Sociology Professor Dr. David J. Ayers’ research into the sexual mores of evangelicals has resulted in the longtime Grove City College faculty member’s latest book “After the Revolution: Sex and the Single Evangelical.”
Drawing on social sciences and history, Ayers traces recent worldview shifts in the United States that reveal the historic Christian understanding of sex and marriage has been supplanted in the aftermath of the sexual revolution and sexual confusion has infiltrated the church, especially influencing younger Christians. With the book, Ayers provides Christians a resource to understand their challenges and social context to find a way forward.
Ayers has been researching the subject for years. In 2019, the Institute for Family Studies published an overview of his work that revealed a high percentage of single evangelicals were sexually active and that evangelical attitudes about sex outside of marriage had softened significantly over the last five decades. Ayers argues that regular church attendance and the importance of religion in daily life are strongly associated with a reduction in sex outside of marriage.
“The church can uniquely and compassionately support sexual faithfulness and flourishing, but we need to reject formulas, surefire methods, and judgmentalism. Instead, we must recover a positive vision for Christian sexuality, singleness, and marriage that is firmly grounded in God’s word,” Ayers said.
Dr. Carl R. Trueman, professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Grove City College, wrote in the book’s forward that it was an important work. “The best arguments for Christian morality are (sadly) the ruined lives of those who ignore it. This book … arms pastors and laypeople alike to face what is the most pressing issue of our day,” Trueman wrote.
Pre-publication reviews yielded praise from those in the ministry and academia.
“In a Christian world that is increasingly skeptical of its own history of sexual and marital instruction, this book covers territory old and new. The discerning evangelical will profit from reading Ayers, whose realism and biblical faith drives him to ask and answer questions―and then to offer informed advice―in ways that only a sociologist can,” said Mark Regnerus, professor of sociology at University of Texas-Austin and author of “The Future of Christian Marriage.”
Robert G. Hall, retired minister of the Bronx Household of Faith, said Ayers states what “evangelicals have known for some time but have been reluctant to speak about.”
“Ayers has assembled the data relying on rigorous sociological research and the results are quite disturbing and incontrovertible. For evangelicals, there needs to be widespread soul searching on our knees. It’s not the particular sin in itself; it’s also the consequences of sexual sin that Ayers brings to our consciousness,” Hall wrote.
“Professor Ayers kindly warns us about the spiritual and natural consequences of sin that we can find throughout the Bible. But more importantly, he reminds us that grace is always available to us―even when we sin―as a way to lead us back to God through goodness, repentance, and faith in his redemptive sacrifice for us,” according to Dr. Anne Hendershott, professor of sociology and director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University.
Published by Lexham Press, “After the Revolution: Sex and the Single Evangelical” is available through Amazon and other online booksellers.