What is Gospel-centered sexuality?
Dr. Juli Slattery, cofounder and president, Authentic Intimacy, author, Rethinking Sexuality: God’s Design and Why it Matters
Within the Christian church, we are prone to think about sexuality as a “special topic,” that only people who are actively struggling with an obvious problem need to learn more about God and sex. Sexuality is considered an area to “fix” rather than part of God’s reclaiming work in all of our lives. Jesus changes everything! Gospel centered sexuality grapples with the implications of Jesus’ finished work on the cross as it applies to our sexuality.
I will share five practical ways the gospel integrates with our sexuality.
Dr. Juli Slattery is a clinical psychologist, author, speaker and the president/co-founder of Authentic Intimacy. Juli earned her college degree at Wheaton College, an MA in psychology from Biola University, and an MS and a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology.
From 2008-2012, Dr. Slattery served at Focus on the Family writing, teaching, and co-hosting the Focus on the Family Broadcast. In 2012, she left Focus on the Family to start Authentic Intimacy, a ministry devoted to reclaiming God’s design for sexuality. Juli is the author of ten books and host of the weekly podcast “Java with Juli.” Juli and her husband Mike are the parents of 3 sons; they live in Akron, Ohio
How Churches Can Become Safe Places Where Gospel-Centered Sexuality Thrives
Nick Stumbo, M. Div., PSAP-C, executive director, Pure Desire Ministries International,
Author, Safe: Creating a Culture of Grace in a Climate of Shame
Most Churches want to be a place where men and women can find hope and freedom from sexual brokenness. But the current culture of many churches creates a barrier to this pursuit. People in the church struggle to be real, fearful that if they reveal the depth of their issues they may be ignored, marginalized or even rejected. While this is rarely the intent of any church culture, this is a far-too-common reality.
So how can we address the current culture of our church and begin to work towards health and holiness? How can we become the kind of place where people from all backgrounds and walks of life feel safe to reveal their true struggle and find help? When we take seriously the cultural issues of our faith community that prevent this, we can begin building a new culture of grace, authenticity and freedom. We can help make this happen, whether we are the pastor, in leadership, or a dedicated volunteer!
As a third-generation pastor, Nick Stumbo started his ministry career at the East Hills Alliance Church in Kelso, Washington. Serving as their lead pastor for more than a decade, Nick observed the fallout of sexual brokenness and devastation in the lives of men and women in the church and recognized, like never before, the need for a culture of grace in the Church.
Confronted with his own addiction to pornography, Nick and his wife, Michelle, found hope and healing through the counseling and group ministries of Pure Desire. Following his healing, Nick stayed connected to Pure Desire through group leadership and has authored two books, Setting Us Free and Safe. Today, as the Executive Director for Pure Desire, Nick continues to believe that the Church can become a place of healing and that Pure Desire is leading the way. His passion for the Church and this ministry is evident.
We’ve Been this Way Before: Historical Context for Sexual Ethics Today
Rev. Matthew Rueger, Ph.D., pastor, St. John Lutheran Church, Hubbard, IA, author, Sexual Morality in Christless World
Christianity was born during a time of great sexual “freedom” under the Roman Empire. This presentation will examine the sexual ethics and practices of first century Rome in an effort to better understand the context of biblical sexual ethics. It will also show that modern claims of progress in sexual ethics are, in fact, examples of regression into ancient and harmful sexual practices.
How the early Christians faced the immorality of the first century gives modern Christians a blueprint for how they can confess the Christian faith in our day. It also gives Christians confidence that as God influenced public opinion and changed the ethical direction of the Roman Empire, so too can He change hearts and minds in our day.
Matthew Rueger received his M. Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne and a Ph.D. in Christology from Durham University in England. He is the author of Sexual Morality in Christless World (CPH 2016), and “Christian Sex Education: The Great Cover-up” in Ethics of Sex (CPH 2017).
Rev. Rueger began his interest in sexual ethics after being invited to lecture at an ethics class at Iowa State University on the topic of a “conservative Christian response to same-sex marriage.” His exchange with the students prompted his research into the historical setting of New Testament sexual ethics. He has lectured on this topic in Taiwan, Lithuania, Germany, and Russia and at conferences throughout the U.S. He and his wife Dana have been blessed with 7 children and reside in central Iowa where he has served as Lutheran pastor for over 30 years.
A Relational–Psychobiological Approach to Addiction, Betrayal, Recovery, and Healing
Dr. Jake Porter, LPC, CSAT
We are created as embodied souls who bear the image of our Creator. All of what makes us who we are — body and soul — form a functional unit, such that what we do in our bodies matters spiritually, and what we do spiritually has an effect on our bodies. A powerful example of this truth can be found in examining the neurobiology of sexual addiction, betrayal trauma, and the relational dynamic within couples suffering from these challenges.
In the first portion of this presentation, Dr. Jake Porter will explain how sex addiction and betrayal trauma are developed, experienced, and healed in the human brain and nervous system. After considering the neurophysiology of the sexual addict and betrayed partner, the presentation will examine the interpersonal neurobiology of the relational dynamic within the coupleship. Dr. Porter will show how the relational dynamic can serve to reinforce traumas or become an agent in their healing.
Jake Porter is a Board Certified Counselor, Doerr Institute Certified Professional Coach, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, Certified Multiple Addiction Therapist, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. He is also the creator of Couple–Centered Recovery, a model for treating attachment wounds of couples experiencing the trauma of betrayal.
Dr. Jake is a Level II PACT Clinician and has undergone extensive training in Emotionally Focused Therapy, an evidence–based treatment for couples who have suffered attachment injuries. He has worked with couples from around the world who have travelled to Houston for treatment of severe attachment injuries and relational trauma. Jake lives in Houston with his wife, Kristen.