Human Sexuality in a Sexually Polymorphous World, Part II

Article excerpt

As noted in the introduction to Part I, we live in a world that manifests a complex and often confusing array of values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors regarding human sexuality, particularly in the midst of the current context of postmodern thought. As Elaine Storkey (2001) observes, "For most social commentators, post-modernity marks the end of any single, unifying worldview that attempts to offer universally valid explanations" (p. 52). In the absence of such a "unifying worldview" and the lack, therefore, of "universally valid explanations," we find our society manifesting what was characterized in Deuteronomy 12:8 and Judges 17:6 as a time when "every man did what was right in his own eyes." Storkey goes on to quote Lars Johansson (1984) regarding the impact of such a philosophical approach to reality.

The postmodern deconstructs the metanarratives of the Western tradition, leaving us with a plurality of narratives and values. One of the metanarratives that has been disclosed is reason. Central to the critique of reason is language. All thinking begins and ends with language. Philosophy is seen as rhetoric in disguise. There is no independent vantage point outside language. (p.216)

As Storkey (2001) thereafter notes, "If language constructs reality, we can bring anything into being. Our words create politics, sexuality, history, God" (p. 53). But when words alone construct reality, then where can an anchor be found, which can guard individuals and society from drifting into the infinitude of human variation with its frequent destructive consequences? Again, the words of Scripture come to mind in the wise reflection of Solomon, "Every man's way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the heart" (Prov. 21:2). One is reminded of a stormy sea on which a fleet of sailing vessels is being driven by the wind and tossed against waves with little regard to the efforts of those who man the tillers. In this regard, the Apostle Paul admonishes his readers as follows: "As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to gr ow up in all [aspects] into Him, who is the head, [even] Christ (Eph. 4:1415; NASB). For the committed Christian whose faith is grounded in the fear of the Lord and in the belief that the Bible is our primary source of Truth, speaking this truth is an imperative. So again, we seek to offer a limited sample of articles which are committed to a sound integration of biblical perspective and the latest understanding of biological, psychological, and social data, desiring to contribute to both an adequately informed Christian community and adequately prepared professionals who minister to this community via their respective roles.

We begin Part II with the work of Douglas E. Rosenau and Erica S. N. Tan as they address the challenge of living single in our highly sexualized society. With messages and images that promote permissiveness and essentially non-consequential approach to sexual behavior, Christians find themselves clearly needing the anchor of truth, not only in our society but also around the world. Doug and Erica begin by recognizing the difficulty single individuals face and the fact that the church has not done a good job of assisting them with this challenge. They conclude by offering a practical and helpful model for living as single, committed Christians in their article entitled, "Single and Sexual: The Church's Neglected Dilemma."

Another challenge faced by sincere Christians and neglected to an even greater degree by the church is the issue of disability in the context of sexuality. Coming from her own personal experience as one who suffers a debilitating medical problem in the context of her marriage to a husband who has experienced a significant and lifelong physical disability, Randi S. …