Dr. James on how the culture has “deinstitutionalized” marriage

Posted by Hannah Gaschler on 2/14/24 8:45 AM

Faith & Reason with Dr. Sharon James Spring of 2024 on marriage and gender

“God’s design for men and women is hardwired throughout nature. It is abundantly clear to reason,” Dr. Sharon James, this semester’s Faith and Reason speaker, said. “And there is a good design for marriage which is properly described as natural.” 

What is Faith & Reason?

Dr. James studied history at Cambridge University, earned a Master of Divinity degree from Toronto Baptist Seminary, and did her PhD in government family policy at Spurgeon’s College London and The University of Wales. Dr. James currently works as a Social Policy Analyst for The Christian Institute in London. She has traveled widely as a conference speaker and written several books including Gender Ideology, which PHC’s core class Principles of Biblical Reasoning uses. 

In her Friday lecture entitled “Marriage: Divine Design, Demonic Attack—The Normative Goodness of Manhood, Womanhood and Marriage,” Dr. James explained how the culture has “deinstitutionalized” marriage by labeling it a social construct. “Today, at a popular level, most people assume that marriage is all about the personal happiness of the individuals concerned,” she said. 

Dr. James explained that God created men and women with significant differences but equal in dignity. “They were designed to partner together in fulfilling the creation commands and carrying forward God’s grand design for the cosmos,” Dr. James said. Adam’s sphere was the earth; his creation, task, and curse related to the ground. Eve’s sphere was her family; her creation, task, and curse revolved around marriage and childbirth. 
Dr. Sharon James speaks at Patrick Henry College Faith & Reason
“Marriage is not just for Christians. It’s a creation ordinance,” James said. “It’s foundational, established at the beginning, for all of society, for all of time.” She explained how marriage is a building block of a healthy society, including how it is the best way to ensure that children are cared for. “Genuine social justice is only secured by following our Creator’s design for social structures,” she said.

To describe the “demonic assault on God’s glorious design,” James referenced the beliefs of several famous thinkers and then described the tragic consequences reflected in their lives. For example, psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), the “father” of the Sexual Revolution, believed that no one should suppress sexual desires. In his personal life, he abused young patients, married and divorced three times, and died in prison after being convicted of fraud.

Additionally, Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), founder of Planned Parenthood, believed that sexual liberation was the solution to human suffering, which she thought was caused by Christian morality. Her life involved failed marriages, neglected children, and numerous affairs. James also discussed Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir, Germaine Greer, and Michel Foucault, among others. 

Watch Dr. James' lecture

“The Devil hates the image bearers of God,” James said. “He seeks to destroy them by telling them lies: ‘No God. No Absolute Morality. No Ultimate Truth.’” In culture today, she said, we see a war on men, on fathers, on women, on mothers, on fertility, on children, and—ultimately—on the Gospel.

So, what solution did she offer?

“We must not be silent!” she said. “God’s ultimate triumph is certain.” Dr. James encouraged people to speak out the truth and also to live out the truth. “God’s people are to shine like stars in a dark generation,” she said. “Christ’s body the church is to be a lighthouse, beaming out the offer of God’s free grace to those who have been bruised and broken in a culture where moral guard rails have been smashed down.” 

Students posing on Faith and Reason day


 Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education, lifting high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment; thereby preserving for posterity the ideals behind the "noble experiment in ordered liberty" that is the foundation of America.


Subscribe Here!

Search News posts by keyword(s)

Browse by Category

see all