Can We Acknowledge Each Other as Sexual Beings?

Musings on Our Neutered Imago Dei

It is rather easy to acknowledge our social sexuality, our gender as males and females. What is much harder to affirm is that our friends, our neighbors, and our coworkers actually also have genitals and erotic desires. For many, this thought provokes much discomfort. In many respects, we seem to prefer our acquaintances neutered or […]

Freeing Eros for Agape

For many Christians, eros stands in stark opposition to agape forms of love. Eros is viewed from many pulpits as a natural, selfish drive that must be carefully managed and is only rightly satisfied (or better tolerated) in marriage, while agape is seen as the spiritual, higher, sacrificial giving love that all Christians are to […]

“Embodiment Matters | Prof. Kayb Joseph”
by Covenant College


November 23, 2015

Given the amount of body shaming and objectification present in our culture, Professor Kayb Joseph of Covenant College offers some challenging and timely thoughts.

While we have a fantastic theology of the body available to us in the Bible, we hear little about it beyond what the church tells us our bodies are not for. Little attention is given to what they are for. Thus, our bodies have become isolated in our culture. We have become suspicious of touch and the body communal. With great difficulty, we attempt to live out an embodied experience without an understanding of what it means to be soul enfleshed. We do not understand that Christian spirituality is not freedom from the body, but freedom within the body. That Christ’s embodiment dignifies and exemplifies this for us.

How can we reimagine the body in a positive and Christian way? What would it look like to engage in countercultural acts of image-making that affirm our embodied existence?

Listen to the full chapel address below:

A Conversation for Men About the Human Body

Authentic Man Program
May 26, 2015

How can we learn to appreciate the elegance and beauty of the human form? Often nudity is framed as sexual, and sexuality is presented as objectifying and degrading.

As David Bollt (Model Society) has aptly stated,

You can see nudity or sex as a celebration of something beautiful, or you can see it as a product…removed from the underlying humanity.

And Casey Capshaw (Authentic Man Program – AMP) goes on to say,

As a society, we can’t seem to turn away from violence, and welcome in film, television, games, and literature.

Nudity, on the other hand, is most often relegated to the profane, reduced to the pornographic and hidden in shame.

How can we create space to honor the dignity of our humanity more than the depravity?

The conversation linked above between David and Casey Capshaw tackles some of these issues.

It is encouraging to discover I am not alone in seeking to “bring some sanity and beauty into (what often seems like) an insane, unloving world.” I only wish that one day this will be a conversation we can have in the church as well.

Let’s support a holy vision of human beauty and sexuality!

Note: A version of the podcast is also posted here on YouTube with some examples from David Bollt’s Model Society

 

What does the Bible say about Lust?

Biblical Gender Roles
April 18, 2014

For many Christian men, the sin of lust has been defined as merely finding a woman attractive, and certainly if he becomes sexually aroused by her beauty. To avoid this sin, men have told me, for example, about their attempts to keep their eyes on the floor when they walk through a store. This was their heroic effort to prevent the possibility of even seeing an attractive woman, and thus lusting after her.

While part of me applauds their efforts to avoid sin at all cost, another deeper part of me wonders if this represents the abundant and free life Christ came to offer us (and modeled for us).

As mentioned in Affected by Beauty, I believe we can celebrate the beauty of the human form and allow it to affect us without sinning.

The article linked above seeks to understand lust Biblically and not simply how the modern Christian community has interpreted it. It is a thoughtful reflection that is worth considering.

In short, the case is made that Lust = Covetousness

Covetousness is defined as “the strong desire to possess something that belongs to another.”

The article concludes that,

The sin [of lust] only comes when your sexual attraction…turns into a covetous desire to possess her sexually outside of marriage.

As such, it is not sin to simply be attracted to the beauty in another or even to be aroused by that beauty.

While we are called to fight against sin, it is not beneficial to fight against how God has designed us. God has designed us to be attracted to and affected by beauty. This is not an excuse to be rude, gawk, or otherwise make women feel uncomfortable. However, there is also no need for shame when you get feelings of pleasure from being in the presence of beauty.

 

Affected by Beauty

It seems many of us have an uncertain relationship with beauty, especially when it comes to the human form. We stand in awe at the breathtaking wonder of our created form, and yet there is often fear of objectifying and using others for our own selfish entertainment. How do we praise God for allowing such […]

Too Stressed for Sex?

It is no surprise that life can be very stressful. Not only are we faced with many demands from work and our personal relationships, we are also bombarded daily with many local, national, and global concerns. There seems to be no shortage of issues demanding our attention and response. When this internal tension is persistent, […]

Questioning Masturbation

Much debate has surrounded the topic of masturbation in Christian circles. Often the debate asks Is masturbation wrong? and much energy is spent trying prove whether it should be on the approved or not approved list. I’m realizing that a better question to ask regarding masturbation is that of Love. Debates about its sinfulness seems to bring […]

Masturbation as Prayer?

Anything we do with our bodies is a form of prayer when our central intent is opening to God’s presence through it. –Tilden Edwards

Is the intent in masturbation to open God’s presence? If so, can it be considered a form of prayer?

Celebrating Life and Masturbation

Christ came that we might have life, and life to the full. While procreation certainly involves brining children into the world, God’s creative, live-giving powers goes beyond this. As such, both marrieds and singles can participate in Christ mission to bring more life into the world; they both can be part of the spiritual mandate […]