The Sex Education We Need

In seven chapters, Pearcey takes on the most contentious issues of our time—abortion, euthanasia, sexual morality, marriage, transgenderism.

Pearcey is evangelical in her outlook but ecumenical in her tastes. She draws on scripture, tradition, and a breadth of contemporary Christian leaders—Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox—to present the possibility of a unified Christian understanding of human anthropology and dignity.

 

Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality is Nancy Pearcey’s timely attempt to defend traditional Christian morality against a surging secular tide. In seven chapters, Pearcey takes on the most contentious issues of our time—abortion, euthanasia, sexual morality, marriage, transgenderism—and exposes the dualistic framework behind them, a fractured view of reality that splits personhood from embodiment, intimacy from sex, the body from the self, gender from biological sex, the moral order from the natural order. These ideologies, she argues, depend upon a “devastatingly reductive view of the body,” a body with only instrumental value and no intrinsic dignity or meaning.

Pearcey is evangelical in her outlook but ecumenical in her tastes. She draws on scripture, tradition, and a breadth of contemporary Christian leaders—Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox—to present the possibility of a unified Christian understanding of human anthropology and dignity.

This book is meant not to persuade secularists but to galvanize and catechize believers. The audience seems to be young evangelicals and the adults responsible for their formation, so Pearcey keeps her ideas accessible, her prose brisk, and her arguments rooted in scriptural authority.

Her primary aim, however, is not to give yet another litany of biblical mandates. Rather, she hopes to articulate a worldview that makes those mandates make sense:

It is not enough for churches to teach the biblical rules of behavior as so many “dos and don’ts.” … They need to explain why a secular worldview is ultimately dehumanizing and unfulfilling. And they must make a persuasive case that biblical morality is both rationally compelling and personally attractive—that it expresses a higher, more positive view of the human person than any competing morality.

Pearcey gives a brief tour of the history of these ideas and responds to major secular thinkers, without getting bogged down in specialist jargon or the murk of critical theory. She is conversant, for example, with queer theory and its tensions with feminism, as well as with trickier concepts such as intersexuality, the complexities of which are too often ignored in Christian discussions of sex and gender.

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