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Nate Collins, All But Invisible: Exploring Identity Questions at the Intersection of Faith, Gender and Sexuality

Christine A. Colon and Bonnie E. Field, Singled Out: Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today’s Church

Barry Danylak, Redeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms the Single Life

Richard Davidson, Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament

*Jonathan Grant, Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age

Stanley Grenz, Sexual Ethics: An Evangelical Perspective

Kyle Harper, From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity

Richard Hays, “Homosexuality,” in The Moral Vision of the New Testament: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics, pp.379-406

*Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson (eds.), Beauty, Order, and Mystery: A Chrsitian Vision of Human Sexuality

Wesley Hill, Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality and Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian

Christina A. Hitchcock, The Significance of Singleness: A Theological Vision for the Future of the Church

*Dennis Hollinger, The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life

Beth Felker Jones, Faithful: A Theology of Sex

C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves and Mere Christianity (“Sexuality Morality” and “Christian Marriage”)

Christopher Roberts, Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage

Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality, ch. 9

Christopher West, Theology of the Body For Beginners: Rediscovering the Meaning of Life, Love, Sex, and Gender (helpful overview and summary of John Paul II’s Male and Female He Created Them: A Theology of the Body)

Todd Wilson, Mere Sexuality: Rediscovering the Christian Vision of Sexuality

*Lauren Winner, Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity

I’m leading a theological symposium at Neighborhood Church of Greenwich Village (269 Bleecker Street) on Tuesday, October 22nd at 7pm.  It’s on a pertinent, practical and perennially controversial topic, and it’s free to the public.  I’d love to see you there, and please pass on the invite to any interested friends in the NYC area.  Here’s a brief description of the seminar:

pentecost

From its very inception, Christianity has been a movement characterized by audacious claims to miracles and supernatural events in history that are indisputably foundational to its truth and credibility.  God created the world out of nothing.  Israel was led out of slavery in Egypt by the mighty hand of Yahweh, who did signs and wonders to deliver His captive people.  Jesus of Nazareth was “anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power, and he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). The Father raised His beloved Son out of the the grave, bodily and physically. God has promised to do the same thing in the future for all who belong to Jesus.  And so we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come—a sheer miracle of supernatural intervention in history, if ever there was one.  The Spirit of God was poured out on the followers of Jesus at Pentecost 2000 years ago, followed by the thrilling narrative recounted in the book of Acts which tells of dramatic healings, angelic prison breaks, ecstatic speaking in tongues and passionate prophesying, and even more(!) resurrections as the gospel went forth to the ends of the earth.  The Gospel of John boldly promises that followers of Jesus will continue to do greater works than Jesus did during his earthly life and ministry (14:12), and that it was to our advantage that he has departed and left us his Spirit (16:7).  The expectation seems clear that church history should take the shape of Acts stuck on an endless loop, until Christ comes again.

Yet miracles and supernatural interventions of God in nature and history are peculiarly difficult for we moderns to stomach without cynicism and suspicion.  Many Christians honestly question whether they have experienced anything like what happens in the book of Acts, while others confidently and regularly put forward very explicit claims to miracles and healings in their lives.  In the past century, the Pentecostal movement has surged and energized to become the fastest growing dimension of world Christianity, bar none.  What are we to make of all this today when we read stories of the miraculous in sacred Scripture or hear thrilling secondhand accounts from other people of apparently supernatural works of the Spirit of God?  Even more crucially, what are we to expect and seek from God as the church today as we follow Jesus in the power of the Spirit?  What may we hope for in the midst of our own suffering and unfulfilled desires, or in the broken lives of our friends and loved ones?  What, precisely, has God promised to His new covenant people?  In this seminar, we will explore the various frameworks and ways of construing the biblical and historical evidence that have been offered by various Christian traditions, and aim at drawing faithful and practical conclusions about our experience of and expectations for the God who raised Jesus from the dead, and who has given us of the very same Spirit by whom He brought about that wondrous event on Easter. 

Student: What one thing, sir, would you tell a young pastor today if you were asked, is necessary in this day and age to pastor a Church?

BarthKarl Barth: Ah, so big a question! That is the whole question of theology, you see! I should say, I hope that during your studies you have visited yourself earnestly with the message of the Old Testament and of the New Testament. And not only of this message but also of the Object and Subject of this message. And I would ask you, are you trained to visit not only yourself now, but a congregation with what you have learned out of the Bible and of church history and dogmatics and so on? Having to say something, having to say that thing. And then the other question: Are you willing now to deal with humanity as it is? Humanity in this twentieth century with all its passions, sufferings, errors, and so on? Do you like them, these people? Not only the good Christians, but do you like people as they are? People in their weakness? Do you like them, do you love them? And are you willing to tell them the message that God is not against them, but for them? That’s the one real thing in pastoral service and that is the question for you. If you go into ministry to do that work, pray earnestly. You’ll do difficult work but beautiful work.

But if I had to begin anew for myself as a young pastor, I would tell myself every morning, well, here I am; a very poor creature, but by God’s grace I have heard something. I will need forgiveness of my sins everyday. And I will pray, God, that you will give me the light, this light shining in the Bible and this light shining into the world in which humanity is living today. And then do my duty.