The third in-class debate (for the other two, see my two preceding posts) is in some ways the most controversial of all, as it hits at the heart of a highly fraught topic today. And yet the resolution may seem to some people to be undebatable – that the answer to it is obvious. As it turns out, it isn’t. The third resolution is this:
Resolved: The New Testament Condemns Modern Practices of Homosexuality
Again, the wording of the resolution is meant to make students think about the very words being used. What is “homosexuality”? And what are “modern” practices? If you define homosexuality as same-sex sexual relations, and you define modern practices as things like men having sex with men, then it seems that the answer would be fairly obvious: yes the New Testament does seem to condemn that sort of thing. But, actually, it’s not that simple. At all.
There are tons of issues involved, which make this debate very complicated. For one thing …
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