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					Christians in America
have been torn by                             Jon Pahl, P                        h d
debate in recent decades

                                                                                              Sex
                                              Jon Pahl is Professor
over sexuality.                               of the History of
                                              Christianity in North
Why? And what has happened to
                                              America and Director
the usual cause of debate among
Christians—the doctrine of salvation?
                                              of MA Programs                                     and
                                              for The Lutheran
What are the causes, contours, and            Theological Seminary                            Salvation
consequences of this shift in debate, and     at Philadelphia, and
how can Christians find a way both to a       has been Visiting Professor of Religion at      A four-session workshop
healthy sexuality and to a clear sense of     both Temple and Princeton Universities.                  led by
what it means to be saved by grace through
                                                                                                   Dr. Jon Pahl
faith—and then to live like people who        He received his Ph.D. from the University of
actually believe it?                          Chicago Divinity School.

Session One                                   Dr. Pahl has published numerous articles and
                                              columns, and has authored or edited seven
Why Do American Christians Obsess about
Sex? And Whatever Happened to Salvation?
                                              books, including Shopping Malls and Other
                                              Sacred Spaces, and, most recently, Empire of
                                                                                                April 29–30,
Session Two                                   Sacrifice: The Religious Origins of American         2011
Biblical Authority: What Would Yeshua Do?     Violence (NYU Press).
                                                                                              Divinity Lutheran Church
Session Three                                 He has enjoyed speaking with audiences               Fellowship Hall
Historical Guidance: The Gradual              from Ankara, Turkey to Anaheim, California,     11877 Blossom Avenue,
Disentangling of Sex and Social Domination,   has been interviewed on the BBC and               Parma Heights, Ohio
or What Would Paul Do?                        other media outlets, and was featured in a                44130
                                              documentary film, Malls R Us, which had its
Session Four                                                                                      (440) 845-2060
                                              world premiere at the Museum of Modern
Can a Homophobe be Saved?                     Art in New York City.                            www.divinitylutheran.com
                                              Dr. Pahl lives with his wife, Lisa, and their
 The Friday night session will                three children near Swarthmore, PA., where
 include an optional potluck dinner
                                              he enjoys sports, gardening and playing the
 beginning at 6 p.m. on April 29.
                                              saxophone with his jazz and rhythm and
 Participants should bring a side dish.
                                              blues band, The Groove Daemons.
 Entree meats and beverages will be
 provided by Divinity Lutheran Church.
SESSION ONE: WHY?                                                        century of the Christian Era, marriage had become a “sacrament”             REGISTRATION FORM
                                                                         but celibacy was a more reliable avenue to salvation. The Church had
Three Axioms on Purity and Danger
                                                                         assimilated and reacted to the long-standing use of sex to establish        Sex and Salvation
1. Christians tend to try to impose moralistic purity (we must DO        patrimonies and social dominance. Sex was about power and property          A four-session workshop
   something!) when power or privilege (easy to confuse with             OR purity. Under the influence of the Protestant Reformers, marriage
   salvation) seems threatened by perceived danger.                                                                                                  April 29–30, 2011
                                                                         became a civil matter and family life became a vocation equal to
2. Sex agitation = salvation agitation (fear of sex=fear of death),                                                                                  Friday: 6:30–9:30 p.m.
                                                                         celibacy. Today, under the influence of the First Amendment, marriage
   and ANY agitation (anxiety) arises because of reaction to specific,                                                                               Saturday 9 a.m.–noon
                                                                         and sexuality has increasingly been oriented around mutuality of
   historical circumstances (Genesis 3; Kierkegaard, The Concept of      pleasure and the promises between two people to be partners.
   Dread; Freud; Douglass; Becker).                                      Modern, companionate marriage thus reflects, for all of its fragility and
3. God saves. Marriage is work. Trust in God to save can lead us to      difficulty, a revival of authentically Christian (and especially Pauline)
   understand healthy human desire for loving sexual relationships,      understanding and practice of marriage, where power = love, not force.      __________________________________________
   and to forge just laws that protect and foster those relationships.   • 6 Historical Associations with Sex/Marriage:                              Name
Why Now? Five Causes for the Current Debate                                The 6 P Continuum to Track Change

1. The rise of LGBT identities, and post-Stonewall (1969) activism       • 4 Historical Myths

2. The rise of backlash to the sexual revolution (ERA), post-1980s       • 4 Historical Plotlines—A Brief History of Sex and Marriage in             __________________________________________
                                                                           relation to Christianity                                                  Address
3. Perception of crisis, and rise of moralistic efforts to “save”
   the church (or society)
                                                                         SESSION FOUR: CAN A HOMOPHOBE BE SAVED?
4. Contested visions of American and global destiny, and
   competing platforms                                                   The current DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) legislation represents a         __________________________________________
                                                                         form of religious violence. These laws originate in religious opposition    City, State, Zip Code
5. Expanding of religious freedom, and a struggle toward “a
                                                                         to gay/lesbian civil rights, and operate to exclude gays and lesbians
   coming religious peace.” Maybe, debate is GOOD?
                                                                         from public recognition of their relationships in ways that harm them.
                                                                         They reflect heterosexual self-righteousness. Such self-righteousness
SESSION TWO: BIBLICAL AUTHORITY                                                                                                                      __________________________________________
                                                                         imperils the clarity of the truth that God saves by grace, through faith.
How We Read Matters:                                                     Homophobia subtly implies a moralistic understanding of salvation:          Telephone Number

The 4 I’s of Violent Reading:                                            “right” sexual behavior is necessary to be saved.
Isolating (“Proof”) Texts                                                The Violence Iceberg
Ignoring Intention                                                                                                                                   __________________________________________
                                                                         Six Theses                                                                  E-mail Address
Imposing Context
                                                                         1. DOMA Laws violate sacred texts.
Ironic Significance
                                                                         2. DOMA Laws elevate heterosexual marriage to idolatrous status.
The Face of Faithful Reading:                                                                                                                        q Optional 6 p.m. Friday Potluck Dinner
                                                                         3. DOMA Laws scapegoat gays and lesbians.
Full Arguments (Scripture interprets Scripture)
                                                                         4. DOMA Laws sacrifice homosexual rights, and damage civil society,         Cost: $20 per person
Author’s Intention
                                                                            in the interest of religious “purity.”
Contextually Aware
                                                                         5. DOMA Laws confuse legislation with religion, and violate the
Eye on Significance
                                                                            First Amendment.                                                         Please complete this form, tear off
Find God’s no and God’s yes, in light of the entire revelation of        6. DOMA Laws perpetuate an association of sex with power, and               and return with your check to:
Scripture (with aid from tradition, reason, and human experience)           thereby do damage to any sacramental sensibility that might
                                                                            remain in association with even heterosexual marriage.
                                                                                                                                                     Divinity Lutheran Church
SESSION THREE: HISTORICAL GUIDANCE                                                                                                                   11877 Blossom Avenue
                                                                         What does it mean to be saved?
                                                                         No fear; “sin” boldly (for love)….
                                                                                                                                                     Parma Heights, Ohio 44130
The earliest Christians (notably Paul) were radical Jewish sex
reformers protesting imperial pagan sex-for-power. By about the 10th                                                                                 (440) 845-2060
                                                                         Can a homophobe be saved?

				
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