It is always with some fear and trepidation that I pick up a book that tackles the subject of “sex and (or in) the Bible.” But curiosity got the better of me, so last night I started Sexuality in the New Testament: Understanding Key Texts, by William Loader (WJK, 2010).
Loader seeks to understand key NT passages on sex “in their own setting, both within their writings and within their world” (1). He desires “to hear these texts as closely as possible to the way their authors wanted them to be heard” (5). He does not set out to assert any one position but to “offer an empathetic analysis of why interpreters say what they say” (1) about these texts. “People having read the book should have a clearer idea of where their feet and others’ feet stand and why they stand there” (ibid).
Thus far (I am on p. 85 out of 166) I have appreciated his work. I especially liked one of his observations of Romans 1. After demonstrating that Paul believes homosexuality is abhorrent, against nature and against God’s design for his creatures both male and female, he summarizes the apostle’s argument in this manner: “Paul’s primary argument is that what led to wrong sex was wrong theology” (27).
So there is a connection between sex and theology– even in the NT 🙂