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Contraceptives and the Sexual Revolution

Sheryl Henderson Blunt of Christianity Today interviewed me about “Plan B,” “the Pill,” and what is going on among young Christian couples. The interview is published at Christianity Today’s Web edition. Here is a selection that gets to the heart of the issue:

In the first place, this generation has now come to adulthood at a time when we can take some stock of the impact represented by the sexual revolution and by the easy access to effective contraception and birth control. In other words, this generation comes with the “newness” of all of this now two generations back. And the burden now seems to be, “What did all of this mean? What was the affect of the birth control revolution? What kind of changes in human institutions and relationships came as a result of the Pill? What about the missing generation among us of children who would otherwise be present were it not for the easy availability of effective birth control?”

I think that’s one issue. The second issue is, in this postmodern time, a recovery, among the young, of a biblical ideal of marriage. They are doing their very best to rethink the basic questions and, in doing so, they are embarrassed by the easy, rather unreflective embrace of the contraception culture that marked evangelicalism in the 1960s and 70s. So they want to rethink all this.

The third thing is, I think, a deep embrace of a biblical notion of sexuality, post-the sexual revolution, has led many younger evangelicals to think seriously about this question, and all this adds up to giant question mark in the minds of many young Christians. Can we join the contraceptive revolution? And, if not, how do we think about these things in a way that will strengthen our marriages and be most pleasing to God?

There is a revolution underway. You can see it in the appearance of so many families with multiple children. What several generations missed — including the baby boomers and their children — this younger generation seems to see.