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Around the web: Christian sex industry?; The Decemberists; 10 albums you may have missed; Miracle Valley; SB commercials, Tweat Tweat; Beta made Relevant; The Auteurs

1.
The always insightful Brett McCracken recently posted his opinions on the growing, controversial, somewhat ironic Christian sex industry. He references articles and sermons by noted Christian leaders like Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell, Lauren Winner and the Rev. Ed Young. An excerpt:

The Christian sex industry, if you can believe it, is thriving. There are websites where you can buy Christian sex toys, and oodles of evangelical sex advice books that talk about the biblical merits of orgasms, vibrators, and other more unmentionable bedroom options. There is a growing cottage industry of books that urge married Christians to vigorously rip off those chastity belts and get busy having wild and experimental sex as often as at all possible.

As rampant and toxic as pornography and sexual addiction has become in our culture, even the Christian sub-cutlure (I heard today that more porn is purchased in the bible belt than in any other region), Christian ministers cannot afford to simply gloss over the subject. It’s difficult, yes, but of the utmost importance. However, there is a fine line between thoughtful, caring ministry and edgy marketing. Sex sells, are our churches vendors? Let’s pray not. My hope is that Christians can learn to take a serious look at sexuality without compromising the integrity of the church.

Of course, even Christians want their sex to be good. And why shouldn’t they? But the question is, to what extent does discussing how to make that happen belong in the pulpit? Head over to Brett’s blog to join the discussion.

2.
Today, upon my daily stop at NPR’s website, I discovered that, not surprisingly, you can preview a song from The Decemberists forthcoming album. The song: “The Rake’s Song.” The album? The Hazards of Love.

3.
Into the Hill staff writer SK Pitman provides 10 albums to check out you may have missed in ’08. Seriously good list.

4.
Meanwhile, also at Into the Hill, senior contributing writer and resident creator-of-comix, T Clair details, in his most recent Miracle Valley, how he is a “Quasi-anarchist and Qualified pacifist,” aka, his thoughts on a certain recent inauguration.

5.
Paste, in conjunction with Hulu TV, offers their choices for the ten most funny commercials from Sundays Big Game.

6.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, check out this amazing link that Jeffrey Overstreet posted today.

7.
They said it was coming and now it’s here. Behold: Relevant Magazine dot com – Beta Edition.

8.
I highly recommend checking out the new social network The Auteurs, created by the genius folks at Criterion. You can watch, discover, and discuss the world’s greatest achievements in Cinema – both past and present, indie or otherwise – with like minded cinephiles. If you love discussing movies, this is the social network for you.

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