Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Biblical Purity

Some of you may recall me writing back in February about a biblical purity resource called Wholeness & Holiness.  I'm thrilled that, after more than a year of collaborating with Jake Bouma and Ritva Williams, W&H is finally available for church leaders to purchase and use in their context.  It's only been a week and we're already hearing great feedback from people who plan to use it with youth, parents, and other adult groups.

One of the hurdles we are already facing is the notion that "biblical purity" is only about sex and sexuality.  From my perspective, Wholeness & Holiness is about sex in the same way a grocery store is about selling vegetables.  When you enter a grocery store, you can find a lot of varieties of vegetables prepared in different ways (fresh, canned, frozen, etc.), but there are many other kinds of food in that supermarket.  In the same way, W&H has a robust lesson called Holy Sex! and includes an extended supplemental resource for leaders to delve into deeper conversation about sex...but W&H is about much more than sex.  The purity laws found in the Bible touch nearly every aspect of individual and communal living — food, clothing, hygiene, jewelry, and much more.  When crafting this resource we tried to reflect the expansive nature of biblical purity, dating back to the time of Moses.  As one commenter put it, "so you really do mean BIBLICAL purity!"

I hope people find Wholeness & Holiness to be a helpful resource in telling the whole story of biblical purity.  It's exciting to be part of the conversation that is already unfolding.  For example, the concept of calling behavior "biblical" is a hot topic right now.  (One needn't look any farther than the thousands of comments related to Rachel Held Evans' recent post, The danger of calling behavior 'biblical'.)  I hope W&H can debunk some existing purity myths and be part of the larger discourse about holy/pure/biblical living.

If you want to know more about Wholeness & Holiness, please check out our web site, like us on Facebook, and/or follow us on Twitter.

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