Category subculture

Immodest Proposals: Elephant in the room

I was thin as a kid. Always big for my age, but not chubby. Then I hit puberty and got wider before I got taller. Stretch marks etched into my thighs, my face rounded, and I felt thick and overstuffed and elephantine. I grew self-conscious about the reverberations of my steps (did I sound extra-heavy?), […]

Immodest Proposals: Brothers and sisters

Let’s talk about how the modesty rules affect relationships. I would contend modesty-conscious girls relate to people differently than anyone else — but not necessarily better. In Christianity, there’s a long history of referring to other believers as brothers- or sisters-in-Christ, as, the doctrine goes, we are all adopted by God the Father into his […]

Immodest Proposals: Learning shame

My family did not follow the more extreme modesty rules. My parents did not require head coverings, daily floor-length denim, or any strict uniform; they never demonized pants or department stores. My mom did buy into modesty enough to make shopping trips a stereotypical nightmare during high school. I’d want to get a V-neck blouse; […]

Immodest Proposals: The Rules

If you didn’t grow up in an evangelical context, a homeschool community, or a Red State, you may not understand what the big deal is with modesty. American society oversexualizes girls from a young age, teaching them to find value solely in beauty and to dress to please men. Isn’t it refreshing and good to give […]

Immodest Proposals: An introduction

In days of old, some Mesopotamian philosopher, probably King Solomon, claimed there is nothing new under the sun. If you’ve ever doubted the truth of that sentiment, just join a social media platform. Every few months — like clockwork, like sunsets, like seasons — some blogger writes a post about modesty, and thousands of moms share […]

an unseared conscience

As a kid, I often heard the phrase “seared conscience.” It referred to the process of an unbeliever using the hellfire of longterm sin or erroneous philosophy to burn away his knowledge of good and evil and his guilt for wrongdoing. Since natural law is said to intrinsically inform us all what is right and […]

Is the Bible your favorite book?

Towards the end of Awana camp the summer before seventh grade, one of my cabinmates, a short, talkative girl, asked me a question: “Do you write letters?” I didn’t, really, but I said yes anyway — and so it was I magically transformed into A Pen Pal. Over the next few years, that cabinmate and […]

Sure, dance with God, but not to earn a husband

“Draw close to God, and God will draw a man close to you.” — not James 4:8 At the end of my first year at summer camp, my counselor gave each of my cabinmates and I a personalized journal. On the back page, in pretty gel pen ink, she wrote out a poem she loved, […]

#PlanetCCM: Three favorites

Dianna Anderson has today collected all the posts for her synchroblog on what we learned from Christian music. I covered the “serious” aspects of this discussion in my first and second posts, but before leaving the topic, I’d like to briefly reflect a few albums that meant a whole lot in my adolescence and that […]

#PlanetCCM: War songs

“What would people say if they knew that you’re a Jesus freak / What would people do if they knew that it’s you?” — DC Talk, “Jesus Freak” Once I started, after that fateful Jaci Velasquez album, listening to contemporary Christian music, I learned quickly how divisive music can be within evangelicalism. Not because of […]