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We are reminded every day that assumptions about what is right and wrong, sexually, are different today than they were fifty–or even ten–years ago. Christian principles ...
We are reminded every day that assumptions about what is right and wrong, sexually, are different today than they were fifty–or even ten–years ago. Christian principles that formed the pattern for generations of American families are conspicuously absent. What happened and why? How do we respond to the dramatic shift in our culture’s perspective on sex?
As one of today’s most influential thinkers, Dr. Albert Mohler addresses these critical topics in a thoughtful, cut-to-the-chase style in Desire and Deceit. As you follow Mohler’s guidance in applying biblical solutions to today’s most highly charged issues, you will be not only equipped but also inspired to speak the truth in a society hungry for answers.
Sexuality is now a major fact of public life in America and around much of the world. In one sense, this is hardly new. After all, sexuality is a major part of human existence–an unavoidably complex and potentially explosive dynamic of human life. But sexuality is now a public issue–front and center in some of the biggest and most contentious debates of our times.
Sex and sexuality now drive much of our advertising, entertainment, and the cultural scripts that citizens use in common conversation. The sexual revolution of the 1960s was, in retrospect, only a signal of what was to come. By the early years of the twenty-first century, issues of sexuality were seemingly unavoidable. Elementary school students are being introduced to “family diversity” curricula, and major newspapers report on the phenomena of sexual promiscuity in homes for the aged. There seems to be virtually no part of the culture that is not dealing with sexuality in one way or another–and often with significant controversy.
Christians have a special stake and stewardship in the midst of this confusion. In the first place, Christians know that sex is both more and less important than the culture of laissez-faire sexuality can understand. Unlike the naturalistic evolutionists, Christians believe that the realities of gender and sexuality are intentional gifts of the Creator, who gave these gifts to His human creatures as both a blessing and a responsibility. Unlike the postmodern relativists, Christians cannot accept the claim that all sexual standards are mere social constructs. We believe that the Creator alone has the right to reveal His intention and commands concerning our stewardship of these gifts. Unlike the marketing geniuses and advertising gurus, we do not believe that sexuality is intended as a ploy to get attention and to create consumer demand. Unlike the pandering producers of sexualized entertainment, we do not believe that sex is primarily about laugh lines and titillation. Unlike the sexual revolutionaries of recent decades, we do not believe that sexuality is the means of liberating the self from cultural oppression.
In other words, we believe that sex is less important than many would have us believe. Human existence is not, first and foremost, about sexual pleasure and the display of sexuality. There is much more to human life, fulfillment, and joy. Sex simply cannot deliver the promises made by our hypersexualized society.
On the other hand, sex is far more important than a secular society can envision. After all, the Christian worldview reveals that sex, gender, and sexuality are ultimately all about the creature’s purpose to glorify the Creator. This frame of reference transforms the entire question and leaves the creature asking this: how do I celebrate and live out my stewardship of my sexuality and my exercise of this gift so that the Creator is most glorified? Needless to say, this is not the question driving the confusion in our sex-saturated culture.
This book is an attempt to look at many of today’s most controversial and troubling issues concerning sexuality from the perspective of biblical Christianity. Every one of us has a stake in this, and Christians are responsible for a special witness to the meaning of sex and sexuality.
And all this, we know, is not only about how we are to think about these issues, but how we are to live.
Posted March 28, 2009
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Contrary to what one might think from reading the cover of the book, it would be wrong to say that R. Albert Mohler Jr.'s book, Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance, is a "right jab" from the evangelical side of the political spectrum. It would also be wrong to categorize Mohler as preaching to the choir, which he actually is but that isn't the whole story either. Albert Mohler's book is much more of an exercise in educating the religious right so that they will have their own ammunition to fight moral sexual degradation. It is an educational lecture and a pep talk, if you will.
The main target of Mohler's lecture is obviously homosexuality. In this case we are not talking about homosexuality itself per se, even though Mohler gives loads of biblical and rational arguments against the homosexual lifestyle. Mohler's attack, if you will, is squarely against the political homosexuality that he believes has changed the landscape of American culture for the worse and almost to the point of non-recognition. Albert Mohler also rails against pornography and sexual promiscuity in virtually every form labeling it as against God's plan for man and woman. In many ways the author believes that political homosexuality has won in their battle but for those who stand with evangelical Christianity this is no reason to give up the fight. The battle for souls must rage on.
Mohler portrays Alfred Kinsey, lauded as many social intellectuals today, as some sort of sicko at best and at worst a de facto "black pope" (my words, not his) who's sexual depravity have lead many of our own brightest minds astray. Albert Mohler states that he believes Kinsey, thought by some as the father of the modern sexual revolution, to have been an intellectual fraud who, originally studier of insects, molded his own sexual desires into a pseudo-science of carnal knowledge, totally discounting any supposed contributions that Alfred Kinsey was purported to have made to our earlier knowledge of sexual behavior.
I don't really think that even the casual reader would find many surprises in what Albert Mohler has written in Desire and Deceit. For one he is the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, hardly a bastion of left-wing thought and liberal demagoguery, and Mohler has been many times in the American press defending evangelical Christian values, raising the flag for the whole world to see. As such, I would be surprised to find anyone who did read the book with an open mind to take umbrage with Mohler's position. It is almost as if the position is stated in the title. Of course if the reader's only intention in reading the book in the first place was to "dig up dirt" to argue against Albert Mohler's stance then they would have lots to work with because he is unequivocal. I do believe though that the book's merits are in whether or not it accomplished what the author intended to do when he wrote it: Shore up the evangelical soldiers for the fight against evil sexual mores as they see them. And in this respect Albert Mohler can claim his desired effect.
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Posted December 9, 2009
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