A crushed rose. An unwrapped, dirt-encrusted lollipop. Something that has lost its value: goods that have been damaged beyond repair. We’ve all heard these sorts of descriptions applied to people, especially women, who engage in sexual activity outside of marriage. The teachings on purity that lead to these kinds of illustrations are frequently seen as an immutable part of evangelical Christianity. But can the Bible and Christianity offer a different view of sexual ethics, one in which no one is encouraged to see themselves or others as damaged goods? In her debut book, Damaged Goods: New Perspectives on Christian Purity, Dianna Anderson argues for this alternative Christian sexual ethics.
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Image credit: Taté Walker, 2013. Used with permission.