Giving an Answer: Created Male and Female2 min read

The new revision of the Synod’s explanation to Luther’s Small Catechism is more intentional in its address of issues related to marriage, same-sex attraction, and gender dysphoria.  How do we catechize our youth to think about our Creator’s design for human life?  We live in an age characterized by a worldview of autonomy. Even though autonomy is an unfulfilled and unfulfillable illusion, fallen human beings are tempted to believe that they may transcend their own bodies, separating their biological sex from gender. Indeed such attempts make of human beings “proud and unhappy gods,” to use Luther’s language. Our catechesis must address notions of sexual autonomy from the intersection between the Sixth Commandment and the First Article of the Creed.

This presentation will explore ways in which our revised catechism speaks to this issue with a view toward forming the hearts and minds of Christians with the truth of God’s Word so that, finding their identity in their Baptism into Christ, they are enlivened to live sexually pure lives in the midst of a world warped by the lies of the evil one.  One of the stated goals of the catechism revision is to make it apologetically useful. This presentation will take up questions of apologetic strategy, especially in view of dominant challenges to the traditional understanding of the Bible prohibition of same-sex relationships. Let’s talk about how we might respond with clarity and compassion both in our catechesis and in our witness to the world.

For those who wish to do some reading prior to the conference I would suggest the following:

Commission on Theology and Church Relations. Response to “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” (LCMS).

Gagon, Robert. The Bible and Homosexual Practice (Abingdon).

Pless, John T. A Small Catechism on Human Life (CPH).

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About the Author

Rev. John T. Pless is assistant professor of pastoral ministry and missions at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, where he also serves as director of field education.

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