On Being Human: Sexual Orientation and the Image of God

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It beckons us to think about the extent to which we use creation including how we treat our sexuality in a way that is worthy of the love and goodness of God. Let us move to transhumanism.

This is a movement that is somewhat complex, but in general it advocates using technology to transform human persons into forms of life in which we so extend our capabilities physical, cognitive, affective, etc. How might an Anselmian theological anthropology assess this movement? First, Anslemian theism is sensitive to how values are appropriate to different kinds of beings. What makes a good human being is different from what makes a good whale.

Much progress in terms of our moral development as a species has come about through extending our concept of what it is to be a human being, moving from beyond only recognizing certain males as fully human to recognizing all humans, regardless of gender, age, or ethnicity as human. Those of us in the Christian tradition have an additional reason for revering humanity as we believe that the God of perfection became incarnate as a human being, calling us to reclaim the original blessing given to us in creation Christ as the second Adam.

A second point is worth noting, to the effect that while we should be loath to denigrate our humanity we should also be highly suspicious of human supremacy. Moreover, as C. Lewis has observed, it is conceivable that God has made and sustains in creation all sorts of creatures that are nonhumans and yet are image bearers of God. So, there is some reason for Christians not to treat our humanity as the highest value imaginable or to rule out that image bearers of God might exist with even greater affective, cognitive, physical virtues that we possess.

So, while the first point involves cautioning us on taking too low a view of humanity, my second point is that we should resist taking on too high a view. Third, a maximally perfect being calls us to maximally live up to the best of our abilities to the ethical order of loving our neighbor.

In light of the teachings of Jesus, this means caring for the disposed and the most vulnerable among us. This would mean that the use of technology to enhance human powers should be given primacy to repairing those of us who are damaged and impaired, rather than to give primacy to the goals of the transhumanists who envision developing elite persons that may evolve beyond our species. In wrapping up this post, the movements of feminism and transhumanism compel us to examine our use of concepts such as human being, male, female, being in the image of God, and so on.

Philosophers and theologians address the relationship between body and soul and its implications for theological anthropology, interacting with cognitive science, biological evolution, psychology, and sociology. Mawson, University of Oxford, UK. Rigorous, well informed, and refreshingly insightful, it is a tour de force of theological anthropology!

Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Taliaferro is the author, co-author or editor of over twenty books and is the Editor-in Chief of the journal Open Theology. Christian wisdom for life's big questions.

LGBT homosexuality FAQ - Sexuality series | Calvin University

Charles Taliaferro. Philosophy Suffering Theology. Being Perfect By Anselmian or Perfect Being theology I am referring to theistic views of God that give center place to God being perfect or unsurpassably excellent. A Patriarchal God? Marginalizing Alternative Philosophies? Divine Perfection and the Problem of Evil? Responding to the Feminist Critique In reply, I suggest three points.

Using Anselmian theology to critique patriarcy. Welcoming the feminist stance toward evil. Assessing matters of sexual orientation. I suggest that there are three elements that are important from an Anselmian point of view. Be sensitive to the human good. We are neither beast nor god. Love thy neighbor, maximally. Purging Oppression from Our Concepts of Perfection: Responding to Feminism and Transhumanism In wrapping up this post, the movements of feminism and transhumanism compel us to examine our use of concepts such as human being, male, female, being in the image of God, and so on.

So he never calls us to mere celibacy or mere happiness but to a transcendent holiness and joy. That is the fullness and the glory of walking with the God who died for us--and God forbid that we should settle for anything less. This book offers a practical, grounded Christian vision of sexuality in a world culture confused by and obsessed with sex.

As the church thinks through how to engage our neighbors on issues such as sexual orientation and gender identity, and on how to disciple our brothers and sisters in Christ who grapple with such temptations, this book will be of immense help.

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His journey into 'a far country' and back home into union with Christ has led him to grapple with hard questions we are all asking or need to be asking these days about sexuality, identity, sanctification both the process and the goal , and what it means to mortify sin and wage war against idols of the heart. In his treatment of these important topics, Christopher is at once humble, compassionate, insightful, and unwaveringly committed to holiness, the authority of Scripture, and the glory of God.

Penning this book no doubt required intense exertion and great courage. Thank you, Christopher, for being willing to stay the course--for the sake of us all and, preeminently, for Christ's sake. And we certainly need this book from Christopher Yuan. Holy Sexuality and the Gospel is part biblical exposition, part theological exploration, and part pastoral exhortation.

Christopher has given us a clear-eyed and warm-hearted work that will inspire and encourage the weary as well as instruct and gently correct those who have been more shaped by the culture than by the way of Christ. I'm grateful that he has become a voice of clarity in the midst of so much theological and sexual confusion. I pray that many will heed his clarion call to a holy sexuality. But this book is so much more. It's an inspiring call to take up our cross and follow Jesus, who's worth everything to those he loves.

I'm praying that God will raise up an entire generation like Christopher Yuan, who will lead us in courage and compassion so the world might know that Jesus saves. This book will reignite your imagination for the gospel and how the gospel shapes our sexuality. Yuan writes with the pen of a theologian, but he also has the heart of someone who knows this issue from personal experience.

This book will be required reading for the Transformation Church staff and a resource for our entire church. The writing is compelling yet grounded biblically and theologically. The subject of human sexuality is confusing and divisive in these days. This is a fresh voice and approach including much research, yet it offers examples of living out the truth both personally and for the community of believers--a way forward toward unity.

In Holy Sexuality and the Gospel, Christopher understands that cultural debates and scriptural debates are driven by even deeper currents: identity and belief. As Christopher writes, 'The apostle Paul says that in Christ "we live and move and have our being" Acts Thus, my identity is not gay, ex-gay, or even straight. My true identity is in Jesus Christ alone. I cannot recommend Holy Sexuality and the Gospel highly enough.


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It is a scandalous book for our age because it calls and draws readers to a bigger horizon than what secularism and theological liberalism offer. The book tackles tough issues ravaging the culture and the local church but does it with a tenor of wisdom and grace.

Does God call homosexuals to heterosexuality? What do parents do when their child says 'I'm gay'? Christopher Yuan has reduced these complex, controversial questions to one simple answer: 'With same-sex attractions, the problem is sin, and the gospel is the answer.

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Limitations of Language and the Challenge of Being Human

This is a clearly written, biblically grounded, theologically sound exposition. It's important reading for singles, for married couples, for pastors, and for all those struggling with same-sex attractions. As he shows, such a focus helps us in all of life, especially in the areas of sexuality, sexual identity, marriage, singleness, and the community that meets needs of intimacy and family. Biblical balance in all of these areas can be a challenge in our culture, especially in knowing how to love and how to converse on these issues.

This book does an excellent job of showing the way. Bock, PhD, executive director for cultural engagement at the Howard G. Christopher Yuan combines his own gripping story with astute biblically grounded insights into the whole matter of our true identity and its relation to our sexuality.

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God has a grand design for human flourishing, and this book presents it so engagingly. Yuan's big idea--clearly written and argued--is holy sexuality as a key to human flourishing. The tone is gracious throughout, and yet the book is uncompromising in its biblical fidelity. I hope that this work is distributed widely and read deeply.


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Cole, ThD, dean and vice president of education and professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL "Holy Sexuality and the Gospel is a book that must be read by every serious Christian. Yuan brings a wonderful balance of biblical insight and practical application for how Christians can thoughtfully address some of the toughest issues of sex and relationships today.

Jesus, Bible, faith-in-God helps sexual identity strugglers — Archbishop Lépine

And yet his unflinching commitment to the gospel comes through on every page. I could not recommend the book more highly. Our culture has unhinged sexuality from spiritual and biological realities and loaded it with a weight it is not designed to bear. It was never meant to define us. It cannot make our dreams come true. It will not complete us. As a gift of God kept in perspective, sexuality is wonderful.

As an idol, it is terrible. More than ever, we need to know what holy sexuality is. Christopher Yuan provides a refreshing look at the truth of the Scripture to cut through the modern day clutter and confusion on the subject of gay sexuality and sexual identity. His book demonstrates with crystal clarity how God delivers people from homosexuality and a same-sex ideology that controls mind and living, and brings them to the freedom of the redemption of the whole person conformed to the image of God.

Yuan's emphasis is to point to the power of the Gospel to redeem us from our sinful thoughts and inclinations.