Science in Christian Perspective
Letters to the Editor
Responses to "Is There a Christian Basis for a Sexual Revolution?" (Journal ASA, June 1974)
AlanHarder FrankVosler Joseph P. Paydon Lloyd L. Rheinheimer Thaoias R. Teply Mark Peterson
From: JASA 27
(March 1975): 46-47.
The best perspective on proper hermeneutics ties somewhere between Bube and Roy. On the one hand, there are biblical and extra-biblical criteria for determining what is a just or loving or gracious action. These criteria are quite inter-subjective and knowable and their systematization results in biblical and extrabiblical laws. This is very close to the emphasis of Bribe. But some of the criteria can and do change with time and space and conditions, and therefore the form and content of the laws based upon them change, too. This is why many of the prescriptions of the Old Testament have lapsed into desuetude. There is no theological or any other kind of objection to this type of irrelevance. This, I take it, is very close to what Roy says.
Allen Harder Department of Philosophy Iowa State University Allies, Iowa 50010
Rustom Roy's pitch for sexual liberty and situation ethics shows
human mind can be in rationalizing its desires when its tether is loosed from
the Word of God. His questioning Of the interpretation or revelance of certain
passages can be 'summarized in the words of his mentor, ''Yea, w hat hath
God said?" He apparently has read the book of Galations: I suggest that he read
The window opening to the left - the enmeshing dialog with the apostates will blind us to the handwriting on the wall.
Frank Vosler 8011 Morse Rd. New Albany, Ohio 43054
Joseph P. Paydon
What a brave attempt in "Is there a Christian Basis for a Sexual Revolution?" and what a pathetic waste of space.
In Roy's words, "is not the pre-occupation with sex instead of love wholly a waste of time and energy for Christians today" But why then does he occupy himself with questionable analogies, twisted injunctions, and pure self-contradictions to establish his position on SE X? Isn't this just the plain centuries-old process of self-justification we all like to find for ourselves "lien out of tune with God?
And as far Bube, what he writes is for time most part excellent, except it has that quality - rather like pulling one's punches - so that when he has finished he has seemed to have not done justice to his arguments, and the remarks rather fall flat. Is this perhaps because the entire subject ought not to have been "How a Christian sex life should appear" - but "How, really, does a Christian meet God's desires of LOVE, and of what does a life IN Christ really consist?"
Joseph P. Paydon Department of Mathematics U.S. Naval Academy Annapolis, MD 21401
Lloyd L. Rheinheimer
as a Christian believer was appalled that we are even permitting such a dialogue in our Christian journals such as Dr. Roy proposed. I roil sore that tie and others who believe with turn in his proposals have man) arg onien ts that they would throw at me to validate their position. t am not capable at going into all the sociologic arguments that the proponents of liberation to sexuality put forward. However as a practicing physician and a Christian I can testify clearly to the wisdom of God regarding the sanctity of marriage and conversely to the terrible results of people who will not accept God's direction for human beings in the area of marriage and sexuality.
I would hope that the A.S.A. would not pursue obvious anti and n on-Christian avenues of discussion. There is much more that should be done in this field without seemingly accepting un-Christian ethics.
Lloyd L. Rheinheimer, M.D. Box 128 Milford, Indiana 46542
Thaoias R. Teply
I believe it is extremely significant. and 1 trust more than coincidental, that the June 1974 issue of the Journal began with an article which at least touched on the large subject of biblical interpretation, while the last article consisted of your dialogue with Rustum Roy on the issue of the sexual revolution.
My reaction to the dialogue was that Roy is almost totally illiterate in the field of hermeneutics. In my ministry I have
discovered that most people including good church-goers--are caught in the same difficulty. Either conscious or unconscious blind rejection of' the simple and near meaning of a Scripture passage in favor at ss hat I want it to say is called ''my interpretation." This is the only way in which such absurd propositions as Roy's can even be considered in the context of' the Christian faith today.
Thaoias R. Teply, First Presbyterian Church Anchorage, Alaska 99501
I appreciated Roy's willingness to air his views in response to Bribe's critique, and that appreciation increased as I saw the diversity of their positions. Nevertheless. 1 found myself, reacting negatively to Roy's views on very basic issues.
Rostorn Roy's "highly selected quotations" on lass vs. grace distort the nature of grace. Even in Gal. 5 the works at the flesh are described as evident, not shrouded in subjective ambiguities. Sexual sins are held in sorry contrast to the love-fruit of the Spirit.
To regard fulfillment of sexual desire a necessity goes beyond the teaching of our Lord. Food and clothing are the only physical basics that Jesus accepts as needs in his Sermon on the Mount.
"Sexual affluence''. Roy's favorite catch-term, is also misleading. Technological accessories not with-standing. since the Creator has supplied the same basic equipment to every generation. Stolen sex is as old as the thief but Honest Sex is a deductive rip-oft. And squandered sex is never affluence, just inflation.
That large segments of the church of Jesus Christ will be increasingly conformed to the world in sexual mores is a saddening probability. That it should intentionally he led this way of Balaam is nonsense. The last state would be worse than the first.
Is there a Christian basis for a sexual revolution? No, but it would take a Balaam's cure to restrain the madness of these prophets.
Mark Peterson 328 N. Palm St. Janesville, Wisconsin 53545