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The Grey Matter: Thinking Through Fifty Shades

“I want you to behave in a particular way, and if you don’t, I shall punish you…”

Granted, it’s not the traditional way Prince Charming wooed his lady; but then, fairytales didn’t typically include rape, bondage and written contracts of non-disclosure.

That is, until now.

Fifty Shades of Grey

From humble roots as a homespun hobby, the popular Fifty Shades of Grey series has cultivated new standards for both marketing and morality in the digital age. Having sold more than ten million copies in its first six weeks of stateside publication, Grey captured an easy 25% of the market for adult fiction. And it hasn’t stopped yet. In the four months since its American debut, the trilogy has dominated virtually every major print and e-book list—from the USA Today to the New York Times where it leads in no less than four major categories. Publishing rights to the series have been sold in another 37 countries, including the United Kingdom, where Fifty Shades of Grey achieved the record for the highest ever weekly paperback sales. All of it penned by one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Yet Christians remain strangely unaware of either the book or its cultural status. Stranger still is the odd mix of feminists and librarians that mark its primary opposition. In fact, one might say that feminists and librarians are the only ones voicing concerns. Why?

Shades of Grey operates outside the typical evangelical’s sphere of knowledge. There are things we don’t want to know, people we don’t want to know, because in the end, it’s easier to close our eyes than confront the evil before them. But there are issues in our society that move to shape the culture and of these things, we must be aware.

Read more in an article I wrote over at Caffeinated Thoughts.


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