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Moral Formation and Sexual Abuse, Part II: Learning to love what is good by loving one another

February 7th, 2018 | 11 min read

By Matthew Loftus

Part I

If human beings were perfectly rational masters of their appetite by default, “Just don’t abuse women!” would be a sufficient response to the crisis of sexual abuse (along with “Punish the abusers!”). One sees a very strong Pelagian streak among Christians and non-Christians who assume that the “Just Say No” approach is all we need and that an improved moral stricture can be incorporated into our lives like a new app can be downloaded to our phones. However, we are all born slaves to our passions and it takes a lot of work to discipline ourselves to the point that we can refuse temptation.

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Matthew Loftus

Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at