Birth as the “moral fault line of our time”

Birth Born Newborn Baby Child Healthy Baby InfantChristmas is about birth, Kevin Williamson reminds us, which is what reminds us most of our physicality.  No wonder, he says, birth is also “the great political and moral fault line of our time.”

Consider all of the moral issues that have to do with birth, whether preventing it or negating it:  abortion, sex outside of marriage, pornography, today’s much vaunted fantasy of sex with robots.  Consider the political and ideological issues:  fears of overpopulation, health care, feminism, child poverty, education problems, child-raising controversies, embryonic stem cell research, reproductive engineering, adoption, divorce, marriage, family values.

Williamson says that our confused attitudes about birth tie into our confused attitudes about the body.  One can see in his examples the current gnostic revival, which denies the spiritual significance of the physical realm (as in being “spiritual but not religious”) and rejects the body (as in transgenderism and in the transhuman dream of downloading our minds into the internet so that we don’t need our bodies anymore).

Against the gnostic worldview, we have the Nativity–the conception, birth, and infancy of God Himself as a physical, embodied human being–and the Holy Family.
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InterVarsity gets tough on sex issues

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has long been one of the best evangelical campus ministries, cultivating the Christian faith along with the life of the mind.  I had heard that it was slipping to the liberal side, but the organization has told its 1,300 staffers that they must support its statement on sexuality (that sex is only for heterosexual marriage), or they will be asked to leave.  Expect controversy to ensue. [Read more…]

Sexual progress

I blogged about the book by my former student Matthew Rueger, Sexual Morality in a Christless World.  In it, he shows the sexual ethos of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which was dehumanizing, exploitive, and oppressive.  (He writes, for example, about the sexual use of male and female slaves.)  The advent of Christianity brought with it a new sexual ethos based on love, chastity, and fidelity.  Christianity brought progress in the way people treated each other sexually, but today we are reverting back to the bad old days of sexual paganism.

I’m glad to see that this book, published by CPH, is breaking out of just the Lutheran marketplace to get wider attention.  Right now it is Amazon’s #1 bestseller among religious books on gender & sexuality.  And it has attracted the attention of Eric Metaxas on the late Chuck Colson’s radio program Breakpoint.  He gives an excellent review of the book, excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

Sexual ethics are part of social justice

Many people, including the Pope, are saying that the church should devote more attention to social justice as opposed to to sexual ethics.  First Things editor Matthew Schmitz, a Catholic, reminds us that sexual ethics are part of social justice. [Read more…]

Synod says, look for the good in gay & non-marital unions

More from the first working document from the Catholic synod on the family:  The Church should “appreciate the positive values” that can be found in gay unions and with couples living together out of wedlock.  Traditional marriage, it says, is “ideal,” but the synod is raising the question, “What good can we find” in non-marital unions? [Read more…]

Catholics begin synod on marriage & sexual morality

The Extraordinary Synod on the Family is underway at the Vatican.  Two hundred bishops of the Roman Catholic Church summoned by the Pope will discuss the church’s teachings about marriage, divorce, contraceptives, annullments, and sexual morality.  In particular, the bishops will study the pastoral issues such teachings raise, such as whether divorced Catholics should receive be allowed to Communion and the fact that most Catholics ignore the church’s teachings about birth control, among other teachings on sex and family. [Read more…]