The title of this article is the title of the book by Dianna Anderson. I just came across the work because it was advertised on McGrath’s website and he had links to several more bloggers who wrote about the launch. Again, I think you can make up your own minds on the heretical nature of that work but there are a few comments I would like to make both my own personal view and on some comments made at those websites.
#1. My personal views.
In reflecting upon the nature of the topic of the book, and I have not read it, it seems to me that that author is telling women that it is okay to be selfish, lustful and to pursue their own sexual desires and ignore what God wants for his people. I deplore the fact that that author and her friends , supporters etc., are calling her a Christian when in reality, she is not as she tells people to sin and disobey God.
I am reminded of the verse where Jesus says, ‘if you love me, keep my commandments,’ and as far as I have seen Jesus did not command his women followers to have any form of sexual encounter they could. You will find no biblical author giving permission to anyone, male or female, to have sex outside of marriage.
I also find it deplorable that the evangelical, and by extension, fundamentalism, conservatism and other non-liberal religious labels, are made to be the sinner in all of this. Now just because people in those non-liberal groups may be squeamish about sex, or do not know how to explain it to their children correctly doesn’t make purity and saving yourself for marriage wrong or hurtful to women or married couples.
It seems that the person advocating sin and encouraging others to sin, need someone else to point the finger at so that they do not get outed for their heretical views or realize how wrong they are. Then to do it under the banner of Christian is just despicable. As I read her words, I see the usual misunderstood accusations I see everywhere when alternative believers want to do their own thing and go against biblical teaching. They blame God, patriarchy, the idea of woman as property and other areas when in reality they should be blaming those individuals who have misused or misunderstood biblical teaching and allowed their application of those misguided efforts to hurt others instead of bringing people to the truth.
The Bible has never taught that women were property but misguided alternative believers drew that conclusion centuries ago and now any person with a grudge against the Bible uses that argument to make their sinful point. Dianna Anderson is just another alternative believer in a long line of alternative believers and sinners who recoil at what the Bible teaches simply because it teaches them to do something different from what they want to do.
They want to blame anyone and everyone for their own failures.
I am grateful to have been sent a review copy of Damaged Goods: New Perspectives on Christian Purity by Dianna Anderson. Anderson’s book explores the purity culture of the Evangelical background in which she was raised, and its approach to sex and gender, arguing that there is a need for a radically different approach to sexual ethics among Christians.
I think that some families do need to learn about how to present sexual teaching to their children but an alternative believer advocating sexual sin is not the correct teacher to use. I think it is selfish of women to give away their virginity to anyone but their husbands and I think it is selfish of men to do the same thing with women who are not their wives. I think it shows a lot of disrespect for your mate to do so but it isn’t the unforgivable sin and we need to learn how to deal with mates who made such mistakes in their lives God’s way.
Damaged girls … that is, anyone who has been damaged by the evangelical Christian purity culture that teaches girls to ignore their feelings, boys to ignore girls’ desires, and everyone to attach self-worth to virginity.
Of course the author of that post does her readers a disservice by not clearly defining what she means by the word ‘damaged’. Keeping people from sinning is not damaging them but because some people do not know how to properly or be godly about deterring others from sinning then many people get misconceptions that takes time to work through.
Most of the time when I hear adults talk to children about sex, they are not telling them to ignore their feelings but to wait and there is nothing wrong with marriage. I think a lot of distortion and dishonesty went into writing that book. There is a lot of self-worth to being a virgin until your married. It means you obeyed God and fled youthful lusts & that is important enough to build your self-worth upon. We are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice and denying one a sinful sexual experience or three is not wrong
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, [a]acceptable to God, which is your [b]spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this [c]world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may [d]prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [e]acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12: 1 & 2)
Our goal is being acceptable to God not look cool to the world or please alternative believers who could careless about God and how he wants his followers to act
The theme that I appreciated the most through Damaged Goods was the self-reflective honesty she presents about what love — and harm– look like in sexual relationships
What that author should be saying is that Dianna Anderson is presenting her fallible, sinful, subjective view of what love and hurt look like and not what it really is.
Dianna argues that we should all begin seeing our sexual relationships through the lens of love, compassion, grace, kindness, and understanding. That seems extremely Christian to me– after all, Jesus said that “they shall know you by how you love one another,”
Notice that Dianna removes the words ‘right and wrong’ from that list so that tells us that she doesn’t believe there is a right and wrong when it comes to love-making but wants to practice love her way and not God’s. Samantha Field, the author of that post, adds her own view there and she does so by misapplying scripture. Doing what is wrong is not showing love at all but sin, selfishness, lust and many other evil things. None of that list is found to be praised in scripture and Miss Field should not be using scripture to praise evil and sin.
Seeing sexual choices principally through loving yourself seems anathema to us,
This is pure selfishness and I have never heard it taught by any credible therapist, preacher, church leader and the list could go on. Selfishness in sex is not love but greed and other destructive sins.
I caught myself skimming through chapter three, entitled “Let’s Get Biblical: Sex in Scripture.” As someone who gave up Biblical literalism/Biblical authority (whatever that means) years ago, I discovered I didn’t much care for what the Apostle Paul actually meant when he talked about premarital sex and what not.
If you do not care about what God said through Paul then you are not going to be fair, honest, objective but biased, dishonest and prejudiced about the topic. You are also saying that you do not care about God’s view on how to live life and that you know better than God does. it also means you do not want to know the right way to handle the issue but want to do things your own way.
If you are not a Christian, you should know that Anderson’s book is with a Christian publishing company, and Dianna herself is a Christian. She writes as a Christian and includes references to God throughout her work. Yet her deconstruction of purity culture is incredibly important for those who wish to understand this culture, even if they are looking at it from the outside. She has an insider’s perspective that many other feminist writers do not seem to have.
I highly doubt the claim that Dianna Anderson is Christian as Christ never said sex outside of marriage was okay thus to be Christian one has to go with the Bible’s message on sexual sin not Anderson’s. Leading others to sin is also not a Christ-like behavior or attitude as Jesus said, ‘I have come to seek and save the lost’ not ‘I am going to lead them to disobey my father.’ Anderson is lost, she is not Christian.
She has no insider’s perspective because she does not know every church and every Christian family. Her experience is limited, very limited and she has no idea who taught what and if they communicated it incorrectly. All Anderson is doing is proclaiming that she wants to sin and that she has found a way to justify her disobedience to God.
While she encourages readers to wait to have sex until they are mature enough to take precautions against sexually transmitted infections and potential pregnancies, and to respect the boundaries of others, her sexual ethic is based on consent and safety, not on marriage. She affirms premarital sex, even in cases of one-night stands and polyamorous relationships.
It is so sad that Anderson was able to get published. Her views are nothing but sinful and dangerous, both spiritually and physically. her attack on marriage just throws sand in God’s face and demonstrates her spoiled 2 year-old attitude.
In today’s rapidly changing world, as long held parameters of sexuality broaden, can the evangelical purity movement continue to preach that sex before marriage absolutely labels you damaged goods? Dianna E. Anderson’s thoughtful, scholarly and spiritually-centered perspective on sexuality, purity and a loving God answers this question with a resounding NO.
The answer is YES!! Both men and women are damaged goods if they sin sexually before marriage. The good news is that through repentance and forgiveness one can be made whole again.But that part of evangelical teaching seems to be missing from all the quotes from her book I have read over these websites. She is not advocating anything Christian but simply telling people there is nothing wrong with you if you do things sexually you way and she is lying to you all. There is something wrong with you as you have sinned and not repented correctly from that or those sins. Anderson seems ot leave out some very important Christian teachings in her haste to justify her alternative sinful ideas.
This honest and soul-searching exploration is ground-breaking, a must-read for contemporary Christian youth – indeed for everyone, young and old, women and men – seeking to understand and live happily with their sexual selves and religious beliefs without overwhelming guilt and fear.
From what I have read, it is neither honest nor soul-searching. The book is simply her telling you that it is okay to sin as if she is greater than God and gets to change what the Bible says is sin. She doesn’t have that spiritual authority nor backing from the Trinity.
The result is her game-changing redefinition of purity that shatters Evangelical Christianity’s stranglehold on young believers’ minds and bodies as they make their difficult way toward becoming adults
Her book is not ground breaking as it is not new thinking. Unbelievers have thought this way for millennia and all she is doing is taking evil ideology and putting it in a supposedly Christian wrapper in order to deceive unwary young girls and boys. Nor does her work ‘shatter’ anything but just supports biblical teaching that there are false teachers of every stripe out there being deceived and used by evil to destroy God’s people.
This link leads to a review that doe snot agree with the previous 5 bloggers
But Anderson’s idea of a godly yes is very different from what the Christian church, through the ages, has generally understood it to mean.
And I agree.Her form of ‘godly’ is to allow people to freely sin and not be holy as God said for his people to be.
Though Anderson spends plenty of time urging her readers to create their own understanding of how their sex lives should work, she spends even more time telling them how she thinks their sex lives should work. By the time she’s done specifying everything that must be part of this sexual ethic we’re supposed to create, about the only thing that’s left up to us is whether we want the light on or off.
I think the reviewer at CT hit the nail on the head with this observation and the following as well
With the authority of the Bible used only to give us the vaguest guiding principles, Anderson sets herself up as a new authority.
I will let you read that review on your own and make up your own mind on the issue. Suffice it to say Dianna Anderson is just another loud mouth who mocks the faith she claims to be part of and insults the God she claims to follow. She isn’t happy being a servant of God, she wants to run the show and that is sin and wrong.