There were only two occasions in my life as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that required disciplinary ministry with a church member. One was gossip; the other was sex. The first didn’t get beyond private admonition by the pastor, me. That’s what the pastor does in . . . . Continue Reading »
In a few carefully argued pages in his recently translated The Crisis of Modernity, the Italian Catholic philosopher Augusto del Noce explains the “ascendance of eroticism.” Del Noce died in 1989, but his account could have been written yesterday. He illumines why Fifty Shades of Grey . . . . Continue Reading »
As an African and an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana teaching at a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (USA), I have keenly followed the fractious debate on the subject of same-sex relations within the Presbyterian family of churches. It is hard to generalize about African and . . . . Continue Reading »
The results of a survey of female college students came out this week, and the numbers are distressing. The Association of American Universities commissioned a “Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct,” focusing on “the incidence, prevalence and characteristics of . . . . Continue Reading »
Atheism and religious indifference are growing in the United States. In Faith No More, recently reissued in paperback, Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman cites Pew surveys showing that “20% of Americans now claim ‘none’ as their religion.” Harris polls register an uptick of atheism, from 4 percent in 2003 to 10 percent in 2008, with another 9 percent identifying themselves as agnostics.
To hear some people talk, one would get the impression that the prohibition against artificial contraception came out of the blue. But even a brief review of history reveals a strong and consistent ban on all such activities from the earliest days of the Church to the twentieth century, with . . . . Continue Reading »
A few weeks ago, I assigned the article “What is Marriage?” to the students in my gender theory class, which I teach at an evangelical university. This article presents an in-depth defense of the conjugal view of marriage, and I included it on the reading list as part of my efforts to expose students to a range of viewpoints – religious and secular, progressive and conservative. The goal is to create robust civil dialogue, and, ideally, to pave the way for thoughtful Christian contributions to cultural understandings of sex and gender. The one promise I make to my students at the beginning of the course is that they are guaranteed to read something they will find disagreeable, probably even offensive.That promise used to be easier to keep. Continue Reading »