On Sex, Sexuality, Sexiness, and Same-Sex Attraction: Two Talks from Southeastern Seminary Chapel

Here is a salient truth: Sin has ravaged every square inch of God’s good creation tearing asunder humanity’s relationship with God, with each other, with the created order, and even with the self. And no aspect of the self has been disordered, degraded, misconstrued, or misapplied more than human sexuality. In light of this recognition, we at BtT wanted to point out two especially helpful talks on sex and sexuality, both given in SEBTS chapel services this year. The first is by an ethicist, Dr. Mark Liederbach, and the second is by a psychologist and counselor, Dr. Sam Williams.

First, we note Dr. Mark Liederbach’s recent talk (March 21, 2012) entitled, “Redeeming Sex and Sexuality,” in which he gave a biblical-theological answer to the question, “What is sexy?” His thesis is, “if there is a higher and better definition of sexy than the one paraded around in our culture, then even if it is at first hard for us to see or accept, we must trust the Maker of all good things, and seek to alter our perspective in light of His. After all, He is the One who declares in that in His presence is fullness of joy and that in His right hand there are pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11). If this verse is true, then . . . what God finds sexy, we ought also to find sexy.”

Dr. Liederbach earned his Ph. D. in Theology, Ethics, and Culture from the University of Virginia. He is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Bush Center for Faith & Culture. He is known as a top-shelf classroom instructor, an author, and a student-friendly professor.

Second, we note Dr. Sam Williams’s lecture (October 19, 2011) entitled, “A Christian Psychology of, and Response to, Homosexuality,” in which he spoke to the issues of same-sex attraction, same-sex orientation, and gay/lesbian identity. The lecture is now available at Southeastern’s multimedia site by clicking here.

Dr. Williams earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology (San Diego), and his B. A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. From 1989 until 1999, he was the owner and operator of a psychology clinic in Lake Charles, LA, at which time he came to Southeastern, where he is now Associate Professor of Counseling. He is a student favorite and a polymath who reads widely in theology, epistemology, psychology, and other fields related to counseling.

An Invitation to Study Christian Ethics at Southeastern

Perhaps one is not overstating the case to say that Christian Ethics is the academic discipline that finds itself on the frontlines of the battle more than any other in the 21st century? Questions about abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, and quality of life pervade the medical field. Debates about justice dominate the political realm. Issues such as global warming and environmental pollution are at the heart of nearly every fracas in the economic realm. Discussions about homosexuality, gender, and race pervade the anthropology, sociology, and political realms of society.

And so, with ethical matters at the forefront of our minds in the 21st century, we invite you to come study Christian ethics at Southeastern, where you will have opportunities to take courses in Biblical Ethics, History of Philosophical Ethics, History of Theological Ethics, War and Peace, Wealth and Poverty, Environmental Ethics, Virtue and Moral Character, Sexual Ethics, Comparative Religious Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, and more. Guiding you in your studies will be Dan Heimbach, David Jones, Mark Liederbach, and other adjunctive faculty. Here is a brief overview of our ethics faculty and their areas of expertise:

Dan Heimbach (Ph.D., Drew University Graduate School) is Senior Professor of Christian Ethics and the author of or contributor to fourteen books including True Sexual Morality: Recovering Biblical Standards for a Culture in Crisis (Crossway); Counterfeit Sexuality: Defending Biblical Sexual Morality from Four Threats to God’s Design for Biblical Sexual Behavior (Focus on the Family) and Basic Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Godly Living (B&H, forthcoming). He has also published more than 50 journal and magazine articles, and contributed articles in the ESV Study Bible (Crossway). Dr. Heimbach has become a publishing machine; he writes many books and articles and always on such interesting topics (e.g. sex and war). A book by Heimbach always makes my heart beat faster.

David W. Jones (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Coordinator of Th.M. and Thesis Studies. He is the author of The Law and Liberty: An Introduction to Biblical Ethics (B&H Academic, forthcoming); God, Marriage and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation (Crossway); and Reforming the Morality of Usury: A Study of Differences that Separated the Protestant Reformers (University Press of America). He has also published articles in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Faith & Mission; Bibliotheca Sacra; and The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Dr. Jones is known as a meticulous researcher and fine classroom instructor.

Mark D. Liederbach (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Students, and the co-author with Alvin Reid of The Convergent Church (Crossway), co-editor with SEBTS professor Bruce Little of Defending the Faith (B&H, 2011), and contributed two chapters to the aforementioned God, Marriage and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation by Andreas J. Köstenberger with David Jones. He has published articles in Faith & Mission and Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Dr. Liederbach is known as a pastor, a scholar, a teacher, and a Troy Aikman look-alike.

Southeastern offers degrees in Christian Ethics on the Masters and Doctoral level. The Master of Arts (Christian Ethics) is a Seminary program providing specialized academic training that prepares men and women to impact the culture for Christ through prophetic moral witness and service in a variety of settings. The M.Div. with Christian Ethics weds Southeastern’s M.Div. core with 12 hours of track selectives, courses focused in ethics. It can be completed in 3 years alone or a student may complete both the M.Div. with Ethics and the M.A. (Christian Ethics) with an additional year of study.

The Th.M. at Southeastern is a post-M.Div. degree designed to build leaders through personal mentoring by the faculty and can be taken in a thesis or non-thesis track. The Th.M. in Theological Studies with a specialization in Christian Ethics prepares one either for doctoral study in Ethics or for ministry in a local church or on a mission field. David Jones is the coordinator of Th.M. and thesis studies at Southeastern.

The Ph.D. in Theological Studies with a concentration in Christian Ethics prepares students to teach ethics and theology courses to college or seminary students, and to write at the scholarly level and for the church on Christian Ethics from an explicitly evangelical perspective.

We invite you to study with our Christian Ethics faculty in the M.A., M.Div., Th.M., or Ph.D. programs of Southeastern. For more info visit our website (http://www.sebts.edu/ or http://www.sebts.edu/college/) and check out the Admissions and Academics links.