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.
From Eric Metaxas, Progressively Regressive Sexuality, Breakpoint:
How often have you heard sexual progressives claim that those of us who hold to traditional sexual morality and marriage are “on the wrong side of history?”
But as one new book points out, it’s the proponents of the sexual revolution who are embracing a sexual morality that history left behind millennia ago — in the dusty ruins of the Roman Forum.
Yes, today Western civilization is undergoing a dramatic cultural shift. In just a few short years our society has fundamentally altered the meaning of marriage, embraced the notion that men can become women, and is now promoting the idea that grown men should be welcome to share a bathroom with women and young girls. Not unexpectedly, we’re also seeing movement toward the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, and incest.
It’s precisely in times like this that we need some historical perspective. Which is why Lutheran pastor Matthew Rueger’s new book, Sexual Morality in a Christless World, is a timely godsend. In it, Rueger shows how Christian sexual morality rocked the pagan world of ancient Rome. The notions of self-giving love, sexual chastity, and marital fidelity were foreign, even shocking to the people of that time.
Citing existing scholarship, Rueger details the Roman sexual worldview that prevailed for hundreds of years. Women and children were viewed as sexual objects; slaves — male and female — could expect to be raped; there was widespread prostitution; and predatory homosexuality was common. Christian sexual morality might have been seen as repressive by the licentious, but it was a gift from God for their victims.
Rueger writes that “Claims in our day of being progressive and moving forward by accepting the ‘new prevailing views on sexuality and same-sex marriage’ are horribly misinformed … Contemporary views about sexuality are simply a revival of an older and much less loving view of the world.”
HT: Paul McCain