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THEO 303 (Sp '16) T24 Sexual Ethics (Part 2)

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Hartmut Scherer

on 7 April 2016

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Transcript of THEO 303 (Sp '16) T24 Sexual Ethics (Part 2)

- pleasure, isolated from God's design, makes the
physical union insignificant
Sources and Image Credit
Adopted key thoughts from Dennis P. Hollinger,
The Meaning of Sex
(Baker, 2009), chapter 4 and Scott Rae,
Moral Choices.
Sexual Ethics (Part 2)
Rediscovering the Purpose of Sex
Purposes of Sex
- sex has the capacity to enrich or destroy
a marriage
The Consummation of a Marriage
- after the act they are never the same again
toward each other ("becoming one flesh")
- sexual intercourse is the means by which human
life on earth continues
- sexual intimacy is the visible expression of
covenantal love
God’s good gifts are created for particular purposes
enables us to capture God’s intentions
guards against unethical practices
Essential Elements of Marriage (Gen. 2:24-25)
unique commitment
change of status
- children are a fruit of sexual love
- creational love reflects some self-centeredness
Biblical Teaching
- natural capacity to love others and express it
Four main purposes of the gift of sexual intimacy:
1) consummation of marriage
3) love
2) procreation
4) pleasure
sexual union of the two
- higher priority to spouse than to parents
- new status is recognized by family and community
Change of Status
A Unique Commitment
- permanence to their relationship
- later described as covenant relationship
- a deep, organic bond between two parties
A Physical Union
- unique physical, emotional, and spiritual bond that
occurs through sexual intercourse
- physical union sets this relationship apart from all
other relationships
- "one flesh" -> permanence of marriage
-> uniqueness of a sexual union
- the human body is not intended to be united to
another body without a covenant (1 Cor 6:16)
- sex outside
of marriage:
-> no recognized change of status
-> no covenant commitment
-> only a joining of bodies, not of
whole persons
- not the invention of the devil
humans turn good gifts into gods
- one purpose of physical intimacy is pleasure
Biblical Teaching
- physical union is a good but fallen gift of God
- reasons for sexual intimacy: consummation of a
marriage, procreation, love, and pleasure
- know the purposes of the gift
- isolating purposes -> falling short of God's design
- an ongoing deepening of that oneness
- "knowing," a deep, personal, experiential knowing
of another human in their fullness
- physical union sets this relationship apart from all
other relationships (-> covenant relationship)
- points beyond the physical to the spiritual,
emotional, and social oneness of the covenant
- couples must always be open for the possibility
of having children
Biblical Teaching
- children, a gift of God and evidence of the couple’s
covenant love
- Psalm 127:3; 128:2-4
- we are not precluded from stewarding the
procreative dimension
Procreation means that our physical union turns from us to them
premarital sex, adultery
- not consummating acts of a covenant
- not procreative acts
- 1 Corinthians 13 points far beyond the
natural understanding of human love
- Song of Songs -> sex as an expression of love
- sexual bond
an expression of love
a nutrient of love
- without such love, it is self-centered lust
- 1 Tim. 4:3-4 -> everything created by God is good
- Song of Songs: strong affirmation to pleasure
within sexual love (e.g., Song 4:10ff)
- enjoy the marriage relationship (Prov. 5:18-19)
- marriage -> intended for pleasure
- a morally legitimate sexual act is an act of pleasure
(physically, emotionally, spiritually)
true and lasting sexual pleasure
- all 4 purposes are found in one location:
the marriage of a man and a woman
- Select 1 of the 3 words and do some free
writing (~ 3 minutes)
- In groups of 3-4 share what you have written (~10
minutes); each group should come up with 1-2
questions to ask in class
Free Writing
(class exercise)
- Please write down 3 words that you
consider important of today's lesson
Sex is not "making love" but giving love
"The problem with the topless bars and the pornographic literature of our day is not that they emphasize sexuality too much but that they do not emphasize it enough. They totally eliminate relationship and restrain sexuality to the narrow confines of the genital. They have made sex trivial."
Richard Foster,
Money, Sex and Power: The Challenge of the Disciplines Life
(San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 92.
consummated one-flesh relationship
covenant love and commitment
willingness to bear the potential fruit
Full transcript