What’s the Purpose of … Sex?

Our culture is ruled by sex, obsessed with sex, saturated in sex. It sometimes seems that everywhere we go and everywhere we look we are confronted with messaging about sexuality. So much of this messaging is false, misleading, and downright disturbing. A little historical perspective can be helpful, though, for as we look to the distant past we see that the culture at the time of the early church was equally obsessed and saturated with sex. For this reason, the …

Keep On Learning To Dance

It’s a metaphor I heard from a friend and one that has stuck with me ever since. It illustrates a common, perhaps even universal, experience within marriage—sexual intimacy is good and wonderful but, maintaining healthy intimacy through all of life’s ups and downs is a life-long challenge. The illustration goes something like this. You are a young man or woman attending a wedding reception, an old-fashioned dance in a small-town dance hall. The band takes its place on stage and …

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3 Awful Features of Roman Sexual Morality

Whatever else you know about the Bible, I’m sure you know this: It lays out a sexual ethic that displays God’s intent in creating sexuality and that challenges humanity to live in ways consistent with it. Yet today we are experiencing a sexual revolution that has seen society deliberately throwing off the Christian sexual ethic. Things that were once forbidden are now celebrated. Things that were once considered unthinkable are now deemed natural and good. Christians are increasingly seen as …

Sexual Morality in a Christless World

The times are changing. Sexual morality is undergoing nothing less than a revolution as traditional morality gives way to something radically different. The former morality, based on the Christian scriptures, is being shoved aside by a new one that not only departs from the Bible, but outright rejects it. Meanwhile, Christians who abide by those traditional sexual morals are increasingly seen as outcasts, backward people dangerously hung up on ancient, oppressive principles. It is all very disconcerting. Into the fray …

Sex Under Law, Sex Under Grace

As people of The Book we know that God did not only create sex, but he also created stipulations to go with it, for there must be boundaries on something so significant, so powerful. The clearest stipulation is that sex is for marriage—only for marriage. There are many reasons for this, and at least one of them reflects the loving, caring heart of God: Marriage allows us to enjoy sex under grace instead of under law. This is a crucial …

Six Reasons Why Adultery Is Very Serious

Adultery is a serious matter. At least, it is a serious matter in the mind and heart of the God who created sex and marriage and who put wise boundaries on them both. But why? Why is adultery such a serious matter. Christopher Ash provides six reasons in his book Married for God and I am going to track with him as we go. Adultery is a turning away from a promise. In the mind of the adulterer, the pursuit …

Letters to the Editor (Petra, Marriage, Sex in Movies)

This was a banner week when it came to letters to the editor. I had a lot of letters to choose from on a lot of different subjects—something I found rather a joy. Here are some of the best of them. Comments on War, Women, and Wealth Thank you for your article on War, Women, and Wealth. That passage in Deuteronomy 17 is a nugget that can get lost. I have heard it preached several times, referring to the three …

On “Stranger Things” and Being a Big Prude

Stranger Things is a smash hit, the talk of Twitter and the toast of the town. Its story is captivating, its characters well-formed, its acting first rate, its tributes to the 80’s priceless. With so much buzz and so many friends celebrating it, I figured I’d give it a go. But this isn’t an article about Stranger Things. Not really. It’s an article about being a prude. I’ve been told I’m a prude when it comes to movies and television. …

Living in the Light: Money, Sex & Power

Money, sex, and power: three great gifts of God that can be used to such noble ends or abused to such ignoble ends. They can be harnessed to the greatest of good purposes or exploited to the most terrible of harmful purposes. All three are considered ghastly to some while they are worshiped as gods by others. This holy/unholy trio is the subject of John Piper’s latest book Living in the Light. While the book began as a series of …

Who Does My Body Belong To?

I spent last weekend at a pair of conferences, each of which dealt in some way with matters of human sexuality. Such conferences are common today as Christians attempt to understand, interpret, and respond to the moral revolution raging around us. It struck me that just three or four years ago these events were discussing issues of marriage in the face of the likelihood that the institution of marriage would soon be opened to homosexual couples. For most people today …