Sexuality: Succinct and Secure, by Jeffery J. Ventrella, J.D., Ph.D.

Jeffery J. Ventrella, J.D., Ph.D., is Distinguished Fellow of Law and Culture at the Center for Cultural Leadership and Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Training for the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Today’s world is awash with sexual confusion, clutter, and corrosion. Sexuality, though culturally ubiquitous, is often avoided by Christians and congregations, or if they do address it, they merely focus on one facet or symptom, often inadequately. Worse, compromise also decorates many Christians’ and congregational approaches to this crucial topic.

One thing needed to combat the clutter, confusion, and corrosion, is a secure conviction about how to think Christianly about sexuality. To that end, what follows are theses that tap into the Christian worldview and how that worldview understands sexuality: its meaning, purpose, and end.

• Sexual ethics is a subset of Marital Ethics — always; this requires expounding creational norms “from the beginning” (Matt. 19) and therefore the ethic is not properly confined to “Christian” practice, setting aside that some traditions consider marriage to be a sacrament

• These immutable creational norms require affirming and expounding the “sexed” and complementary nature of the human person, male and female

• Because marriage is a pre-political, foundational public social institution, the role of the State vis a vis marriage must be identified, and public policy — properly within the State’s jurisdiction — must protect and support this institution: marriage, family, parental rights and duties, etc.

• Sexual ethics may not rightly be reduced to biology, mechanics, or desire; rather, teleology lies at the foundation: “What mankind is for” must inform and precede “What mankind does” — accordingly, an informed anthropology is crucial, accounting for both mankind’s finitude and fallenness. This also means that a revelational epistemology comes into play at some point as one cannot fully comprehend anthropology, including human calling (cultural mandate) and Imago Dei, from other supportive philosophical tools such as natural law, new natural law, et al

• Sexual ethics presupposes a cosmology and the cosmology’s theology correlates to the cosmology’s ethics. Sexuality therefore rests not only on the embodied human person but also on the structure of “real reality” in which the human person lives

• Because “contrast is the mother of clarity” (Os Guinness frequently articulates this), competing cosmologies, theologies, philosophies, and ideologies, et al that impact or have influenced how sexuality is or has been both conceptualized and practiced ought to be understood and critiqued. This requires delving into intellectual history as well as engaging in cultural apologetics

Understanding and applying these theses and their implications deeply and well generates moral clarity, moral conviction, and moral courage for today and the future.

The following resources will benefit this task:

George, Girgis, and Anderson, What is Marriage?

Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

Anderson, When Harry Met Sally

Ayers, Christian Marriage – A Comprehensive Introduction

Sandlin, The Christian Sexual Worldview: God’s Order in an Age of Sexual Chaos

Snead, What It Means to be Human – The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics

Moschella, To Whom Do Children Belong? Parental Rights, Civic Education, and Children’s Autonomy

Morse, The Sexual State

West, Our Bodies Tell God’s Story

Reilly, Making Gay Okay – How Rationalizing Human Behavior is Changing Everything

Regnarus, Cheap Sex – The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

Fortson and Grams, Unchanging Witness – The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition

Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice

DeYoung, Homosexuality: Contemporary Claims Examined in the Light of the Bible and Other Ancient Literature and Law

Jones, The God of Sex: How Spirituality Defines Your Sexuality

Jones, Whose Rainbow? God’s Gift of Sexuality: A Divine Calling

Eberstadt, Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics

Bavinck, The Christian Family

Shrier, Irreversible Damage – The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters

Saul, Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West

Trueman, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self

Pearcy, Love Thy Body

One thought

  1. Dear Andrew,

    So pleased: we do need to relate the subject both toward the creation and fall, but also to international cultures today which underline both the liberties and constraints of sexuality in the context of the wider family structure.

    Have his thoughts been expressed in a book, or does it remain in essay format?

    Warm regards,

    Anthony Busk

    Board Member, Voice for Justice.

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