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Human Sexuality & the Order of Things: What Sayeth Genesis & Natural Law?

In his bestselling book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl Trueman traces the historical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological currents that pulled us into the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and beyond.[1]  “What marks,” he says, “the modern sexual revolution out as distinctive is the way it has normalized these and other sexual phenomena,” such as homosexuality, pornography, adultery, and transgenderism (Trueman 21).  The key word here is “normalized”.  The traditional sexual mores have been largely displaced and disparaged by the sexual promiscuity and diversity of the sexual revolution; the sexual norm has become taboo, and the taboo has become the norm.  As if an emphasis on expressive individualism wasn’t bad enough, Trueman observes, “The expressive individual is now the sexually expressive individual” (268).

Even professed Christians are making arguments from the Bible for homosexual practice.  Brownson, a key representative of the pro-homosexual position, states the following: “The moral logic underpinning the negative portrayal of same-sex eroticism in Scripture does not directly address committed, loving,[2] consecrated same-sex relationships today” (202).  In other words, biblical proscriptions on sexual immorality are of limited context and application, and do not speak to the monogamous same-sex relations that Brownson and others would advocate.

So, what is the biblical teaching on human sexuality, particularly from the Genesis creation narrative where human nature and sexuality is established?  Is there a transcendent law discernable apart from Scripture that speaks to reason on such matters – namely, natural law?  How does this ancient wisdom of Genesis confront our modern situation and the ramifications of the ongoing sexual revolution?  As argued below, a proper interpretation of nature and the Bible reveals an objective sexual ethic, what is commonly referred to as traditional sexuality – sex between one man and one woman in the context of marriage.  This sexual moral standard therefore ought to be promoted and protected for a healthy and flourishing society.

Although this paper has a limited biblical focus, other key passages will nonetheless play a supporting role, especially in making the case for continuity of moral thought.  While non-traditional sexual practices, such as the LGBTQ+ spectrum, are addressed in a general sense, homosexuality is given primary focus, both due to space limitations and the fact that much has been debated and written on the subject.

Human Sexuality & Creation: Establishing the Order of Things

God creates with life-giving purpose (telos).  In Genesis 1, God orders and fills that which was formless and void, as evidenced in the six days of creation.  A repetition throughout this chapter, even before the creation of mankind, informs us of God’s wise purpose in creation: There are seed-bearing plants according to their kind (v. 11-12), sea creatures and birds multiplying according to their kinds (vv. 21-22), land animals according to their kind (vv. 24-25), and the repeated pronouncement that “it was good” (vv. 12, 21, 25).  In short, reproduction and goodness.  Not only does this point to the wisdom of God in sustaining life (cf. Prov. 3:19-20), it emphatically points to the central place of life in the telos of creation.  God did not create living things with dead ends; he created living things with life-giving ends, and this for his glory (cf. Rev. 4:11).

Commenting on the goodness of the created order, Sailhamer understands the pronouncements to refer to creation’s beneficial use for man (26).  John Calvin understands God’s approval of his work to “teach us that God has made nothing without a certain reason and design,” and that the final pronouncement in v. 31, “it was very good,” speaks to the perfection of God’s work (cf. House 63).  Far from being mutually exclusive, these views complement one another in the teleological emphasis of Genesis 1 and are consonant with the simultaneous God-centered and man-centered focus – God is the all-powerful and all-wise Creator; man is made in the image of God and given a divine commission over all the animals and the earth (as seen below).

Genesis 1 establishes the orderly goodness of creation.  God’s power, wisdom, and goodness are seen through that which he makes as he brings order out of chaos (House 60), and this natural order has good ends.  There is wisdom to be gained for our own lives, therefore, in reflecting upon this created order (Clark and Jain 10).

The life-giving purpose of man and woman. Verses 27-28a of Genesis 1 reads, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  And God blessed them.  And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion….” 

The creation of man and woman appears in the context of God bringing order to the formless cosmos and filling the void with good things.  This “crowning feat of God’s creation” (Wenham 59) constitutes the act of God installing his image-bearers to “fill the earth and subdue it,” paralleling God’s own creative work of ordering and filling.  The ancient Israelites, and even their polytheistic neighbors, understood wisdom and justice to correspond to the order of things in creation; hence, man’s work of building and provisioning is modeled after God’s work of building and provisioning (Bartholomew and O’Dowd 86-87).  This creation mandate, or divine commissioning (signified by “God blessed them” in v. 28), is carried out by the man and woman being fruitful and multiplying.  The sexual union between the two sexes is therefore implied in the text, as such a union is necessary for the fulfilling of God’s plan or purpose in creation (Wenham 61).  As Gagnon puts it, procreation, which requires gender complementarity, is a precondition for filling the earth, and this filling is the precondition to ruling over it (in an eschatological sense) (57).  This is further supported by the fact that the narrative explicitly mentions the gender[3] distinction when discussing the creation of mankind but not when discussing the creation of the animals.  The male-female distinction for mankind is therefore a focal-point of the text (Sailhamer 37).

As seen above, Genesis 1 establishes the order of things in creation, and the male-female relationship, to include procreation, is part-and-parcel of this ordered goodness.  This means we do not exist in a world lacking built-in order, to include sexual norms, but in a world that is ordered after the purpose of its Creator; he defines the norms with his wisdom-reflecting creation and wise word.  Only when the narrative zooms in on the alone Adam in Genesis 2, unable to produce fruit from his loins, is it said, “it is not good” (v. 18).  Wenham notes that procreation is the emphasis of Genesis 1, whereas Genesis 2 shifts the focus to “the nature of companionship in marriage” (62).  This is not to say, however, that Genesis 2 lacks a focus on the continued importance of procreation.  As will be seen, procreation is still very much in view.  It may be better to say, then, that Genesis 2 adds significant details to the procreative emphasis, establishing the institutional context in which this procreative relationship is to take place.

The institution of marriage is according to the order of things in creation.  Whereas Genesis 1 speaks of creation in general, Chapter 2 zooms in to focus on man and his place in the world as God’s image-bearer.  This is good reason to read 2:18-25, where the creation of woman and the institution of marriage are found, in the context of Chapter 1, especially in relation to the divine commission given to mankind in vv. 27-28.

In 2:18, God says he will make a helper fit for man because it is not good for him to be alone.  It is important to note that aloneness is not the same as loneliness, which is psychological in nature.  While aloneness may involve loneliness, nothing in the context suggests that Adam was lonely.  Further, one ought not to read the statement, “It is not good that the man should be alone,” as a moral assessment of Adam’s situation; Adam was not in sin.  To say otherwise would imply God created Adam in sin.  Rather, this statement is to be interpreted in relation to the teleological goodness of creation as discussed above, to include the creation mandate to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion….” (1:28a).  In this regard, it is not good for man to be alone, for Adam could not accomplish this mandate without a fit or suitable helper.  Sailhamer presents a similar analysis, associating the like-partnership in 2:18-25 to the image of God in 1:27, which refers to the image of God in man as constituting male and female (46).  In other words, a world full of males only (or females only) would not properly represent the image of God on earth.  Since the creation of male and female in Chapter 1 is closely associated with the divine commissioning, Sailhamer’s interpretation is not altogether different from my own.  Whereas Sailhamer focuses on the existence of male and female in relation to the image of God (the ontological nature of man), mine is a focus on the existence of male and female in relation to their divine commission (the teleological nature of man).  The focus of Chapter 2 seems to be teleological, not ontological (e.g. 2:15-17); but again, teleology is rooted in ontology.  Nonetheless, it is safe to say that this lack of goodness is best understood as a teleological assessment of Adam’s situation, not a moral or psychological assessment.

To emphasize Adam’s need of a “helper fit for him,” we are told that Adam found no such helper among the animals (vv. 19-20); Adam and the animals are not of the same kind.  While naming the animals, which signifies his rule over the animal kingdom,[4] Adam would have observed the corresponding relationship between males and females (note the observation of patterns in nature, as this is discussed more fully below); he could see that he lacked such a corresponding relationship.

A fitting helper refers to a corresponding partner (Sailhamer 46), or “one who supplies what is lacking” (Gagnon 60n43).  Various suggestions have been put forward regarding the nature of this help – tilling and keeping the garden; support in a general sense; procreation.  Without rejecting the first two suggestions, Sailhamer refers to Genesis 1:28 (being fruitful and multiplying) and the emphasis of the woman’s role in bearing children expressed in Genesis 3:16 to conclude that procreation is primarily in view (46; cf. Keil and Delitzsch 54).  Luther likewise emphasizes procreation.  Brownson, however, interprets “aloneness” as “the longing for intimacy, to know and to be known, to live one’s life with others” (68), which seems to suggest that Adam was lonely.  This, coupled with his failure to consider the larger context of Genesis 1-3, leads Brownson to place the emphasis on companionship to the exclusion of procreation: “The creation of the woman is not narrated … as a means for … ‘fruitfulness,’ but rather as an antidote to the problem of aloneness.  Prior to any discussion of her role in procreation, the woman is created as…the closest companion” (69).  Yet, the woman’s role in procreation is assumed in Genesis 1:28 which is part of a larger context emphasizing reproduction in nature, and as already established, 2:18-25 should be interpreted in the context of Chapter 1.

In vv. 21-23, God creates the woman from the side of the man, which is unlike the method of the rest of his creation, even the man who was formed from the dust of the ground and had the breath of life breathed into him (2:7).  At least two things are signified here: the similitude between the two sexes and their inseparable bond or closeness.  Baylis brings out both aspects in the following words: “To deny her is to deny himself.  Commitment to each other and dependence on each other must be total” (42, cf. House 62).  Brownson sets up a false dichotomy when he asserts that “the focus in Genesis 2 is not on the complementarity of male and female, but on the similarity of male and female” (28).  However, complementarity involves both similitude and dissimilitude; it is what makes male and female a complement for one another.  Even if similarity is emphasized, the complementarity of male and female is still present in the text.  Brownson seems to suggest that emphasis of one thing involves the exclusion of another (or at least something that need not be taken too seriously).  Further, he must ignore the emphasis on procreation or reproduction in Genesis 1 as a guide for interpreting Genesis 2, as well as the explicit distinction between male and female in both chapters in order to hold up similarity as the defining feature; for if similarity is essential to the text, not procreation or distinction between male and female, then he can begin to make an argument for same-sex relations.

After the woman is made from the side of the man, this male-female bond serves as the basis for the institution of marriage in v. 24, where we are told “a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”  The two key phrases are “hold fast” and “one flesh”.  Keil and Delitzsch rightly understand this to speak of the conjugal union consisting of “a spiritual oneness” through its bodily consummation (56-57).  What is more, Jesus emphasizes the fact that God made male and female and then quotes this text to argue against divorce, speaking of the sexual union between husband and wife as something God brought together (Mtt. 19:3-9).  Paul, too, quotes this text to argue against sexual immorality – specifically, sex with a prostitute (1 Cor. 6:16) – as it results in a “one body” union.  Both Jesus and Paul show the relationship between the physical and spiritual in the context of human sexuality.

Brownson asserts that the discussion of one-flesh union in Genesis 2 takes place “without even a hint of concern with procreation,” that the one-flesh union is not dependent on children, and that children are nowhere present in this context (68-69).  First, it has already been shown that procreation is emphasized in Genesis 1, and that 2:18-25 should be read and interpreted in the context of Chapter 1 since Chapter 2 is simply a zoomed-in focus on man and his place in the world as God’s image-bearer.  Second, while he is correct that a one-flesh union can exist without the fruitfulness of children, the prima facie expectation in Genesis (and the Bible as a whole) is that it will result in the birth of children; exceptions exist in a fallen world, but exceptions do not replace or re-define the rule.  Brownson wants to make this point to help establish the view that the Bible allows for “a variety of gendered relationships” (68), as same-sex relations cannot produce children.  However, the reality that the sexual union between a man and woman may forever remain baren in no way grounds the assertion that the Bible supports a variety of gendered relationships; it’s a non sequitur.  The failure of a heterosexual relationship to produce children is not the same thing as a homosexual relationship failing to produce children.  The nature of the former at least contains the possibility of children, whereas the nature of the latter does not.  Third, while no children are explicitly mentioned as a result of the paradigmatic one-flesh union spoken of in v. 24, which is based on the template of Adam and Eve’s implied marriage (i.e. “Therefore”), children are still in the picture.  Again, the text refers to a father and mother, and therefore the paradigmatic husband and wife are the children (though only the man’s parents are in view).  Therefore, “a justification for male-female union is provided: the physical, interpersonal, and procreative sexual complementarity of male and female” (Gagnon 62).

Concluding thoughts on human sexuality in creation.  While the goodness of marriage does not obligate one to marry – it is not necessarily a sin to remain unmarried and celibate – it nonetheless establishes the prima facie expectation of men and women and fixes the bounds of marriage and sexual union, as decreed by God in creation.

When the Divine Artist sculpted the man and woman, he did so with a final cause in mind.  This final cause (telos) is rooted in man’s formal cause (nature).  As image-bearers of God, we are obligated to conform our sexuality to God’s intended purpose and the nature of our being.  A fitting conclusion to this section is found in this thought on the relation between the beauty and goodness of creation and human sexuality: “The ultimate meaning of sexuality, therefore, is not determined in a boardroom, a bedroom, or a courtroom but in the garden where it was first designed and deemed ‘exceedingly good’—that is, exceedingly beautiful” (Williams 197).

Human Sexuality & Natural Law: Knowing & Conforming to the Order of Things

This section is an elaboration on the previous findings from a moral philosophical perspective, based on the notion of the order of things in creation.  This order of things speaks to a moral order.  The notion of a moral order or moral law discernible in nature is known as natural law.  Haines and Fulford define natural law as “that order or rule of human conduct which is (1) based upon human nature…(2) knowable by all men…and, thus (3) normative for all human beings” (5).[5]  Maritain gives a similar definition, noting that natural law “is an ideal order relating to human actions, a divide between…what is proper and what is improper to the ends [or purpose] of human nature or essence” (29).

Natural law and human sexuality in the Bible.  In addition to Genesis 1 and 2, a classic text used for demonstrating natural law is Romans 2:14-15: “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.  They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.”  C. John Collins makes a compelling case that the apostle Paul is using language from Aristotle’s writings that speak of an internal moral monitor corresponding to a law transcending the written laws of men (Haines and Fulford 93-100).  This at least suggests that some aspects of the law are discernible from nature.  The fact of a conscience in man (the universal nature of man) is evidence of a transcendent law to which all are accountable (cf. Turretin 7-8).

Earlier, in Romans 1, Paul implies natural law when he speaks of same-sex practices as being “contrary to nature” (v. 26-27).  That is, the nature of mankind, as constituting male and female, implies a sexual order that has a purpose, though not necessarily the only purpose, of producing children.  Put another way, the design of the male and female communicate proper sexual operation and purpose – written instructions not required.  A useful analogy is a seat belt.  There are essentially two parts to a seat belt that make up its nature – the tongue and the buckle.  One need only look at these parts to figure out how a seat belt operates and for what purpose.  Same-sex practice is therefore a perversion (misuse/distortion) of this natural sexual order.

On a related note, in Leviticus 18:24-30, the Israelites are told not to commit the same sexual abominations as the nations whom God is driving out from the land.  The fact that God judges the nations, who were not the recipients of God’s law given at Mt. Sinai, implies the existence of a moral law to which the nations are accountable, which likewise implies a knowledge of such a law through other means – namely, through the natural order of things.

A brief case for traditional sexuality according to natural law.  Holmes notes two aspects of human sexuality that direct us toward the traditional view: “the psychology of sex indicates its unitive potential, and its biology indicates a reproductive potential” (115) – the potentiality is simply a product of the Fall.  The unitive potential, which speaks to the emotional bond between sexual partners, at least indicates a monogamous relationship as the good, whereas the reproductive potential, corresponding to the complementary anatomy of male and female, indicates heterosexuality as the good.  Taken together, these observations support traditional sexuality as the good.  To argue against these natural indications would be to atomize human sexuality, emphasizing one aspect to the exclusion of another (as evidenced from Brownson above).

Another important case for traditional sexuality from natural law is evident in the physical and psychological health ramifications endemic of non-traditional sexual practices.  In their 2018 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, the CDC showed that MSM (men who have sex with men) accounted for 64.3% of reported primary and secondary syphilis cases among those cases where the gender of the sex partner was known.  When men are only considered in the data, MSM accounted for 77.6% of reported cases (64).  The CDC also reported 26 million new sexually transmitted diseases in 2018 in the United States, with 45.5% of all the new STI cases occurring in people between the ages of 15-24.  These new STI cases “cost the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone” (cdc.gov).

Gabriele Kuby, writing on the negative effects of the sexualization of children and teenagers, references numerous studies that show increased risks and cases of abortions, medical complications due to birth control pills, STI’s, depression and suicide, lower academic achievement, and a failure to bond (219-223).  To concentrate on just one of these outcomes, the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health has identified a negative correlation between an early introduction to sexual activity and academic achievement, showing that those who abstain from sexual activity during high school are 60% less likely to be expelled, 50% less likely to drop out, and nearly twice as likely to graduate from college (Kuby 221).

Yet, international and political organizations, such as the WHO and BZgA promote the sexualization of children by encouraging them to explore gender identities and to use sexual language (e.g. type of pleasure when touching one’s own body) as they wash each part of their body (Kuby 212).  Another organization, Advocates for Youth, has developed a K-12 sexuality education curriculum based on the National Sexuality Education Standards.  These lessons involve numerous troubling content: visualizing and identifying sex organs; reading the book, My Princess Boy, which introduces gender dysphoria and transgenderism in the lower grades; thinking of the differences between boys and girls as stereotypes in the 6th grade, thereby blurring the lines between the sexes; learning how to properly use a condom in the 8th grade; and encouraging 9th graders to think through their readiness to be sexually intimate[6] (advocatesforyouth.org).  In short, organizations around the world, including government sponsored organizations, are promoting pruriency among young children and teenagers rather than probity.  Preventing child abuse is one of the reasons supplied in the papers from these organizations as to the necessity of such education.  Yet, it is difficult to see how sexualizing children helps prevent sexual abuse.

Concluding thoughts on human sexuality in natural law.  The devastating effects, both physical and psychological, of the sexual revolution is nature’s way of warning, convicting, and redirecting us towards wisdom.  It is Wisdom’s call to those who lack sense to turn into her bountiful abode and walk in the way of understanding (Prov. 9:4-6).  When we live foolishly, we should expect troubled outcomes.  Collins calls this “the ‘act and consequence’ structure of reality” (Haines and Fulford 65).

When we get burned for putting our hand on a hot stove, we do not think of ways to minimize the effects – to make it safer – so we can continue to put our hand on hot stoves; no, we stop putting our hand on hot stoves.  Yet, when it comes to sexuality, rather than look at the negative consequences of the sexual revolution as reasons to stop such practices, steps are instead taken to try to prevent or minimize the symptoms while the root cause continues to be encouraged.  For instance, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, in their “Happy, Healthy, and Hot” guide, not only encourage sexual promiscuity, but they also see no problem with those who have HIV to withhold this knowledge from their sexual partners (ippf.org), thereby encouraging the increased risk of spreading HIV.

As moral beings, we are obligated to order our lives after truth, not create our own.  The former is known as mimesis (meaning imitation or mimicry).  According to Trueman, mimesis “regards the world as having a given order and a given meaning and thus sees human beings as required to discover that meaning and conform themselves to it.”  Poiesis, meaning the art of making, “sees the world as so much raw material out of which meaning and purpose can be created by the individual” (39).  Trueman remarks that the shift from a mimetic culture to a poietic culture has resulted in man taking the place of God, of engaging in self-creation – “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body” (42).

Another benefit of looking at natural law is that it helps establish the continued relevance of the Genesis creation account; the human sexuality espoused in Genesis is corroborated by our intuitions and reasoning from the natural order of things.

Conclusion

What is the biblical and natural law verdict on the issue of human sexuality?  The biblical narrative on creation is fundamentally mimetic in nature.  Creation is inhered with order and meaning that man is commissioned to promote and protect.  This order-with-a-purpose is further witnessed through observations of the patterns and designs in nature.  The common saying of the day, however, is to “be true to yourself”.  This poietic statement amounts to the individual determining their own reality – the autonomous self.  As seen from Genesis 1-2 and natural law, what should be said is, “be true to your nature,” because the human nature of male and female is immutable.  To be true to our nature is to live according to the order of things, not according to the feeling of things; feelings and desires must be ordered after the good.  When sexuality is practiced in accordance with human nature and the order of things, good things follow, such as well-knit families, children born into healthy environments with a heritage to pass along, and bodies that aren’t ravished by disease.

The sexual revolution has ushered in sweeping cultural changes, from politics to education to the family, even to the point of redefining what marriage and family are.  These changes, however, are fraught with disease, decline in educational achievements, depression, etc.  One of the most famous things Jesus said was, “You will recognize [or know] them by their fruits,” (Mt. 7:16) communicating the epistemological relationship between teachings/actions and their ends.  He actually uses an image from nature, saying, “every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit” (v. 17).  Jesus communicates wisdom that can be gained by simply observing nature, if only we would take the time to observe and think.  Well, the harvest is in; the disease beneath the surface of the sexual revolution tree is manifest in the fruit it has produced.  Put philosophically, the consequences of the sexual revolution are emblematic of an underlying metaphysical crisis.  What is needed is a moral re-adjustment that aligns with the established sexual patterns in nature (ontology) that point to the teleology of human sexuality.  When the ontological and teleological aspects of sex are properly understood and embraced, sexuality will once again produce a flourishing fruit in society, not disease, to which we can say with God, “it is very good”.


Works Cited

Baylis, Albert H. From Creation to the Cross: Understanding the First Half of the Bible. Zondervan Publishing House, 1996.

Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus. The Consolation of Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 1999.

Brownson, James V. Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/apus/detail.action?docID=4859291.

Calvin, John. Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis. Translated by Rev. John King, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, https://ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom01/calcom01.iii.html

Gagnon, Robert A. J. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. Abingdon Press, 2001.

Haines, David and Andrew A. Fulford. Natural Law: A Brief Introduction and Biblical Defense. The Davenant Trust, 2017.

Holmes, Arthur F. Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions. 2nd edition, InterVarsity Press, 2007.

Holy Bible, The, English Standard Version. Crossway, 2001.

House, Paul R. Old Testament Theology. InterVarsity Press, 1998.

“Incidence, Prevalence, and Cost of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/factsheets/2018-STI-incidence-prevalence-factsheet.pdf.  Accessed 26 February 2021.

IPPF. “Healthy, Happy, and Hot.” Ippf.org, https://www.ippf.org/static/happyhealthyhot/Healthy_Happy_and_Hot_Guide.pdf.  Accessed 26 February 2021.

Keil, C. F. and F. Delitzsch. Commentary on the Old Testament. Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1996.

Kuby, Gabriele. The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom. Translated by James Patrick Kirchner, LifeSite, 2015.

Luther, Martin. A Critical and Devotional Commentary on Genesis. Translated by Henry Cole, edited by John Nicholas Lenker, Lutherans in All Lands Co., 1904.  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/48193/48193-h/48193-h.htm#sect21

Maritain, Jacques. Natural Law: Reflections on Theory and Practice. Edited by William Sweet. St. Augustine’s Press, 1952.

“Rights, Respect, Responsibility: A K-12 Sexuality Education Curriculum, Lesson Summaries.” Advocates for Youth, http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/3RS-LessonSummaries.pdf.  Accessed on 27 February 2021.

Sailhamer, John H. “Genesis.” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein, The Zondervan Corporation, 1990.

“STDs in Men Who Have Sex with Men” in Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention 2018. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats18/STDSurveillance2018-full-report.pdf.  Accessed 26 February 2021.

Turretin, Francis. Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. One. Translated by George Musgrave Giger, edited by James T. Dennison, Jr., P&R Publishing, 1992.

Wenham, Gordon J. “Genesis.” New Bible Commentary. Edited by D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, and G. J. Wenham, InterVarsity Press, 1994.

Williams, Thaddeus J. Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth: 12 Questions Christians Should Ask About Social Justice. Zondervan Academic, 2020.


[1] This paper does not detail the causes behind the sexual revolution.  For that, see Carl Trueman, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self (IL: Crossway) 2020; and Chapter 2, “Trailblazers of the Sexual Revolution from the French Revolution to Today,” in Gabriele Kuby, The Global Sexual Revolution, Translated by James Patrick Kirchner (OH, LifeSite) 2015.

[2] Biblically, love is defined in relation to God’s law – to love God and one’s neighbor.  If I act towards someone in a manner contrary to nature or God’s revealed will, then I am not being loving.  Unfortunately, our society has largely attached an emotive definition to the word love.

[3] Gender here refers to male or female.

[4] Just as Adam’s naming of the animals signifies his authority over the animal kingdom, so the naming of his helper as “woman” (v. 23), as well naming the woman “Eve” (3:20), signifies the man’s headship over the woman (Wenham 63; Baylis 42).

[5] While there do exist different theories of natural law, such as how one comes to know it (the epistemological aspect), there nonetheless exists significant overlap between the perspectives.

[6] This portion of their material was actually adopted from another curriculum used for grades 7-9, meaning sexuality education is encouraging junior high students to think through whether or not they are ready for sex.

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