I. “On the Ethics of Free Milk: From Torah to Today”
This chapter will introduce the thesis and examine the morality of premarital sex from scripture and the present. It will provide an overview of sexual injunctions in the books of Moses, the Gospels, and the epistles while also examining contemporary concepts of sex such as recent developments in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It will also introduce the themes of delayed marriage, hookups, cohabitation, and serial monogamy.
II. “Purity and Property Contracts to Egalitarianism: Marriage in Scripture and Modernity”
This chapter will examine the ideal marriage as described in scripture as well as the rules and traditions surrounding it. It will describe how marriage was viewed as a property transaction between a father and a future husband with the need to guarantee the “new vs. used” nature of the goods being exchanged.
This contrasts with the modern ideal of marriage includes mutual love, submission, and intimacy. The contractual nature of marriage, if still evident at all, is found taking place between the husband and wife as opposed to the husband and father of the bride This will draw heavily on Nelson, Gudorf, and St. Paul.
III. “21st Century Sex: To Infinity and Beyond”
While much has been written on sex throughout historical periods, this thesis will focus on contemporary ideas of sex – specifically from the second half of the 20th century to the present. This period has seen a liberation of sexuality. Conservatives have often turned to a slippery-slope argument to counter this trend. It is important to consider at what point liberalization becomes self-righteousness or idolatry and to define the limits of what is permitted. While this thesis will argue for yet another “deregulation” of sex, the same conditions that should apply to sex for non-married couples should also apply to married couples. Thus, it could also be considered an increase in regulation. This thesis will also examine how a focus on egalitarian relationships could help increase “sanctification” as opposed to decrease it.
IV. “Conclusion: Returning to Scripture”
As mentioned above, while looking to scripture for approval is not feasible, holding conclusions up to the light of scripture for evaluation is important. Instead of prima scriptura I'm actually attempting an ultima scriptura in the hopes that it will strengthen a hermeneutic of suspicion and negate any hermeneutic of consent I may have. This section will be taking my hypothesis on nonmarried sex and seeing if it can hold water against scriptural injunctions against it.