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Showing posts from April, 2014

The Second Most Important Reason Why Christians Shouldn’t Watch “Game of Thrones”

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Have you heard of the word “sexposition”? The term was initially coined to describe the superfluous use of raunchy material in the HBO show Game of Thrones. While it’s universally acknowledged that the series has copious amounts of explicit sexuality, plenty of people are watching it. (Maybe I should say “because” instead of “while.”) Christians make up a percentage of the audience as well.

E. Stephen Burnett recently posted a refreshingly forthright article on the matter: But “Game of Thrones” Still Has Porn In It. He points our gaze to the proverbial elephant in the room:
Filmmakers and actors can simulate violence, simulate language, simulate other sinful behaviors. But to show nakedness and sex you can only actually 1) be naked and 2) feign to have sex. And let’s spare only a few details here: Unless the actor is himself/herself a goodness-of-the-body-denying, emotionless Gnostic Platonic ideal-person rather than a live human being, he/she will have physical and emotional respons…

When Your Husband and Your Desires Don’t Match

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Hi, I’m Shannon, Cap’s wife.

Usually I’m behind the scenes at Happier Far. I edit most posts for grammar and tell Cap he needs catchier titles (I do what I can).
I would like to say, though, that I couldn’t be prouder of Cap for the direction he’s taken with his blog. Not only for the literary reference of the title (Paradise Lostfor the win!), but also for the stand he’s taken against sexuality in movies. I think it’s a message that many Christians need to hear—and that too few Christians are willing to speak.
But I must say that at the outset, I wasn’t too happy when Cap started thinking we might need to stop seeing films that objectify women. I mean, I wanted to see Star Trek Into Darkness! I wanted to see Catching Fire! I teach high school; I need to stay relevant! All my students were seeing them! All my friends were seeing them! But because actresses stripped down in both films, Cap wouldn’t pay to support turning them into sexual objects. Which meant I was alone in the dark, …

Hollywood Sex Scenes vs. Porn: So What if They’re (Kind of) Different?

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* CONTENT ADVISORY: This topic requires a certain level of frankness that may be inappropriate for some readers. While I have taken great pains to avoid titillation, reader discretion is still advised. *
Last week, we looked at the four main ways in which motion picture sex scenes and pornography are different. Now I want to show how these factors actually prove to condemn Hollywood’s methods rather than excuse them.
Argument #1: There is often a difference in production values. Motion pictures are a form of art, whereas porn is unabashed titillation.
Hollywood’s mash-up of blatant sexuality (nudity and sex scenes) and aesthetics only serves to make its displays of sex more alluring to the viewer. As supposed works of art, Hollywood films are concerned with giving their audiences pleasure through beauty. That’s what aesthetics are all about.
What is ultimately more alluring: a sex scene with bad lighting, poor audio quality, and shoddy production work, or a sex scene with good composition…

Hollywood and Porn: What are the REAL Differences?

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I cam across a startling statement in a recent Christian magazine piece. It was a random, minor comment buried deep in the article, but it still struck me with its apparent blitheness:

Everyone can tell the difference between a Hollywood love scene and hardcore porn…
My first thought was, “Really? Everyone can tell the difference? Is it that obvious?”
Now, it may be that the author was coming at the topic from a secular, culturally based perspective. Considering the title of the article (“Why are PG-13 Films More Violent than their R-Rated Counterparts?”), it’s likely that was the case. Nevertheless, the statement revealed what I believe to be a false dichotomy.
If you’ve been hanging out here lately, you know I question why the church has opposed sexually stimulating material in pornography while often embracing the use of sexually stimulating material in major motion pictures. I see this approach as a dangerous compromise in Christian ethics.
I don’t want to be needlessly controversial …

One Thing Everyone Is Forgetting About Noah

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The story of Noah has been controversial since the beginning, long before director Darren Aronofsky decided to turn it into a movie. Of course, Aronofsky has created quite a bit of controversy himself, what with the amount of artistic license he allowed himself. His film has been received by the Christian community with a mixture of disgust, ambivalence, and praise.

Who is right? Not having seen the film myself, I can’t quite say. What I can comment on, though, is what the filmmakers—and its most ardent critics—are overlooking in the Noah story: the actual reason for the flood in the first place.

I’m not talking about the generic, “big picture” reason (i.e., that man’s wickedness was great and every intent of his heart was only evil continually). I’m talking about a particular incident, or rather a series of incidents, that spiraled out of control, leading to God’s denouncement of mankind. Remember what that was?

When humans began to multiply on the face of the earth, “the sons of God s…