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Sexual Morality in a Christless World

by Matthew Rueger

Item #: 124501 / 2016 / Paperback / 178 Pages


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Outcast. Radical. Countercultural.

Does standing out in the crowd ever leave you speechless?

Like in St. Paul’s day, the church around the world—and particularly in America—now frequently faces hostility at the first mention of “homosexuality” in casual conversations or public square debates.

Author Matthew Rueger openly embraces this hot topic, giving you a framework for defending your beliefs by first exploring the relationship between sexual sin in ancient history and twenty-first century tangles of the same flavor. Topics such as temptation, promiscuity, marriage, homosexuality, natural law, and the church’s role in it all swirl together to reveal our unifying need for a Savior. Rueger writes compassionately with a father’s heart and adamantly with a fierce determination to outline the truth about sexual morality from a reasoned Christian perspective.

We need to expect the unpleasant from our opponents, arm ourselves with answers to common objections, and speak in clarity and love. And let’s not lose sight of the church as a place of refuge for those who are battered down by their desires. Real people with real struggles are being lost.

Find your voice!

“In an age of compromise, it is refreshing to read a work that takes a firm stand on a controversial topic. This book is both faithful to Scripture and pastoral in its approach. Although the sin of homosexuality is clearly described as contrary to God’s will, the presentation of the Gospel was applied clearly and powerfully in a way that should bring comfort and hope to the repentant. I pray that it will be widely read. It will offer clarity to many who want to believe the truth but don’t always know how to defend it.”
—Rev. Daniel Preus, DD, Third Vice President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, President of the Luther Academy Board of Directors

“The long run of conservative morality in this country that has been shaped by Christian ethics is coming to an end. In a wonderful biblically faithful way, Matthew Rueger shows what it means to be a confessing Christian in the twenty-first century as he turns our attention to the bold witness of the first-century Christians who stood out among a promiscuous society and turned the world to the Gospel. This book will help those suffering under sexual confusion with a biblical sexual morality that is both compassionate and Christ-centered.”
—Rev. Gary W. Zieroth, DMin, Senior Pastor, St. John’s Lutheran Church and School, Chaska, MN,
Adjunct Professor, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN, Interim Director, PALS (Post-Seminary Applied Learning and Support)

“We live in a world where traditional views on sexuality and marriage are collapsing. How do we stand up for a Christian position when it is rejected simply because it is Christian? Dr. Rueger uses Scriptures and early Christianity to show that we are not alone, nor is there anything new under the sun. His discussions are thoughtful and clear, compassionate and Christ-centered. Biblical sexual morality will always be countercultural. This book is a helpful, welcome apologetic.”
—Deaconess Sandra Rhein, Hymnal Consultant, LCMS Office of International Missions, Deaconess, Emmaus Lutheran Church, South Bend, IN

“Against all odds, this timely book offers a beautiful contribution to the ongoing challenge of sexual morality. At a point when many of us are tired of hearing about it, Dr. Rueger has managed to engage the topic in a gently compelling way. He has written elegantly about a decidedly inelegant subject, demonstrating enviable dignity and a gracious decorum throughout. His firsthand participation in the public debate has evidently served him well. His arguments are well-organized, thoroughly developed, and consistently evangelical. He is faithful in bringing both the Law and the Gospel to bear, and in his cogent use of reason and sound logic. I honestly did not expect to enjoy this book, but was surprised to find how pleasant and encouraging it is.”
—Rev. D. Richard Stuckwisch, PhD, Pastor, Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church, South Bend, IN

“Matthew Rueger reminds us that wider social opposition to Christian sexual morality is no recent, contemporary development. Christians have been mocked and sanctioned to varying degrees for their opposition to social sex practices since the first century. Their courage encourages us today to remain resolute with Scriptural testimony—even when we might be mocked or sanctioned—not for the sake of culture wars or condemnation of others, but to continue to set forth the new life in Christ. Rueger calls for steadfastness in the face of increasing social opposition while offering deeply-reasoned pastoral insights to serve repentance from immorality, reconciliation with God, and healing in the Spirit.”
—Rev. Gifford Grobien, PhD, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Director of DMin Program,
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN
“ 'The world’s goin’ to hell in a handbasket!' So lament many modern Christians, surrounded by confusing ethical issues of our day. While believers in Christ may be tempted to throw up their hands in an increasingly challenging social context, we have hope. This hope is clearly and compellingly laid out in Matthew Rueger’s excellent book. Instead of hand-wringing, Rueger gives advice for remaining true to the Christian witness. Not only does he present a Christian perspective on many sexual ethical issues; he does so by providing a clear contextual, historical, and biblical background in a way that provides hope and guidance for modern Christians. It is scholarly and yet accessible to an average reader. This book would be a terrific resource for adult Bible classes, or for older teens and parents to provide discussion material for navigating the moral and biblical questions of our time.”
—Professor Scott and Julie Stiegemeyer, Authors of Your Marriage by God's Design (CPH, 2014)

About the Author
Rev. Dr. Matthew W. Rueger is pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Hubbard, IA.

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Adult - Mature Adult
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Sexual Morality in a Christless World

by Matthew Rueger

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A big picture view, compassionately and clearly stated

I've read books that tackle this topic via scripture. The author, in addition to scripture, brings in the church witness thoughout the ages and puts our current struggle in a context in which I feel the "great cloud of witnesses" cheering us on. This book is one that has been tested in the furnace of a secular college classroom and has been done with intellectual rigor and compassion so that the professor keeps inviting him back. I was very proud to have been counted among this author' peers in the LCMS. He also is able to dissect some of the urban myths about the sexuality studies that are bandied about. This is a GREAT resource. I want to preach on it somehow. - Jim Bender

A Clear and Concise Read on Sexual Morality

I would encourage those who are engaging with this topic to pick up this book. I read through Ethics of Sex and Sexual Morality, and if you are looking for a book to take lay people through this would be the one to choose. Ethics of Sex is more technical, but this is more approachable for our laity.

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