Christian Sexuality Exploring Pastoral Dimensions of Intimacy and Human Relationships What is Theology? Fides Quaerens Intellectum. – Anselm Faith Seeking Understanding. Faith Not first of all creedal statements. Biblical roots of faith—personal relationship. Radical trust in God A verb, before it is a noun. Stages of Faith First Naivete Hermeneutics of Suspicion Hermeneutics of Trust (2nd Naivete) – Paul Ricoeur Seeking Every quest begins with questions… Seeking is inherent to faith. Growth in faith— ongoing conversion Understanding “to stand under” The quest for a vision. Not final answers, but deepening, evolving embrace of mystery. Sources of Theology Scripture Tradition Science Conscience Scripture as Resource Contextualist vs. Literalist approach. The Limits of Scripture Does not provide “sexual code of ethics” for all time. No single word in Hebrew or Greek for sexuality as we understand it today. Influence of cultic purity laws distinct to culture and historical times. Many contemporary issues simply not addressed, e.g. psychosexual development and sexual orientation as we understand it. Pastoral Use of Scripture Balancing tradition & compassion. Challenge of inclusivity. Danger of “proof texts” and using bible as “weapon.” Whoever tells the stories, rules the people… Navajo proverb The Vital Role of Hermeneutics Horizon of meaning. Point of view Experiential assumptions. Cosmic Questions How did we get here? What is our purpose? What is the origin of the cosmos? Why is there so much violence and pain? What is the origin and purpose of sexuality? Cosmic Stories Every culture has creation myths. They have common characteristics. Understanding Judeo-Christian story in this context. Sexuality in the Hebrew Scriptures Exploring our primal vision and roots. Who tells the stories? How have we come to understand these stories? Central Vision of Genesis Life-Givers – Generativity and Fecundity – Genesis 1—Priestly Lovers—Intimacy and Mutuality – Genesis 2—Yahwist In the beginning is Relationship Generativity and Communion in the Hebrew Creation Stories. Song of Creation— Generativity in Genesis 1 Let there be energy! Let the waters teem! Let the earth produce vegetation! Be fruitful and multiply! Journey Toward Relationship Geosphere Hydrosphere Atmosphere Biosphere Noosphere 2nd Creation Story Yahweh God fashioned HA ADAM of dust from HA ADAMA. Then He breathed into ITS nostrils a breath of life. And thus HA ADAM became a living NEPHESH. – Genesis 2:7 HA ADAM “Our theological ancestor” Dusty earth + Divine Breath. Sexually Undifferentiated. In Process. It is not good for HA ADAM to be alone…(2:18) “Alone” – Not just solitude. – Not just loneliness. “Destructive Isolation” God’s creative intention for humanity: RELATIONSHIP I will make a PARTNER… “Every animal and bird” Ha Adam names all creatures. THERE WAS NOT FOUND A HELPER AS A PARTNER Ezer Kenegdo Helper to be a Partner Not a subordinate. Implies equality and mutuality. “Like unto itself.” Tardema Experience Initiated and shaped by God. Mysterious and wondrous transformation. HA ADAM IS ISSA (Male) (Female) …Both NAKED, and were not ASHAMED. What does it mean to be “naked?” Primal vulnerability. NAKEDNESS Emotional Spiritual Psychological Physical Purpose of Sexuality From Isolation To Relationship Purpose of Sexuality The Culminating High Point of the Creative Process. Liberating experience of Partnership. Goodness of Body & Relationships God’s Creative Intention Sexuality is for Relationship “It is not good for ha adam to be alone…” Sexuality is Liberating “..both were naked and were not ashamed.” What is the Meaning of “The Fall”? In search of a deeper understanding Shame: BOSH Rendered Insignificant. Diminished. To Become Pale. The Fall: Symbol of The failure of sexuality to lead to authentic relationship. The failure of sexuality to be liberating. Failure of male- female partnership Symbols of the Fall Hiding Blaming Covering up Nakedness Flight from vulnerability and intimacy. Fall & Redemption Genesis—the tragedy of partnership. Song of Songs— Healed sexuality and restored partnership. Ruth—daily struggle of mutuality. Partnership God Created It. Men and women lost it. God will redeem it. Song of Songs “Midrash” on Genesis 2. Return to the Garden (‘eden’ or ‘pleasure.’) No Gender Stereotypes. Beyond Patriarchy. Jesus and Sexuality Primacy of Love. Equality and mutuality between women and men. Covenantal faithfulness.
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