A Great Cloud of Moral Witness by James S. Spiegel

View

A Great Cloud of Moral Witness

James S. Spiegel on the Solid Historical Consensus Regarding Homosexual Practice

During the last generation there has been a dramatic shift of perspective in the West regarding sexual morality—a shift away from the traditional Judeo-Christian ethic of sex as appropriate only within heterosexual marriage and in the direction of affirming any sexual relationship so long as it takes place between consenting adults. In the North American churches, many people are embracing one aspect of this movement, specifically, to be gay-affirming, in the sense that they believe homosexual activity is morally permissible so long as it involves two committed adults. Now, there are many reasons to be skeptical of this movement, but one reason rarely noted among traditionalists is that there appear to have been no gay-affirming Christian scholars (theologians, philosophers, ethicists, and the like) in history until the latter part of the twentieth century.

This is germane to the question of a Christian's skepticism about the gay-affirming position, and here's why. As Christians, we should take seriously the wealth of moral and theological wisdom that has preceded us historically, and where there is a strong consensus among our best thinkers about an issue, we should grant a strong presumption in favor of that view.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more on church history from the online archives

33.1—January/February 2020

Surprised by Gentleness

on a Saint's Charism That Cures Toxic Perfectionism by Colleen Carroll Campbell


more from the online archives

33.4—July/August 2020

Dwelling in Unity

Our Views on the President Are Not Crucial by S. M. Hutchens

33.1—January/February 2020

It's Personal

on the Consequences of One Birth Before Roe v. Wade by Craig Kellogg Galer

31.1—January/February 2018

In Defense of Prudery

The Wisdom of the Victorian Quest for Innocence by David Sandifer

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00