Modern readers may imagine that until recently pastors never dared to provide sex and marriage counseling. Not so. These selections from the earliest period of the Christian pastoral tradition (pre-Nicene, before 325 a.d.), will provide glimpses of the sort of counsel Christian pastors have been giving from the very outset of the tradition. It should be kept in mind that much of the writing of this period was done under hazardous conditions of persecution and social stress, when the Christian community was a tiny minority in a hostile political environment. Our purpose for including these selections is not to imply that a completely adequate view of sexuality was worked out by these earliest pastoral writers, or one that could be adequate for all other historical situations. At least they demonstrate that the need to provide guidance and understanding of sexuality has been perceived from the beginning of Christian pastoral activity.
Just because our eyes have acclimated to the night doesn’t mean that we should defend the dimness of this present darkness.
One of the most frequent objections is raised by those who say that the purpose of Scripture is to teach us in areas that concern “faith and practice” only; that is, in areas that directly relate to our religious faith or to our ethical conduct. This position would allow for the possibility of false statements in Scripture, for example, in other areas such as in minor historical details or scientific facts—these areas, it is said, do not concern the purpose of the Bible, which is to instruct us in what we should believe and how we are to live.1 Its advocates often prefer to say that the Bible is “infallible” but they hesitate to use the word inerrant. 2
At least two things are a waste of time, indeed three are completely wasteful: watching water boil, mobile games, and trying to inform the convinced Misinformed.
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Every now and then I like posting something incisive that was written in the past because it speaks so well into the present. The sweet thing about this is that these guys, who are often waved away today, have dealt with a lot of the same issues while remaining simultaneously (by the modern mind) ignored. This comes from Wayne Grudem.