So this article is basically nothing but vagueness about "Let's have *discussions*" contrasted with moments like this where Welcher drops the mask and reminds the reader that at the end of the day they're still actually definitely supposed to follow rules.
Basically, Welcher is doing that apologetics trick of talking about "making space for doubt and questions"... but there's always the catch of "at some point you need to stop disagreeing with my perfect Biblical standards!" There is no room for "conversation" here.
This article might leave someone with the idea that Welcher is open to other stances, while her book and tweets make it clear Welcher believes that any form of sexual thought or expression outside a "Biblical" cis-het marriage is sinful and against "God's design".
A bit of a hot take: I have my criticisms of Josh Harris, but I find the way Purity Culture 2.0 tends to try to scapegoat him as someone who "created bad theology" and was in some way singularly/primarily responsible for purity culture to be massively inaccurate.
Harris and many other young people who arrived at similar conclusions were trying to create some sort of framework to deal with the church's frankly incoherent and impossible standards for relationships and sexuality. They were working with what the leaders and parents taught.
"Marriage is a good thing and you should pursue it, but you also need to be TERRIFIED of 'stumbling' into sexual sin." Those were the messages people got, so they made rules to protect themselves and be good and obedient.
Now they get excoriated for "not believing correctly".
I've got a bunch of heuristics that I use to tell when a Christian is ultimately gonna push "purity, but NICE this time" Purity Culture 2.0 BS, and obsessing over the "good intentions" of the creators and pushers of Purity Culture 1.0 is top of the list.
I can tell that you're more worried about the feelings of the people who are the reason I have to go to therapy and am still single into my late 20's than *me*. And you're also more worried about the reputation of "Biblical sexuality", too.
It angers me to no end that no matter what people who went through purity culture say, "orthodox" Christians only ever prioritize "protecting the Biblical sexual ethic" in their "responses" to purity culture.
They care more about their rules than they do about people.
"Well, how else can we raise our children with Good Biblical Values?"
You can't. That's exactly the problem. You are being presented with the implicit choice between shame and not-shame. You can't choose 50/50, because that's still shame.
Forcing a shame-based sexual ethic (no matter how "lovingly" presented) doesn't result in people abstaining. It results in fear, poor decision-making abilities, physical dysfunctions, trust issues, and suffering.
"Purity" is entirely counterproductive to healthy outcomes.
Okay, this is honestly kind of infuriating. Tim Keller is referencing Rachel Denhollander, who has spoken on how she was ostracized from her church for speaking out on abuse coverups by Sovereign Grace Ministries/CJ Mahaney.
Guess who's connected to that? Keller.
Keller in fact signed on an open letter defending Mahaney's quiet exit from The Gospel Coalition in the midst of the scandal around his church, which has been conveniently scrubbed of his name with no apology since it was published.
Denhollander has talked about the immense personal cost her advocacy for the victims of CJ Mahaney's abusive ministries. Meanwhile, I can't find anywhere where Tim Keller had said a single thing about Mahaney since the scandal.
My mom has been doing a deep dive into videos on fundamentalism and abuse, and she just... sort of apologized for my upbringing? "...sorry if we did anything that hurt you..."
I'm not sure how to process it. I feel complicated emotions, and I don't entirely feel okay about it.
Like, I get that it's difficult for both of my parents to process all this deconstruction, but... their experience was different than mine (and my siblings'). Their choices had much more drastic consequences on the children they raised in this controlling system/culture.
One thing I feel uncomfortable with is that I'm going to feel pressured to "manage" how THEY feel and make sure THEY feel comfortable in this. When really, I am not okay with a lot of what they did, and I really don't want to center them in this.