Most Christians have likely never heard of Tindering. I hadn’t until I began preparing this summer for my fall class, MN740 – the Bible, Culture and Sexuality. Tinder is a “dating” app that has become popular among millennials in large urban areas (and others), in which those wishing to “hook-up” with no prior relationship and no commitment beyond a one night stand can swish their phone screens right (yes, I’ll meet you) or left (no I’m not interested). A recent article in Vanity Fair, hardly an icon of conservative Christianity, even calls the practice into question and wonders if we’ve reached the point of a “dating apocalypse” in western civilization. How did we get to this point?
Dating and the hook-up culture are only a couple of the issues that will be addressed in this class. We’ll explore the Biblical foundations for marriage and sex, and talk about aberrations from both a biblical and cultural perspective. Hot button current topics such as homosexual “marriage” and gender identification will be dealt with, but also divorce, pornography, sex trafficking, and singleness. We’ll look at historical, philosophical and religious roots to situation in which we find ourselves in the West, and we’ll pay special attention to the role of entertainment, media and politics in the process. And we will of course look to what the appropriate response should be both from the individual Christian and the Church.
Assignments will include weekly readings from magazines, newspapers and other venues which help shape cultural opinion. Students will also be sent out to sample opinions in the community and how people came to their understandings. While this class is not “Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex but were Afraid to Ask,” it is a place to come with all your questions, fears and biases and we’ll learn together!