I’ve been nose-deep in the latest Dean Koontz novel, but I still managed to pull together these posts for you, dear readers. We have neuroscience and the notion of a boy/girl brain, works of dead apologists, Consent and Planned Parenthood, oral tradition in the Bible, and Wittgenstein and Scholastic Metaphysics. Let me know what you think, and be sure to let the authors know as well.
Girl Brain? Boy Brain?: A Neuroscientist Examines the Evidence– We often hear about how boy and girl brains are hardwired to behave in different ways. What should we think about this claim? What does it mean?
Planned Parenthood’s Absurd Position on HIV Disclosure– “Consent” in sex entails informed consent, something that Planned Parenthood concedes. Why, then, do they turn around and argue you don’t need to give information to get consent?
Goodill on Scholastic Metaphysics and Wittgenstein– A philosophy-heavy post from Edward Feser on a challenge raised against Scholastic Metaphysics based on Wittgenstein’s philosophy. I enjoyed this read quite a bit.
Book Review: Understanding the Oral Tradition by Eric Eve– A substantive book review that will get you thinking about oral history and the transmission of the Bible.
Works of Dead Apologists– If you aren’t reading the works of dead apologists, you ought to be. Here’s a good place to get started.
Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!
Sex is for Procreation?
A common assertion by many Christians is that the purpose of sex is for procreation. Although the value of this position in defending various other positions is not to be ignored, what is of concern is that this does not seem to encompass the totality of the biblical witness on the purposes for sex. Sexuality is a complex issue which the Bible addresses from multiple angles.
Richard M. Davidson’s seminal work, Flame of Yahweh, provides a comprehensive look at sexuality in the Old Testament. Against the notion that the purpose of sex is for procreation, he argues:
Amid the cacophony of pagan fertility rite percussion, beating out the message that sex is solely for procreation, in the Song [of Songs] the procreative function of sexuality is conspicuous by its absence. The Song does not deny this ninth facet of a sexual theology, but as in Gen[esis] 1, where procreation is added as a separate blessing (Gen[esis] 1:28), sexuality in the Song is freed from the common misunderstanding that its sole (or even primary) intent must be for the propagation of children. (605-606, cited below)
He provides much more argumentation than this, of course, but the conclusion above is telling. Perhaps we have missed something when it comes to the biblical teaching on sexuality. By focusing exclusively on procreation, we have not fully embraced the Bible’s comprehensive scope. The Song of Songs is an oft-ignored book which clearly shows the goodness of human sexuality, and that this goodness is not limited to the purpose of procreation.
That is a message worth putting forward, as couples struggle with miscarriage, infertility, and the like. Sexuality remains a good thing, even if it does not produce children, for God created human sexuality and called it good. The message of the Bible, and of Song of Songs in particular, teaches that human sexuality is wholesome and holistic, it is not reducible to one purpose or intent. See Davidson’s work, Flame of Yahweh, for further explanation and exegesis.
What do you think? How might the reductionist approach of sexuality = procreation often taught by Christians impact the perceptions about human sexuality? What can we do to better present the biblical view of human sexuality?
Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)
Richard M. Davidson, Flame of Yahweh (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007).