Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Denny Burk's excellent JETS article "On the Ethics of Sexual Attraction (Same-Sex and otherwise)"


I made a couple of comments in the com-boxes:

Excellent article. Definitely needed and thorough. Unfortunately, 20 pages of in-depth analysis like yours will not be analyzed in the sound bite media and “yes or no” questioning of modern journalism.
The problem seems to me that the majority of our western culture, regular man on the street, and secular non-Christians, journalists, politicians, etc. do not consider any kind of thoughts, desires, fantasies, imaginations as sinful. We hear people say all the time, “nothing wrong with looking, as long as we don’t touch”, and phrases like “eye candy”, etc.
This kind of thinking goes against the Biblical analysis of the heart of human beings and the roots of sin – Genesis 6:5Matthew 5:21-30Mark 7:20-23Jeremiah 17:9Romans 7:14-8:13; Colossians 3:5-10.
One thing I disagreed with though, is that you seemed to tie all the temptations of Jesus to His temptations in the sufferings and crucifixion (garden to cross ?) (page 103 – Hebrews 4:15 seen in the light of Hebrews 2:18, seems to overlook the 3 types of temptation in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. ) I agree that Jesus’ temptations did not include every single individual type of temptation that humans experience, but I do think that “tempted in every way” includes the 3 categories of temptations in Matthew 4 and Luke 4 – of “lust of the flesh” (food, sex, sleep, etc. – “turn the stones to bread”; 2. Lust of the eyes” – “I will give you all these kingdoms if You bow down to me” and 3. “the boastful pride of life” – “throw Yourself off the temple edge”, etc. (from Luke 4 and Matthew 4, and I John 2:15-16 and parallel with the temptation to Eve in Genesis 3 – “the fruit was good for food” (lust of flesh), “pleasing to the eyes”, and “could make one wise like God” (pride).

Your analysis of “orientation” and “temptation” and desire and the Greek term epithumia was excellent and the whole discussion of the teleological aspect of when desires are sinful – the purpose and object of the desire as the key to determining the sinfulness of the desire.
Your analysis of James 1:13-14 with Matthew 5:28 is especially helpful.
The evidence of Augustine’s earlier thought on concupiscence and lust/desire vs. his later musings was helpful – I did not know that. Thank you for digging that out for us.
On page 104 – The discussion of the fact that it is more intense of a temptation to not give in to it – and the quote from Leon Morris was very good and needs to be emphasized. (and was very convicting, when thought about my own temptations and giving in to them.)
“This points us to the glorious irony of Jesus’ sinless nature. It did not lessen his experience of temptation but only intensified it.” (page 104)
Wow! This needs to be emphasized and preached on and talked about a lot more.
This should stir all of us to consider more deeply our sinful hearts in our gluttony, anger, greed, and heterosexual lust and need for deeper internal repentance.
These other two statements stood out to me:
“Temptation had no landing pad in Jesus’ heart nor did it have a launching pad from Jesus’ heart.” (page 105)
“This aspect of Jesus’ impeccability ought to invoke worship when we really think about it.” (page 107)
The discussion of not using “orientation” was needed also. We should call it “people who experience same sex attractions and temptations” and Christians who struggle with them.
Another thing that is missing is that some Lesbians have admitted that their Lesbianism was a choice based on other up-bringing and environmental factors and responses and her feisty nature and rebellion and challenge to traditional ideas of being a girl and a lady. Camille Paglia made that point very clear on one of Dennis Prager’s radio shows. see below:
I also linked to Denny Burk's article at my other blog, Apologetics and Agape, along with the above article about Camille Paglia and also Dr. Michael Kruger's article  "What the Media is not telling you in the Judicial arguments in the same sex marriage case."

These two articles also deserve separate future blog posts.


James Swan said...

A bit off topic but....

Anyone on our side write recently on Bruce Jenner? I had thought of writing something, but it seemed too relevant.

I watched some of his interview, and I found it absurd how he was put forth as being "brave." There's really not much bravery in what he revealed in this day and age. Had he made his revelations in 1975, that would've been a bit more brave.

Ken said...

True, it would have been brave in 1975, . . .

I heard the clip of the interview where Diane Sawyer was shocked that he was Republican in his voting, apparently putting financial and military defense issues before social issues.

Ken said...

Homosexuality and Transgenderism is a disorder in the soul; and a rebellion against the way God created the person.

John Piper has a good word on this:

"The emotional and physical sensations that we call same-sex attraction are disordered emotions and disordered sensations. And that disordering of the soul’s emotions and the body’s sensations are rooted in the fall of humanity into sin and, more specifically, they are rooted in the sin that is understood as exchanging God’s glory for images (Romans 1:23). So the exchange of woman as the glory of man for another man is a parable of the exchange of God for images like ourselves.

A person who experiences this disorder — this disordering of the emotions of the soul and the sensations of the body — may or may not himself exchange God for images. He may be a Christian. But the disordering he is experiencing is rooted in that original sin and in that ongoing human bent of soul that we all have, all of us."


Ken said...

Piper continues:

"The issue becomes: What do we do with the disordering effects of sin in our lives? I say our lives. And you will see why in a minute — John Piper’s life. The Bible says that if we embrace the disordering as good and normal and live our lives in accord with the disordered inclinations, then we will be living and affirming a parable of rebellion against God. And the Bible says those who live out that kind of rebellion do not enter the kingdom of heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9).

Now that has nothing — get this — nothing to do with the peculiar nature of sexual disorder or same-sex desires. Nothing. This is true for all our disordering of all our lives rooted in sin. That is why 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 lists homosexual practice along with others. So here is the list:

Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral [that is fornication, because it is distinguished from the next two], nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–10)
In other words, if you embrace and live out as normal and good any of these, you perish, because you are living a parable of rebellion."