Monday, May 22, 2006

The Pure Course

This was launched at Forum in September 2005... Today reported in the Daily Telegraph: Students are given lessons on how to keep their virginity. The article is ok though its not all that accurate and makes it seem like our ultimate goal is to spread a "gospel of sexual abstinence".. whereas its pretty clear that the course is actually about forgiveness and life knowing Jesus.

The actual course information is here: The Pure Course (NB: requires Norn Irish pronouciation to be authentic). Written by Linda Marshall, UCCF Midlands Team Leader.

We ran it at Reading University in the autumn with upto 40 students turning out at 7.30am on a Monday morning for the course. The same happened at Surrey University on Wednesday mornings with a smaller number.


  1. Its terrible how the pure course has been changed in the media. The article even contradicts itself as of the origin of the pure course. But Praise God that the true pure course is being proclaimed on campus. Were getting 60 people people at 8am in the morning at York which again just shows the need for gospel focussed relationship courses!

  2. You've made the Guardian as well!

  3. ..well, well... who'd have thought.

  4. How weird. Nobody cares when it's all about Jesus but when somebody mentions sex...

  5. It's because the general world belives all evangelicals ever go on about is sexual morality. Having said that, some of them do go on about it....every time I heard a UCCF speaker pick a sin out the air as an example, it was something to do with sex.

    Why doesn't UCCF ever focus on being environmentally responsible? Or run courses on handling finances as a Christian? that's another pressure area for students.

    Pure looks really positive, so long as it doesn't help reinforce stereotypes.

  6. How funny, I have met James Meiring, he is a funny guy. I once went to SLOBS with Ruth Adams too. I think it's good that the course is getting profile. We can't expect secular press to all of a sudden change their world view to write Christians in a positive light, so we should recognise column-inches as the positive thing they are.

    The CU co-President here in Sheffield was quoted in the student paper this week. Although the article doesn't really paint a positive picture, I'd rather see columns containing some truth rather than the usual pointless waffle. At least the world is taking notice!

  7. Chris,

    I'm currently beginning work on a book proposal to write a money equivilant of Pure.

    The sex issue is however a significant area in which distinctiveness is required, i hope you'd agree. Likewise many other areas.

    As for environmentalism - there are some IVP books on the subject.


  8. Dave,

    It's great that you are doing a pure-equivalent on money. You must check out Tim Keller's mp3 on the subject (Bible Teachings Treasure Justice, or at least the first half - brilliant).


    I think you're partly right. But it is hugely important to talk about esp when you think about it not as something which makes you primarily ritually impure (which some people do get the feeling we teach it is) rather than a sin which is part of the larger sin of self-centredness. Paul's lists of sins which often do major on sexual sins, always seem to see them as expressions of self-centerness and dehuminsing (sp?) of people.

    The world hear what they want to hear a lot of the time. I may not like a lot of Rowen Williams theology but I feel sorry for him when the media never listens properly to him. You only hear about him in the news when he mentions politics, sexuality, or social ills. You never hear reports of him talking about Jesus or the gospel, even though he does - and that is the most radical and relevant stuff.


    ...Ah York.

  9. Hi, this is James Meiring who did was interviewed for the pure course article. I think the article overall was ok. It did come across slightly moralistic and they ignored the bit about the way we live our lives being a response to the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross!! However, there has been a lot of postitives conme out of it. the The yorkshire post ran an article which was very positive and did mention jesus's death. Linda and I also went on radio humberside and talked about it.
    Personally, it has opened the door to a lot of conversations about why relationships and sex is important and the article has encouraged older christians who thought all hope was lost for the younger generation!
    I think, although the media twist it a little, any talk of the Christian worldview and Jesus is a good thing in this increasingly relative and secular society.

    Thanks, James

    (also, sorry Luke but remind where we met I am terrible with names and faces!)