Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Christian Reflection on Chastity

The latest issue of Christian Reflection, published by the Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University, is available online, this one devoted to ‘Chastity’. The whole issue is available as a pdf here, and an accompanying Study Guide is available here. The main articles, with their abstracts, are as follows:

Robert B. Kruschwitz
At the heart of Christian sexual ethics is not a dour set of rules, but a fetching trait: the virtue of chastity. Our contributors examine how chastity is exemplified in married life and singleness, and why its beauty has become difficult for us to appreciate. 

Beth Felker Jones
Radical Faithfulness
Christians have always acknowledged two routes for embodying faithfulness in the way we have sex or do not have sex, two routes for publicly declaring – and displaying – that God is faithful: celibate singleness and faithful marriage. In both conditions, Christians testify, with their bodies, to the power of God. 

Wesley Hill
The Long Defeat
Within a sexually-sodden culture, the life of chastity may seem like a lonely, long defeat, especially to gay and lesbian believers. How can congregations provide the good company which celibate, same-sex attracted believers need for their Christian pilgrimage? 

Matt Fradd
Chastity as a Virtue
Chastity is not a teeth-gritting ability to avoid violating the sexual rules but a habit of reverence for oneself and others that enables us to use our sexual powers intelligently in the pursuit of human flourishing and happiness.

Donna Freitas
A Good Samaritan Response to Hookup Culture
What college students living within hookup culture need most is a listening and sympathetic ear. They need someone who sees them for who and where they really are, and who sympathizes with their uncertainties, their confusion, and, sometimes, their regret and loss. 

Stacy Keogh George
Beyond the “Ring by Spring” Culture
The “ring by spring” culture at Christian colleges and universities can pressure students to become engaged or to marry before they graduate. This may muddle their perceptions of marriage and vocation, and deflect them from receiving more formative preparation for marriage. 

Terry W. York and Kurt Kaiser
Intense the Love God Molded

Amber Inscore Essick
Worship Service

Heidi J. Hornik
Mary’s Worthy Suitor
Raphael, Marriage of the Virgin

Heidi J. Hornik
Love in Control
Sandro Botticelli, Pallas and the Centaur

Heidi J. Hornik
A Couple’s Intimacy
Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Couple as Isaac and Rebekah 

Other Voices

Mary S. Hulst
Relationships with “More than Friends”
Mary Hulst’s college students, like all of us, are regularly exposed to many lies about dating, singleness, sex, and marriage. Walking with them through the basics of why to date, how to date, and who to date, she counters some of these lies with the truths of the gospel.

Lauren Taylor
Sexuality and Spirituality in American Adolescents
Both adults and young people are hesitant to discuss the topic of faith and sexuality. Research in the three books reviewed here suggests ways to address this silent stand- off, bridge the generation gap, and start the conversation.

Julie Morris
Christian Sexual Ethics in an Age of Individualism
On the surface the three books reviewed here are about sexual behavior, but on a deeper level they address healthy and holy relationships with self, others, and God. The authors care deeply about community and intimacy and about how to cultivate them in a culture that promotes disposable relationships.

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