Sounding the Alarm on Sexuality and Family Issues
As issues about human sexuality and the definition of family continue to make headlines in the United States, three Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary professors have published books calling believers to take strong, biblically defined stands on these important topics.
New Testament scholar Andreas Kostenberger was assisted by ethicist David Jones in writing God, Marriage and Family, while Daniel Heimbach, an ethics professor, has written True Sexual Morality: Recovering Biblical Standards for a Culture in Crisis. Crossway Books is the publisher of the books by the scholars at Southeastern's Wake Forest, North Carolina, campus.
"While our goal in writing [God, Marriage and Family] is ultimately to facilitate the development of a biblical view of marriage and family [among Christians], we were also motivated by the need simply to demonstrate to the culture the severity of the moral decay of these institutions," Jones said. "While most people are willing to admit that there is a small hole in the ship, part of our message is to say that the ship is in danger of going down unless something is done to correct the problem."
Heimbach said he felt led by God to speak out against the world's corrupt view of sexuality and to awaken Christians to the moral ramifications of that corruption.
His True Sexual Morality is the product of a six-year quest to research a movement that he said has overtaken America and threatens to erase the image of God from society.
"Our culture … is being flooded with a deluge of sexual chaos threatening either to completely redefine the faith or to leave it irreconcilably divided, perhaps until Christ returns," Heimbach said.
His hope is that his studies in sexual morality and its counterfeit views will help Christians and non-Christians come to a better understanding of God's view of human sexuality — and only with God's view will the world function within realms of morality.
Faith-Based Groups Received $2 Billion in 2004
President Bush told a group of religious leaders that his administration allocated $2 billion to faith-based organizations last year to assist in their work of showing compassion toward Americans in need.
"No matter what your faith is, we're united in the conviction that to whom much is given, much is expected," Bush said at the White House Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Leadership Conference.
With the prosperity Americans enjoy comes "an obligation to reach out to brothers and sisters who hurt," the president told the gathering at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington on March 1.
The Bush administration reported that $2 billion in competitive grants across seven federal agencies was awarded to faith-based organizations in 2004, amounting to 10.3 percent of the total funding awarded. In 2003, just $1.17 billion was awarded in grants to faith-based groups across five agencies.
The number of first-time faith-based grantees totaled 331 in 2004, representing a 20 percent increase over the previous year, the White House said. The Department of Housing and Human Services alone saw an 88 percent increase in the number of awards to faith-based organizations since 2002 — from 483 to 908.
One of the tests of character for America, the president said, is how the nation treats its weakest citizens, and part of the test is to understand the limitations of government.
"When I think about government, I think about law and justice. I really don't think about love," Bush said. "Government has got to find ways to empower those whose mission is based upon love in order to help those who need love find love in society."