The Marriage Debate: A Public Theology of Marriage -- By: William L. Kynes

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 28:2 (Fall 2007)
Article: The Marriage Debate: A Public Theology of Marriage
Author: William L. Kynes

The Marriage Debate:
A Public Theology of Marriage

William L. Kynes*

* William L. Kynes is Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, Virginia.

Marriage as a public institution has so deteriorated in our society that the notion that it should include same-sex couples is almost understandable. This paper will present a Christian theology of marriage that provides an understanding of God’s design for this institution. Further, I will contend that what is often missed in our cultural debate is that the state’s interest in marriage is primarily in the welfare of children and that the Christian understanding of marriage provides a model that supports this interest and on that basis contributes to the public good.

I. Introduction

On Feb. 4, 2004, the Supreme Court of the State of Massachusetts declared marriage to be “an evolving paradigm,” and in a bold leap in that evolutionary process, the court ruled that marriage could no longer be legally defined as the committed union of one man and one woman. The court declared that the definition of marriage must now include a union of two men or two women. This court ruling, which would have been inconceivable forty years ago, illustrates the radical cultural changes that have taken place in this country in the last generation.1

The 1960s saw the blossoming of a sexual revolution that did away with many of the old rules, traditions, and taboos regarding

sexual activity.2 Sex was set free from the bonds of matrimony and became attached to “loving relationships” at most or “mutual consent” at least. A number of books questioned the notion of limiting sex to marriage, with titles like Beyond Monogamy, Couplings and Grouping, Marriage and Its Alternatives, and Loving Free.3 The place of marriage as the one legitimate sphere for sexual relationships was rejected, and one of marriage’s most powerful attractions was lost.

This sexual revolution was fueled by a number of factors, but the availability of contraception and abortion was certainly one of the most significant. Sexual activity was increasingly disconnected from procreation, heralding a new age of “sex without consequences” and no more unwanted children.4 The introduction of new reproductive technologies continued to sever the link between the union of a man and woman in marriage and the begetting of children. Now, with over th...

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