Write a paper of 2,000-3,000 words (7-10 pages, excluding front and back pages). The final paper must include 3 primary sources and 4-6 secondary sources. Your paper must draw upon the writings of Church Fathers, scholars, theologians, and historians, as well as Scripture to present a concise overview of the topic along with a view to how to apply what you have learned in the context of contemporary ministry. Works that are general histories or historical accounts should be counted as secondary sources. Works by the persons with whom you are dealing should be considered primary sources.© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com June 4, 2020, 5:23 am ad1c9bdddf
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Marriage, Human Sexuality, and the Family in Christian Thought
This assignment appears to be an expository rather than argumentative one. In other words, it does not ask you to argue about what is some singular "best" or "most Christian" view of the topic but rather to survey the wide range of opinions held about these matters over the past two thousand years. The best way of organizing the paper is chronologically, beginning with the Old Testament, moving through the major phases of Christian thinking about the topic, and concluding with how you might apply this knowledge to your own ministry.
As Christianity is firmly rooted in the Old as well as the New Testament, you should start your paper with a discussion of marriage and family in the Old Testament. There are several texts which remain important for modern discussions of human sexuality and gender roles. The first is Genesis 2:4-3:24, which describes the creation of Eve and the fall of humanity. Many Jewish and Christian traditions have interpreted these chapters to justify the subordination of women. A second crucial issue to discuss is the fall. Although the passage in Genesis suggests that the cause of the fall was either disobedience or loss of innocence (gaining knowledge of good and evil), some later theologians argued that sexuality was a key element of the fall. The model of Adam and Eve also has served as a model of the nuclear family in much pastoral discourse.
The next elements of the Old Testament you might wish to discuss are the purity laws found in Leviticus. They tend to focus on the question of ritual purity and pollution (concepts found in many pagan societies of the period as well). These laws cover ways of dealing with ritual impurity incurred in pregnancy and menstruation as well as including laws prohibiting sodomy. Finally, we should note that several important figures in the Old Testament practiced polygamy including Abraham, Jacob, ...
This answer discusses how attitudes towards family, gender, and sexuality evolved over the history of Christianity, with an emphasis on the diversity of attitudes across periods and denominations.