Archives For Sexuality

 

TGC:

It’s no secret Western culture is shifting fast, particularly in the realm of sexual ethics. What was unfathomable just 30 years ago is normal today.

How should Christians engage our neighbors who think differently? How can pastors equip Christians to talk about these things in a way that’s loving, winsome, and compelling?

Read the rest here.

Dr. Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission responds to today’s ruling on same sex marriage.

Don’t miss the links at the bottom of the page. There are resources available.

Jesus’s teaching on lust sets the standard. Sins of the mind are wrong. He stressed the stakes. Lust is eternally deadly. And Christ gave us a strategy: take radical action.

[27] “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ [28] But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. [29] If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. [30] And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Matthew 5:27-30

What does it look like to take radical action? How do we figuratively gouge out our eyes and amputate our hands? Below are 10 Policies for parents to implement to protect their families. These are not all radical in nature. Some of them take place over time. But be ready to act decisively if necessary.

  1. Be involved in a Christ-centered, Bible preaching local church. The only way we can counter the corrosive effects of a fallen world is through Christian community. You need to feed on the proclaimed Word, share life with other believers, worship Christ in community, and pray with others. If you are struggling in this area, make yourself accountable to a mature Christian very soon.
  2. Promote a positive vision for marriage and God’s plan for intimacy. Envision Christ-centered weddings.
  3. Make love — husbands and wives — a priority. Spouses belong to one another (1 Cor 7:1-5).
  4. Establish and maintain modesty standards within your family.
  5. Establish family policies early. Second grade is easier than sixth for setting boundaries. Still, it is never too late.
  6. Minimize screen time in general. Check the progression that accustoms families to always being in front of a screen. Hate addiction to video games and be scared of them in the first place. If the only way you can get work done is to occupy your children with a video, or, if you always use videos to keep children from being a distraction when you entertain, that is a problem! (Though, exceptions can be made for the sake of #3.
  7. Keep Internet access away from private contexts: especially bedrooms and basements. Sin loves darkness.
  8. Implement steps from Pastor Tim Michalek’s Top 5 Free Ways to Protect Against Internet Pornography.
  9. Question if teens really need Internet enabled phones.
  10. Avoid split second decisions about purchasing Internet enabled devices. Heed Tim Challies appeal. “Please don’t give them porn for Christmas.”

Online resources for battling pornography:

The Porn Free Family Plan (Tim Challies)

The Top 5 Free Ways to Protect Against Internet Pornography (Tim Michalek)

Circle: A Review (Darryl Dash)

For help implementing a family policy, and for saying no to Internet enabled devices, see Parents Memorize This Speech (Chris Brauns)

Please Don’t Give Them Porn for Christmas (Tim Challies)

Parenting in a Hyper-Sexualized Culture (Heath Lambert)

The Most Insidious Drug (Chris Brauns)

What’s at Stake with Internet Pornography (Russell Moore)

Is Pornography the New Tobacco (Mary Eberstadt)

Pornography: The New Normal (Carl Trueman)

Pornography: The New Narcotic (John Piper)

Hijacking Back Your Brain from Porn (John Piper)

Porn, Pride, and Praise (Heath Lambert)

Children Playing Outside Requires Leadership. Here’s Three Suggestions (Chris Brauns)

Russell Moore: Fake Love, Fake War and the Dangers of Pornography and the Internet

Pornification: Just the Facts (Ed Stetzer)

A Study on the Effects of Pornography

Recommended Reading:

Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace (Heath Lambert)

Counsel to Men Addicted to Pornography (Ed Welch)

Pornified: How Pornography is Damaging Our Live, Our Relationships, and Our Families (Pamela Paul)

When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (John Piper)

Wired for Intimacy. How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain (William Struthers)

Sexual Detox (an e-book by Tim Challies)

Recommended Videos:

I Am Struggling With Pornography and Need Help. What’s My First Step (Heath Lambert)

What Should I Do When My Husband is Looking at Pornography (Heath Lambert)

The Science of Pornography

You Can Say No to Porn (John Piper)

The Key to Escaping Porn (John Piper)

Tim Keller: How Does the Gospel Conquer Pornography

Pastor Chris Brauns speaking at the Christ and Culture Conference in Wisconsin.Audio recordings for the Church and Culture conference on Homosexuality are available online.

Powerpoint slides, other notes, and an abbreviated bibliography are available here.

Anderson_staver_0061426856588The Washington Post has profiled Ryan Anderson, a leading conservative defender of the traditional view of marriage. Anderson summarizes the heart of his argument:

“We argue that marriage really exists to unite a man and a woman as husband and wife to then be mother and father to any children that that union creates,” Anderson says to the voice on the other end of the line.

“This is based on anthropological truths that men and women are distinct and complementary. It’s based on a biological fact that reproduction requires both a man and a woman. It’s based on a social reality that children deserve a mom and a dad.”

He barely needs a breath. “Our argument is that this is what gets the government in the marriage business,” he says. “It’s not because the state cares about consenting adult romance.”

Read the article here.

I recently spoke on how our local churches should engage the discussion of homosexuality and the definition of marriage. Below are a selection of my sources.

This is not an exhaustive list. It includes those sources I have come across in my studies. By listing a source here, I do not mean to imply that I am in complete agreement. Far from it! “But test everything; hold fast what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).”

*Indicates those resources that are either most helpful or most relevant to the discussion. Again, I reiterate that my intent is not to say that I agree with them completely.

*“A Church Statement on Human Sexuality: Homosexuality and Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ A Resource for EFCA Churches.” The Evangelical Church of America, May 1, 2013. http://go.efca.org/sites/default/files/resources/docs/2013/05/a_church_statement_on_human_sexuality_3.pdf.

*Allberry, Sam. “A Review: God and the Gay Christian – A Review.” The Gospel Coalition, May 21, 2014. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/god-and-the-gay-christian.

*———. Is God Anti-Gay? And Other Questions About Homosexuality, the Bible and Same-Sex Attraction. The Good Book Company Ltd, 2013.

Andersen, Kirsten. “Adult Children of Gay Parents Unite in Court to Testify Against Same-Sex Marriage.” Breaking Christian News, January 16, 2015. http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=15290.

“Attracted To Men, Pastor Feels Called To Marriage With A Woman.” National Public Radio: The Sunday Conversation, January 4, 2015. http://www.npr.org/2015/01/04/374857829/a-pastor-moves-past-his-attraction-to-men-and-so-does-his-wife.

Barwick, Heather. “Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting.” The Federalist, March 17, 2015. http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/17/dear-gay-community-your-kids-are-hurting/ – .VQhB_1qpgM9.facebook.

Bauckham, Richard. The Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2003.

Boorstein, Michelle. “Gay Christians Choosing Celibacy Emerge from the Shadows.” The Washington Post, December 13, 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/gay-christians-choosing-celibacy-emerge-from-the-shadows/2014/12/13/51c73aea-6ab2-11e4-9fb4-a622dae742a2_story.html.

Brauns, Chris. “Christian Smith Helps Us Understand Our Teens and Young Adults.” A Brick in the Valley: The Web Site of Pastor and Author Chris Brauns, June 3, 2010. http://chrisbrauns.com/2010/06/christian-smith-helps-us-understand-our-teens-and-young-adults/.

———. “C.S. Lewis and His Last Hurdle to Belief.” A Brick in the Valley: The Web Site of Pastor and Author Chris Brauns, April 21, 2013. http://chrisbrauns.com/2013/04/c-s-lewis-and-one-of-his-last-hurdles-to-belief/.

———. “John Frame: The Great Question Confronting Modern Humanity.” A Brick in the Valley: The Web Site of Pastor and Author Chris Brauns, November 13, 2014. http://chrisbrauns.com/2014/11/john-frame-great-question-confronting-modern-humanity/.

———. “On the Rise of Individualism and the Decline of Morality.” A Brick in the Valley: The Web Site of Pastor and Author Chris Brauns, May 29, 2013. http://chrisbrauns.com/2013/05/individualism-and-the-decline-of-morality/.

*Brooks, David. “The Cost of Relativism.” The New York Times, March 10, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/10/opinion/david-brooks-the-cost-of-relativism.html.

Burk, Denny. “10 Ways to Love Your Transgender Neighbor.” Denny Burk: A Commentary on Theology, Politics, and Culture, June 12, 2014. http://www.dennyburk.com/10-ways-to-love-your-transgender-neighbor/.

———. “An Exercise Club Allows Men into Women’s Locker Rooms, and Vice Versa | Denny Burk.” Denny Burk: A Commentary on Theology, Politics, and Culture, March 12, 2015. http://www.dennyburk.com/an-exercise-club-allows-men-into-womens-locker-rooms-and-vice-versa-planetfitness/.

———. “How to Think and Pray about the Suicide of a Transgender Teen | Denny Burk.” Denny Burk: A Commentary on Theology, Politics, and Culture, January 2, 2015. http://www.dennyburk.com/how-to-think-and-pray-about-the-suicide-of-a-transgender-teen/.

———. “Mozilla CEO Pressured to Resign for Supporting Traditional Marriage | Denny Burk.” Denny Burk: A Commentary on Theology, Politics, and Culture, April 3, 2014. http://www.dennyburk.com/mozilla-ceo-pressured-to-resign-for-supporting-gay-marriage/.

———. “My Husband’s Not Gay.” Denny Burk: A Commentary on Theology, Politics, and Culture, January 6, 2015. http://www.dennyburk.com/my-husbands-not-gay/.

———. “The Firing of Atlanta Fire Chief Is an Intolerable Precedent.” Denny Burk: A Commentary on Theology, Politics, and Culture, January 9, 2015. http://www.dennyburk.com/the-firing-of-atlanta-fire-chief-is-an-intolerable-precedent/.

———. “Will Christians Be Allowed to Serve as Judges in California?” Denny Burk: A Commentary on Theology, Politics, and Culture, January 24, 2015. http://www.dennyburk.com/will-christians-be-allowed-to-serve-as-judges-in-california/.

*Butterfield, Rosaria. The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. Crown & Covenant Publications, 2012.

*Carson, D.A. The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

*Chandler, Matt. “A Beautiful Design: In His Image.” presented at the The Village Church, Dallas, September 14, 2014. http://www.thevillagechurch.net/resources/sermons/detail/in-his-image/.

*DeYoung, Kevin. “Not That Kind of Homosexuality?” The Gospel Coalition, November 13, 2014. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2014/11/13/not-that-kind-of-homosexuality/.

*———. What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality. Wheaton: Crossway, 2015.

Dias, Elizabeth. “Inside the Evangelical Fight Over Gay Marriage.” Time Magazine, January 15, 1916. http://time.com/3668781/inside-the-evangelical-fight-over-gay-marriage/?loginfailure=true.

Dreher, Rod. “Christian and Countercultural.” First Things, February 1, 2015. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/02/christian-and-countercultural.

*Eberstadt, Mary. How the West Really Lost God. Conschohocken, PA: Templeton Press, 2013.

*———. “Is Food the New Sex? A Curious Reversal in Moralizing.” Hoover Institution: Policy Review, March 2009. http://www.hoover.org/research/food-new-sex.

———. “Is Pornography the New Tobacco: Another Curious Reversal in Moralizing.” Hoover Institution: Public Policy, April 1, 2009. http://www.hoover.org/research/pornography-new-tobacco.

*———. “The New Intolerance by Mary Eberstadt.” First Things, March 2015. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/03/the-new-intolerance.

———. “What Does Woman Want? The War Between the Sexless.” First Things, October 1, 2009. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/10/what-does-woman-want.

Epstein, Brian. “What Alabama’s Roy Moore Got Right.” The New York Times, February 16, 2015. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/16/what-alabamas-roy-moore-gets-right/.

Flores, Carlos D. “The Absurdity of Transgenderism: A Stern but Necessary Critique | Public Discourse.” The Witherspoon Institute: Public Discourse, February 6, 2015. http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/02/14305/.

*Frame, John M. Apologetics to the Glory of God. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 1994.

French, David. “Where God Loves Abortion and Hates Israel.” National Review, March 20, 2015. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/415694/where-god-loves-abortion-and-hates-israel-david-french?utm_content=buffera8278&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

Gagnon, Robert. “A Response to Walter Wink’s Christian Century Review of The Bible and Homosexual Practice,” July 2002. http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/gagnon3.pdf.

———. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. Nashville: Abingdon, 2001.

*Gagnon, Robert A.J. “Why San Francisco’s Biggest Megachurch Is Wrong About Sex.” First Things, March 7, 2015. http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/03/why-san-franciscos-biggest-megachurch-is-wrong-about-sex.

Girgis, Sherif, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert T. George. What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense. Encounter Books, 2012.

*Gushee, David P., Matthew Vines, and Brian D. McLaren. Changing Our Mind. Canton, MI: David Crumm Media, LLC, 2014. The author argues that same sex marriage can be biblical.

*Guthrie, George. “A Review: Changing Our Mind.” The Gospel Coalition, January 9, 2015. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/changing-our-mind.

Hannon, Michael W. “Against Heterosexuality by Michael W. Hannon | Articles | First Things.” First Things, March 1, 2014. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/03/against-heterosexuality.

Hansen, Collin. “My Top 10 Theology Stories of 2014.” The Gospel Coalition, December 22, 2014. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/my-top-10-theology-stories-of-2014.

Higgins, Will. “Owners Who Refused Cake for Gay Couple Close Shop.” The Indianapolis Star, February 27, 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/02/27/anti-gay-marriage-bakery-gone/24133651/?AID=10709313&PID=4003003&SID=i7p9kmk0hu00ou4y00dth.

*Hill-Perry, Jackie. “From Lesbianism to Complementarianism.” 9 Marks, March 11, 2015. http://9marks.org/article/from-lesbianism-to-complementarianism/.

Hubbard, Peter. Love into Light: The Gospel, the Homosexual, and the Church. Greenville, SC: Ambassador International, 2013.

Johnson, Luke Timothy. “Homosexuality & The Church.” Commonweal, June 11, 2007. https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/homosexuality-church-1. Johnson flatly rejects the authority of Scripture.

Kellaway, Mitch. “WATCH: First of ‘Seven Sisters’ Schools to Admit Trans Women | Advocate.com.” The Advocate, September 3, 2015. http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2014/09/03/watch-first-seven-sisters-schools-admit-trans-women.

*Keller, Tim. “Deconstructing Defeater Beliefs: Leading the Secular to Christ,” http://www.case.edu.au/images/uploads/03_pdfs/keller-deconstructing-defeater.pdf

Keller, Timothy, and Kathy Keller. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God. New York: Dutton, 2011.

Kreeft, Peter “The Pillars of Unbelief—Kant by Peter Kreeft.” Peter Kreeft, 1988. http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/pillars_kant.htm.

*Lambert, Heath. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.

*Lewis, C.S. “God in the Dock.” In God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, edited by Walter Hooper, 240–44. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970.

Lloyd, Jean. “Seven Things I Wish My Pastor Knew About My Homosexuality.” The Witherspoon Institute: Public Discourse, December 10, 2014. http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2014/12/14149/.

———. “The Girl in the Tuxedo: Two Variations on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity | Public Discourse.” The Witherspoon Institute: Public Discourse, February 5, 2015. http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/02/14388/.

London, Herbert. America’s Secular Challenge: The Rise of a New National Religion. New York: Encounter Books, 2008.

Mai-Duc, Christine. “California Judges Barred from Participating in Boy Scouts over Discrimination against Gays – LA Times.” LA Times, January 24, 2015. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-judges-banned-boy-scouts-20150123-story.html.

McDowell, Sean, and John Stonestreet. Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2014.

McHugh, Paul. “Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution.” The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2014. http://www.wsj.com/articles/paul-mchugh-transgender-surgery-isnt-the-solution-1402615120.

Merritt, Jonathan. “If the Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage in 2015, How Will Evangelicals Respond?” On Faith and Culture, January 5, 2015. http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2015/01/05/supreme-court-legalizes-gay-marriage-2015-will-evangelicals-respond/.

———. “Leading Evangelical Ethicist David Gushee Is Now pro-LGBT. Here’s Why It Matters.,” October 24, 2014. http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/10/24/david-gushee-lgbt-homosexuality-matters/.

Metaxas, Eric. “Wanting a Mom and a Dad.” Breakpoint Commentaries, June 3, 2010. http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/22386?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BpCommentaries+%28BreakPoint+Commentaries%29&utm_content=Google+Reader.

Mohler, Albert, J., ed. God and the Gay Christian: A Response to Matthew Vines. Louisville: SBTS Press, 2014.

Mohler, Albert J. “Religious Liberty vs. Erotic Liberty — Religious Liberty Is Losing,” January 12, 2015. http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/01/12/religious-liberty-vs-erotic-liberty-religious-liberty-is-losing/.

Moore, Elizabeth Armstrong. “Woman Turns 40, Marries Herself.” USA Today, January 29, 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/01/29/woman-marries-herself-houston/22519099/.

Moore, Russell. “Arousing Ourselves to Death.” Moore to the Point, April 27, 2011. http://www.russellmoore.com/2011/04/27/arousing-ourselves-to-death/.

———. “How Should Same-Sex Marriage Change the Church’s Witness? | Moore to the Point.” Moore to the Point, June 26, 2013. http://www.russellmoore.com/2013/06/26/how-should-same-sex-marriage-change-the-churchs-witness/ – more-10868.

———. “Man, Woman, and the Mystery of Christ: An Evangelical Protestant Perspective.” The Gospel Coalition, November 18, 2014. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/man-woman-and-the-mystery-of-christ-an-evangelical-protestant-perspective.

———. Same-Sex Marriage and the Future. Nashville: The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, 2014.

———. “The Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage: Why This Matters for the Church.” Moore to the Point, January 16, 2015. http://www.russellmoore.com/2015/01/16/the-supreme-court-and-same-sex-marriage-why-this-matters-for-the-church/.

———. “Why I’m Going to the Vatican.” Moore to the Point, November 3, 2014. http://www.russellmoore.com/2014/11/03/why-im-going-to-the-vatican/.

*———. “Women, Stop Submitting to Men.” Moore to the Point, December 5, 2011. http://www.russellmoore.com/2011/12/05/women-stop-submitting-to-men/.

Naselli, Andy. “Interview with John Frame on the Problem of Evil.” The Gospel Coalition, August 20, 2014. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2008/08/20/interview-with-john-frame-on-problem-of/.

Olasky, Marvin. “Cultural Hardball.” World Magazine, March 20, 2015. http://www.worldmag.com/2015/03/cultural_hardball.

“On Transgender Identity.” The Southern Baptist Convention, 2014. http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/2250/on-transgender-identity.

*Plump, Wendy. “A Roomful of Yearning and Regret.” The New York Times, December 9, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/fashion/12Modern.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

Pritchard, Ray. “When Gay Activists Came to Calvary | Leadership Journal.” Accessed February 14, 2015. http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2005/winter/7.64.html?start=1.

RFRA Opponents Urge Boycott of Legislator’s Ice Business.” Accessed April 1, 2015. http://www.indystar.com/story/money/2015/03/31/rfra-opponents-urge-boycott-legislators-ice-business/70740676/.

Roth, Sara. “Bakery Risks Large Fine for Anti-Gay Discrimination.” USA Today, February 3, 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/02/bakery-same-sex-oregon-fined-wedding-cake/22771685/.

Saletan, William. “Brendan Eich Quits Mozilla: Let’s Purge All the Anti-Gay Donors to Prop 8.” Slate. Accessed March 25, 2015. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2014/04/brendan_eich_quits_mozilla_let_s_purge_all_the_antigay_donors_to_prop_8.html.

Schmitz, Matthew. “N. T. Wright on Gay Marriage: Nature and Narrative Point to Complementarity.” First Things, June 11, 2014. http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/06/n-t-wrights-argument-against-same-sex-marriage.

Sider, Ronald J. “Tragedy, Tradition, and Opportunity in the Homosexuality Debate.” Christianity Today, November 18, 2014. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/november-web-only/ron-sider-tragedy-tradition-and-opportunity-in-homosexualit.html?share=OqU4+OeFKmzpYZ0jb%2fX%2fPanyWZNIaofp.

Smethhurst, Matt. “What Sex Trafficking and Gay Marriage Have in Common: An Interview with David Platt.” The Gospel Coalition, February 3, 2015. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/what-sex-trafficking-gay-marriage-common – When:06:03:00Z.

*Smith, Christian, and Melinda Lundquist Denton. Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Sontag, Deborah. “Transgender Woman Cites Attacks and Abuse in Men’s Prison.” The New York Times, April 5, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/us/ashley-diamond-transgender-inmate-cites-attacks-and-abuse-in-mens-prison.html.

Stetzer, Ed. “YEAR IN REVIEW: 4 Trends in Christianity That Could Scare You, According to Ed Stetzer.” Charisma News, June 4, 2014. http://www.charismanews.com/culture/44114-4-trends-in-christianity-that-could-scare-you-according-to-ed-stetzer.

Stonestreet, John. “The ‘Gay Marriage’ Tsunami.” Breakpoint: Changing Lives, Minds and Communities Through Jesus Christ, December 30, 2014. http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/26552.

Strachan, Owen. “Another Pastor Self-Congratulates for Endorsing ‘Gay Christianity.’” Patheos, January 30, 2015. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2015/01/another-pastor-self-congratulates-for-endorsing-gay-christianity/.

———. “David and Jonathan’s Love Was Pure, Not Erotic.” Patheos, December 12, 2014. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2014/12/david-and-jonathans-love-was-pure-not-erotic/.

———. “Dear Rob Bell: The Church Isn’t Giving an Inch on Gay Marriage.” Thought Life. Accessed March 7, 2015. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2015/03/dear-rob-bell-the-church-isnt-giving-an-inch-on-gay-marriage/.

———. “Gay Christianity: Toward a Theological and Pastoral Response.” Patheos, December 13, 2014. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2014/12/gay-christianity-toward-a-theological-and-pastoral-response/.

Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. 1st edition. Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.

*Taylor, Justin. “A Crash Course on Influencers of Unbelief: Immanuel Kant.” The Gospel Coalition. Between Two Worlds, February 26, 2015. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2015/02/26/a-crash-course-on-influencers-of-unbelief-immanuel-kant/.

———. “How Can Churches Engage Believers and Unbelievers Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction?” The Gospel Coalition, February 10, 2015. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2015/02/10/how-can-churches-engage-believers-and-unbelievers-who-experience-same-sex-attraction/.

———. “How the West Really Lost God: An Interview with Mary Eberstadt.” The Gospel Coalition, July 10, 2013. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/07/10/how-the-west-really-lost-god-an-interview-with-mary-eberstadt/.

*———. “Watch This If You Want to See What Grace Looks Like: A Conversation Between Russell Moore and Rosaria Butterfield.” The Gospel Coalition, January 5, 2015. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2015/01/05/watch-this-if-you-want-to-see-what-grace-looks-like/.

Tripp, Paul. “A Bitter Harvest? | Desiring God.” Desiring God, December 15, 2010. http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/a-bitter-harvest.

Tushnet, Eve, Lisa Severine Nolland, Sherif Girgis, and Peter Ould. “Should I Attend the Wedding of a Gay Friend or Family Member?” Christianity Today, February 23, 2015. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/march/gay-wedding-attend-christian-marriage-family.html?share=tADUNGDbNrc8h0GosIrZxlIklWs0Mawe.

*Vines, Matthew. God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. New York, New York: Convergent Books, 2014. Vines unsuccessfully argues for same sex marriage.

Volokh, Eugene. “Marquette Suspends Prof’s Teaching, Orders Him off Campus.” The Washington Post, December 17, 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/12/17/marquette-suspends-profs-teaching-orders-him-off-campus/.

Walker, Andrew. “A Church In Exile: Hillsong Shifts on Homosexuality.” First Things, October 17, 2014. http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/10/a-church-in-exile.

Wetzstein, Cheryl. “Gay Couples’ Children Oppose Same-Sex Marriage, Tell of Unpleasant Upbringings.” The Washington Times, January 8, 2015. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/8/gay-couples-children-oppose-same-sex-marriage-tell/.

Woman Plans to Marry Her Father after Two Years of Dating.” Fox News. Accessed January 27, 2015. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/01/17/woman-plans-to-marry-her-father-after-two-years-dating/.

*Yarhouse, Mark A. Homosexuality and the Christian. Minneapolis: Bethany, 2010.

*Yuan, Christopher, and Angela Yuan. Out of a Far Country. Colorado Springs: Waterbook Press, 2011.

Zuckerman, Phil. “How Secular Family Values Stack up.” LA Times, January 14, 2015. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0115-zuckerman-secular-parenting-20150115-story.html.

The Old Testament law prescribed the death penalty for some sexual sins. How are Christians to interpret Old Testament commandments to execute people for sexual sin? My upcoming sermon at the Red Brick Church will address this question.

Short of hiding in a cave – – and a cave without Internet at that – – no one has been able to escape the heated debates taking place over the definition of marriage. Dr. Albert Mohler recently noted that we know an issue is in the news when Time Magazine features the story on its cover.

There is a part of pastors that would choose to sit this controversy out. We have friends and family who will disagree with our position – – whatever our view – – and no wise person looks forward to disagreement. Picture taking a walk in a hailstorm.

Yet, for pastors, remaining silent on this issue is not an option. When the Bible speaks clearly on a matter- – and it speaks clearly on this one – – pastors do not have the luxury of avoiding controversy. To do so would be to commit the sin of some Old Testament prophets who remained silent about difficult matters (Lamentations 2:14).

So, in God’s providence,  this is my week to grasp the nettle. D.V. On Saturday I will preach on homosexuality at a conference. (Below you can watch a video in which I give some orientation to my thought going into the conference).

Sunday, we will continue our series on the Sermon on the Mount at the Red Brick Church and the question of how New Testament Christians view the Old Testament Law with its harsh statements about sexual sin. It is easy to quickly dismiss Old Testament passages that call for executions. But given that Jesus stressed that he did not come to abolish the law (Matt 5:17-18), we need to consider how we are to interpret the Law. That is to say, “How should we understand the combination of the below verses?”

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22

If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. Leviticus 20:13

[17] “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. [18] For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. [19] Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [20] For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-20

You might expect for me to wade into the thicket regarding my position on this post – – but I’ll hold off until Sunday. As always, it is our plan for the sermon to be available online.

JT shares:

The highlights of this conversation for me were the last two exchanges: Kevin DeYoung’s answer on gay marriage (41:30-46:12) and Jackie Hill’s answer on what is the gospel (46:14-51:15):

Panel Discussion: Kevin DeYoung, Justin Taylor, Jackie Hill Perry, and Josh Moody from Crossway on Vimeo.

Tomorrow (D.V.) I’m preaching on Matthew 5:10-12 in which Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” Jesus later amplifies this teaching in Matthew 10:16-42. Below, Ryan T. Anderson’s treatment by Piers Morgan shows what those willing to stand for truth in the public square can expect in the years to come.

See also this exchange at a forum held at Stanford.

Help me fairly understand the worldview which says that moral values are a function of cultures rather than a transcendent standard. I am not trying to be insulting. I assume that most people who believe that morals are rooted in culture believe that adult incest is wrong. What I am trying to understand is the secular basis for saying that something which takes place between consenting adults is wrong if there are no moral absolutes. What I am most looking for in the comments is a fair presentation of the secular position.

I am preparing to speak at a conference on the church and culture in a few weeks (More on that in the video shown at the end of this post). As a part of my preparation, I am working hard to understand secular thought and a discussion on the New York Times site has gotten my attention.

In a recent NY Times Article, Justin McBrayer (who I know neither personally nor professionally), expressed his concern that children are being taught that we cannot say that it is factually true that cheating is wrong. McBrayer summarized curriculum exercises in which children are asked to evaluate if the following statements are “facts” or “opinions.”

— Copying homework assignments is wrong.

— Cursing in school is inappropriate behavior.

— All men are created equal.

— It is worth sacrificing some personal liberties to protect our country from terrorism.

— It is wrong for people under the age of 21 to drink alcohol.

— Vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat.

— Drug dealers belong in prison.

In each of the above cases, children are taught that these statements are opinions rather than facts. McBrayer is, rightly in my opinion, concerned. He concludes:

We can do better. Our children deserve a consistent intellectual foundation. Facts are things that are true. Opinions are things we believe. Some of our beliefs are true. Others are not. Some of our beliefs are backed by evidence. Others are not. Value claims are like any other claims: either true or false, evidenced or not. The hard work lies not in recognizing that at least some moral claims are true but in carefully thinking through our evidence for which of the many competing moral claims is correct. That’s a hard thing to do. But we can’t sidestep the responsibilities that come with being human just because it’s hard.

Last time I checked 1,836 people had responded to McBrayer’s position. I didn’t tally responses, but many were not impressed with McBrayer’s concerns that we are not giving our children a proper moral foundation. The comments most approved by the Times staff and the readers (thereby making the top of the comments section) argued that morals can not be facts. Here are a few examples:

Grant Wiggins, NJ Yesterday

. . .  Ethical statement are not facts, they are conclusions. They are principle-based judgments. So, it is a sound conclusion that one should not lie or steal if one bases one’s ethics on Kant’s categorical imperative or the Golden Rule more generally. To call such a conclusion a “fact” is to conflate facts with reasoned inferences.

Lauren, San Diego Yesterday

The fact is there are no moral facts. Morals are relative to the culture that created them. The problem is how they are being taught to ignore the morals of our society. . .

So the problem is not that they are teaching that there are no moral facts, its that they are teaching kids that they can have their own opinions on things that are not socially acceptable in the society and culture they live in.

Virgil (md) Yesterday

. . . The GLARING flaw of this article is that the author assumes moral fact is not only true but preferable. Not only does he over look a pretty significant realm of philosophic thought but he also offers no evidence to support his assertion that moral truths should be taught in school. Ultimately you are free to take whichever view you like but the problem with moral absolutists, people like the author, who believe things are right or they are wrong is that those views are not absolute. Exceptions can be found to every rule imaginable.

Ultimately, the author discounts the power of personal morals. I do not need to believe that killing another person goes against nature on a cosmic scale to believe it is wrong to do it myself. Yes it is an opinion that cheating is wrong, I share that opinion. But I see no evidence to suggest that is a fact.

Carl (Basel) Yesterday

If there were such a thing as a moral fact it would be consistent throughout the ages, different cultures and species.

Morality is in a stage of flux. Our Opinions and Morals have changed drastically in the last few years towards homosexuality, in the last few decades toward racism and sexism and in the past centuries towards slavery.

. . . We all understand that a society needs a moral structure that we can all (or at least most) agree and act on but this moral structure is not carved in stone and will constantly adapt to the needs and opinions of its society.

In my mind, these questions raise an obvious question. If morals are rooted in the beliefs and feelings of people – – then are we saying that polygamy is a legitimate option for cultures? Bestiality? Someone might respond, “But our culture does not believe those options are okay.” Understood. But what if a majority did?