Jesus and Paul on the Hermeneutics of Sexuality, Introduction

the-bible-and-sexuality-blog-headingSo here’s the plan. We’ve had an excellent discussion in the last series regarding whether homosexual activity is always sinful for a Christian.

The previous series was largely about attitudes toward the gay community, rather than an exegesis of the relevant texts that condemn homosexual activity. Several readers have asked my views on some of these texts, and it’s obvious that we need to take a look at them.

So I’m going to tackle those passages. I intend to do this through the window of hermeneutics — that is, the serious study of how to interpret the Bible. I figure the best way to learn how to read the Bible is to ask how Jesus and Paul interpret the text. Whatever their hermeneutics (interpretive principles) are would surely be good enough for me.

After that, I’m going to work through the arguments in Justin Lee’s Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate. Lee grew up Christian and gay. The book is largely autobiographical, but he ends by offering some interpretations of the key passages on homosexual activity. I’ll see how well his interpretations hold up in light of how Jesus and Paul interpret the Bible.

Also, somewhere in all this, I need to address William J. Webb’s Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis, in which he addresses how the Bible’s teachings on slaves, women, and homosexuals should be interpreted today. After all, we Christians no longer believe in slave holding, and most of us would object to treating women the way they were treated by the early church. What does this say about the homosexual activity passages?

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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