problem. Even if this section isn’t for you, you might want to read Why do I write about 50 Shades?
The most popular posts in this section are:
- Reflections from standing outside the Fifty Shades Darker premiere
- Why do people say 50 Shades is (or isn’t) abusive?
- What’s bad about “the worst” six slaps?
Index page: 50 Shades
(I tend not to have pictures in these posts.)
Well, it’s hard to write about Fifty Shades without writing about BDSM. Even if this section isn’t for you, you might want to read Why do I write about BDSM? The posts here are primarily to help people recognise abuse (and some are written by people in the scene).
- How 50 Shades reflects real-life abuse in BDSM (part 1)
- A message to S-Types – What you REALLY need to know
- Holding someone by the throat: abusive strangulation or consensual play?
Index page: BDSM
Delving theology (Starlight)
I love digging into the Bible and thinking about God. The most popular posts in this section are:
- Are your thoughts and prayers with … the system? Maybe they should be.
- Be a priest in 2017: Identify with those who are like and unlike you
Index page: Delving theology
The tapestry of my time (Starlight)
OK, posts in this section don’t tend to get many hits – but those who find them, love them. In particular:
- How do I handle non-responses on social media? Yeah, not great.
- The friend who was always there: on faithfulness, creativity and being me
- Music, perfection and play: shedding childhood shame
- My greatest regrets are when I was trying to be someone I’m not
- I think I need to grieve – what one year in a DV charity does to you
Index page: My tapestry of time
Creative works (Starlight)
I love to write. You’ll find poetry, sketches and short stories here.
- His name is John: Elizabeth writes to Mary
- Love vs Abuse: an interlacing of Joseph’s and Ruth’s stories
- Skandalon: Mary teaches the boy Jesus
- But if I have not consent… (a poem inspired by 1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
Index page: Creative works
Redemption: Beautiful love or beastly suffering?
These posts take an in-depth look at how redemption is portrayed in Beauty and the Beast and then makes comparisons with Fifty Shades. They’ve been grouped on their own because there are quite a few of them and because they touch on all three of the themes that I blog about. The series ended up being eighteen posts long, so you might want to start with A summary of how redemption in BATB compares with 50 Shades.
Index page: Fifty Shades compared with Beauty & the Beast