Guest / Limited Access /
Christians Find Few Shades of Grey in Book's Popularity
Christians Find Few Shades of Grey in Book's Popularity

Ask Kelley Taylor, a Southern Baptist college student, if she's opened the steamy pages of Fifty Shades of Grey, and she has a ready response.

"Some of my friends have read it but I decided not to because I just heard about the content and didn't think it was something I should be reading," said the North Carolina State University senior, who is majoring in wildlife biology. "I think that it's kind of contrary to what the Bible says about fleeing from sexual lust and temptation."

Taylor is not alone. Many evangelical women say they wouldn't touch the best-selling book, often described as "mommy porn" because of its escapist appeal to working mothers and suburban housewives. But evangelical leaders also realize that some members of their churches and Bible studies can't resist.

A month ago, worried that the book—the first in a trilogy and the basis of a highly-anticipated movie adaptation—could harm Christian marriages, leaders atSouthwestern Baptist Theological Seminaryhosted a closed-door women's meeting on what it all means and what churches should do about it.

"I think they're asking first of all, 'Is it truly pornography?'" said Terri Stovall, dean of women's programs at the seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Stovall moderated the session for the school's young women, who often are married to ministers or are single and pursuing ministry themselves."We say yes it is because it creates pictures in your head."

Many of the sexual practices featured in the book—such as bondage, domination, sadism and masochism, or BDSM for short—were described during the meeting. "Especially my single students, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueHow Much Attention Does Luther Really Deserve?
Subscriber Access Only How Much Attention Does Luther Really Deserve?
How to celebrate one of history’s biggest celebrities.
RecommendedUnderstanding the Transgender Phenomenon
Subscriber Access Only Understanding the Transgender Phenomenon
The leading Christian scholar on gender dysphoria defines the terms—and gives the church a way forward.
TrendingCompassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships
Compassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships
About 145,000 children have already lost its assistance with food, education, and health care.
Editor's PickThe Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
The Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
It begins by recognizing the name above every name.
Christianity Today
Christians Find Few Shades of Grey in Book's Popularity
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

December 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.