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The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life

Format: Digital
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780801035715

Overview

Our culture is sex-crazed. That is no secret. But our culture is also deeply confused about sex and sexual ethics, often sending conflicting messages—at times promoting an “anything goes” attitude while at other times seeking to impose limits on sexual behavior. Unfortunately, Christians seem equally confused, and the church has tended to respond with simplistic answers. The reason for this confusion is that the meaning of sex has been largely lost.

Dennis Hollinger argues that there is indeed an inherent, God-given meaning to sex. This meaning provides a framework for a biblical sexual ethic that adequately addresses contemporary moral issues. Written primarily as an ethical guide for human sexuality, The Meaning of Sex provides a good balance between theological reflection and engaging discussion of the practical issues Christians are facing. Part 1 lays the groundwork, discussing ethical theories and the competing worldviews that shape various approaches to sexual morality. The Christian worldview of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation is then applied to sex, followed by an exploration of the God-designed purposes for sex. Part 2 delves into critical issues: premarital sex, sex within marriage, homosexuality, reproductive technologies, and faithful living in a sex-obsessed world.

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  • Examines all of the major questions about sex in contemporary dialogue
  • Roots sexual ethics in the Bible and traditional Christian theology
  • Clarifies the Christian teachings about sex in a sexually confused society
  • Introduction
    • Frameworks
    • Ethical Theories and Sex
    • Worldviews and Sex
    • The Christian Worldview and Sex
    • The Purposes of Sex
  • Issues
    • Sex Before Marriage
    • Sex in marriage
    • The Challenge of Homosexuality
    • Reproductive Technologies and Sexual Ethics
    • Living in a Sex-Crazed World
Hollinger addresses the complex issues of sexuality with a rare combination of theological-philosophical expertise, cultural savvy, and pastoral sensitivity. A much-needed 'for such a time as this' book.

Richard J. Mouw, president, Fuller Theological Seminary

In a culture that is careening toward sexual nihilism, we desperately need teachers like Dennis Hollinger. His teaching shows us clearly and concretely what life could look like if we received our sexuality as a gift and lived sexually in line with God's redemption of creation.

Jonathan R. Wilson, Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology, Carey Theological College

[W]hat sets apart a truly Christian sexual ethic is that it is founded on the distinctive meanings of sex and sexuality established by God and revealed in the Scriptures. Hollinger’s book articulates these foundations persuasively and then mines them to clarify the most pressing ethical and moral challenges facing the church today. This is a wonderful sourcebook for thinking Christians.

—Stanton L. Jones, author, Ex-Gays? and God’s Design for Sex

Dennis P. Hollinger is president and Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and is a former pastor. He is the author of numerous articles and the author or series coeditor of several books, including Head, Heart, and Hands: Bringing Together Christian Thought, Passion, and Action and Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World.