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My wife and I recently found ourselves comparing notes with friends who have children moving into the teenage years. We are anxious voyagers readying ourselves for stormy seas. Some of these discussions have pondered the best approach for “the talk”—on sex, dating, and marriage. And this has raised a fundamental issue for us: What is the basis for the Christian teaching on sex and marriage?
Of course, there is a strong biblical basis for the importance of marriage, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 19. But as an economist, I’m also interested in how to explain the biblical teaching on sex and the institution of marriage to millennials today. Economists like myself are infatuated with the study of institutions, but we mostly concern ourselves with rather stolid ones, like the ones that regulate capitalism. Yet in our creative displays, we engage more dynamic institutions such as dating and marriage.
When economists study...
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