The following 20 quotes caught my attention as I read Albert Mohler’s new book We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong​ (Thomas Nelson, 2015). Thanks to Tony Reinke for inspiring the 20 quotes idea. 

This [sexual] revolution did not start with same-sex marriage, and it will not end there.” (xiv) 

“The fact that Christians enter every conversation as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are bound by biblical revelation means that society will label us as intellectual outlaws—breaking the rules of engagement by appealing to a personal Creator and divine authority.” (6)

Moral change generally takes a rather long period of time, and in a way that is consistent with a culture’s moral commitments. A moral revolution represents the exact opposite of that pattern. What we are now experiencing is not the logical outworking of the West’s Christian-influenced teaching on human sexuality, but the repudiation of them.” (7)

“The sexual revolution was so utterly successful that most Americans living today do not even recognize that it happened.” (10)

“The 20th century will be recognized as the century of the greatest change in sexual morality in the history of Western civilization.” (11)

“Any consideration of the eclipse of marriage in the last century must take into account four massive developments: birth control and contraception, divorce, advanced reproductive technologies, and cohabitation. . . . The redefinition of marriage could not have happened without these four developments.” (17) 

“Ultimately, the availability of birth control in a reliable form—particularly in the form of the Pill—unleashed the sexual revolution. So long as sex was predictably related to the potential of pregnancy, a huge biological check on sex outside of marriage functioned as a barrier to sexual immorality. Once that barrier was removed, sex and children became effectively separated and sex became redefined as an activity that did not have any necessary relation to the gift of children. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the separation of sex and babies from the moral equation.” (20)

“The problem of cultural Christianity is that the culture always predominates over the Christianity.” (25)

“The evangelical abdication of responsibility for divorce set the stage for a loss of evangelical credibility to speak to the larger issue of sexuality and marriage. Quite pointedly, the church now has massive liabilities in terms of credibility when it seeks to speak about the ‘clear teachings of the Bible’ on marriage.” (25)

“In the end, we will almost surely have to concede the divorce will harm far more lives and cause far more direct damage than same-sex marriage.” (26)

“The Pill allowed sex without babies, and the modern reproductive technologies allow babies without sex.” (26)

“Heterosexuals did a very good job of undermining marriage before the culture forces began advocating for the normalization of same-sex relationships and the legalization of same-sex marriage. The marriage crisis is a moral crisis that did not start with same-sex marriage, nor will it in there. The logic of same-sex marriage cannot end with same-sex marriage. Once marriage can mean anything other than a heterosexual union, it can and must eventually mean everything.” (31)

“The efforts of the activists have been so successful they have not only undone the original psychiatric judgment on homosexuality but in some ways have completely reversed the nation’s moral judgments. At least in American popular culture, to consider homosexuality to be morally suspect, in any way, or a form of mental illness is culturally dismissed. ‘Homophobia’ is now the new mental illness and moral deficiency, while homosexuality is accepted as the new normal.” (41–42) 

“Where one might claim that there is a disconnect between self-consciousness and embodiment, the Christian must tenderly and compassionately advise that it is the mental—that is, the self-consciousness and sense of personal identity—that must be conformed to the body rather than the body conformed to the individual’s mistaken self-perception.” (83)

“Conservative Christians far too quickly accuse the proponents of same-sex marriage of being the enemies of marriage, believing that marriage was in great shape before same-sex couples started clamoring for the legal recognition of their unions. This is intellectual dishonesty, and the record must be set straight. The previous damage to marriage can be traced to the intellectual, sexual, legal, and therapeutic subversion of marriage by heterosexuals.” (89)

“The future of the church cannot depend on simplistic, unrealistic, and theologically anemic assertions that have characterized many Christians in the past on this issue.” (92)

“Even as the entire process of ‘having children’ is further alienated from marriage, marriage has become simply an option rather than an expectation. Once human beings were able to have sex without children and children without sex, marriage simply became a lifestyle option. Add to this the change in the Western understanding of marriage from covenant to contract and you have a sure recipe for social disaster and the subversion of marriage.” (96) 

“The separation of the definition of marriage from the conjugal and comprehensive union of a man and a woman removes any objective argument against the recognition of other forms of adult, consensual, non-reproductive relationships. . . . [For example], the great shift in the modern mindset toward autonomous individualism and moral expressivism has left most of our society without any objective argument against polygamy, so long as all adult parties enter into the relationship with mutual consent.” (98)

“The Creator has the absolute and solitary right to define the purpose of what he has created.” (102)

“While gender will remain in the new creation and in our glorified bodies, sexual activity will not. Sex is not nullified in the resurrection, but rather fulfilled. The eschatological marriage supper of the Lamb will finally arrive, to which marriage and sexuality point.” (106)

Previously in the “20 Quotes” series: Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop’s The Compelling Community (Crossway, 2015); Russell Moore’s Onward (B&H, 2015); Rosaria Butterfield’s Openness Unhindered (Crown & Covenant, 2015); Tim Keller’s Preaching (Viking, 2015); Tim Keller’s Prayer (Dutton, 2014); Kevin DeYoung’s Taking God at His Word (Crossway, 2014).