Biblical Feminism, Marriage — August 28, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Mutuality in Bed (my seminar for Cornerstone 2007)

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What follows is my presentation — or rather the closest written form of it I have — which I presented at Cornerstone Festival 2007′s CBE Tent this past July. It is a rough thing, a work still in progress, but perhaps will be of use to someone pondering a Scriptural feminist take on marital sexuality and/or biblical gender relations overall. The talk began with a reading from a romantic set of devotionals I’m hoping to publish as a book one day, then progressed onward into some not always well-connected ruminations…

WHO MOVES INSIDE?

You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride, you have ravished my heart with a glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. – Song of Songs 4:9 [NRSV]

The word “penetration” is so harsh. He remembers Andrea Dworkin, the recently-deceased feminist, her brilliantly angry words about the male body’s assault on the feminine. Rape. Possession. He never was able to look at his own body in quite the same way since Dworkin’s forceful intersection with his consciousness.But after last night everything seems different. His own true wife, his life, had loved him. And their tangle, slow and luxurious, had at some hinged moment opened up his soul to her. She had flown inside. She had penetrated him, down to the deep part where his fear and secrets and longings lived. And he wanted her to penetrate, to bury herself, in the deepest places.

He quaivered, transparent to her, as she moved within his heart and thus his
body.

Never mind the old lie that he was the actor, she the acted upon, he the sky and she the earth. He was the branches and she the sighing wind moving along the surface and through, his leaves rustling and tossing, trunk swaying. He was shaken by this. He had to stop making love and tell her, tremulous. And she looked quietly at him, kissed him, and drew him toward her to once again invade him as he so desperately wished.

Dear One, thank you for the way our bodies are in You. Thank you for the vulva and penis, the lips kissing lips, our limbs intertwined in mutual adoration. Thank you for creating sexual meaning, another offering we joyfully make in honor of Your Perfection. Amen.

Sex is an absolutely beautiful thing. Our broken humanity may fling dirt on sex, but sex itself is an ecstatic celebration where one human being’s spirit and flesh become one with another human being’s spirit and flesh. We cannot imagine what Adam might have said when he saw the wonderous nakedness of Eve, how his heart lept within him for mysterious reasons he could not understand, or how the two of their newly-fashioned bodies became one in that unfallen state. What did Eve think when she saw Adam, whose body likely responded to her in a visible way and who looked so very different from her?

St. Augustine [in City of God] was wrong. Adam and Eve did not experience sex as some nerveless exchange of the necessary fluids for procreation. I believe, based on the Song of Solomon and other texts in Scripture, that Adam and Eve both knew one another with an ecstasy that no human since has likely known.

Hear what Genesis records about this Garden of Eden union:

20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” 24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed. [NRSV]

But then came their mutual sin, and the results of it. Sex, like everything else in our world, lies under the curse of sin. Sex has been snapped off from the relational personhood of Eden and turned into a cheap thrills carnival ride. It has become one of capitalism’s favorite means of selling cars, beer, overpriced clothes, and whatever else our gullibility will buy.

Today, though, I am here to celebrate sex and not so much to talk about what our world – and sometimes our Churches – have done to it. This talk may be a bit too hot to handle for some, and if at any point folks need to leave please know I will not be offended or dismayed.

The title of this talk is “Mutuality in Bed,” and that title occurred to me as I once again read one of the central New Testament passages on sex and marriage from Paul – a life-long celibate, by the way. We start with 1 Corinthians 6, where Paul deals with fornication’s effects upon the fornicator, namely, that he becomes one flesh with the prostitute he is using for sexual pleasure. This, to Paul, has profound implications. The body, says Paul, is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Unifying the body with a prostitute thus is a sin against the body itself.

Christianity, remember, has always been at war with Gnosticism, which teaches that the body and all material things are not good and that only the “spiritual” is good. There’s an irony to the fact that some radical feminists such as Mary Daly, in her book Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy, falsely accuses Christianity of this mind/body split. Yet she embraces the very Gnosticism which historically made war on the body. Very confusing.

Of course, medieval Christian theology did in fact lean too heavily on the Greeks, whose contempt for both women and the body infected St. Augustine among others. Scripture, however, holds that when God said “It is good” about his material creation, God really meant it. God glories in the body, and indwells the body. His Holy Spirit makes a home within the body of the believer. And that body is equipped by God with a clitoris or a penis, within which God created thousands of nerve endings, each one meant for pleasure. (The clitoris, you lucky ladies, has twice as many as the penis does.) Further, the genitals are only a small part of what God made when he created sexuality. More on this later, but through the exquisitely delicate receptivity of human skin explicit union between husband and wife’s body, mind, and spirit occurs. Though that is all quite mysterious, the central theme of it is simple: Our bodies are holy temples of the Living God, and within marriage, they are also meant to create a one-flesh (and therefore one life) relationship. Life binds to life in a new thing, this specific marriage made of these two specific persons male and female.

But why would God smile upon us taking our Holy Temple and enjoying sexual expression with our husband or our wife? What is the difference between a wife and a prostitute – or, in our age, a husband and a gigilo? The old church fathers thought that the Holy Spirit, like Elvis, would leave the building during sexual intercourse between husband and wife. Guess they never understood Song of Solomon, which is why they had to make a metaphorical treatise out of an explicitly erotic book, right at the center of the Scriptures, just as our genitals are at the center of our bodies.

Sex is not dirty. We may be, because of both Adam and Eve’s fall and our own specific sins (including actions and thoughts). But sex is pre-fall.

Let’s go to what is our the key passage, which immediately follows the above discussion by Paul. I Corinthians 7:1-6 gives us our theme:

1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” 2 But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. [NRSV]

Paul is not saying “it is well for a man not to touch a woman” here, but rather is quoting from a writing he received from the Corinthians. Some versions, including the NRSV, note this with quotations around that phrase. Again, Paul is writing from the position of one gifted with an apparently life-long calling to celibacy. Despite this, however, he paints a positive picture of marital sexuality. Each man and each woman should have “his own” wife or “her own” husband.

Okay, pause. Let me talk about the idea of mutuality for a moment. In our culture, what are the two main ideas regarding female and male gender? Allow me to suggest that they are both extremes with some right and some wrong in them.

The ideas embodied in much of Second Wave feminism shock many Christians. The Second Wave feminists included folks from Betty Friedan and Germaine Greer to Andrea Dworkin, Kate Millet, Susan Brownmiller, and Katherine McKinnon, to name a few. These women were – and still are – vilified by many Christians. They were/are very angry, often especially at Christianity, for being what they perceive as a viciously patriarchal faith with a patriarchal god and a patriarchal structure. So, yes, they can be fairly vicious themselves in their critiques of Christianity.

Yet it is too bad for us if we don’t try to hear them despite their rage, because they had many truthful and constructive things to tell us which, in my opinion, resonate with the truth-heart of Scripture. At the heart of their anxiety and anger was the simple idea – historically verifiable – that women have been oppressed and suppressed in their humanity by men and men’s constructions of reality. Religion in particular had been used to create authority structures which systematically stripped women of their full humanity. In my opinion, if we focus on one word that describes the knot of issues feminists are trying to untangle, it would be “power” or, maybe even a better word, “authority.” Who has power/authority, who holds it, and upon what grounds do they hold it. Great questions.

But the Second Wavers also went too far. Not primarily too far to the left, as you might expect me to say. No, they went too far away from community, from human interdependence. Betty Friedan later realized this, and attempted to talk about it in some of her later writings. But at any rate, this idea of community runs up against an idea in secular feminism which is not at all the feminists’ invention. In fact, it also exists among many on the right wing side of these discussions.

That idea is individualism, the idea that each individual is a self-contained unit not necessarily needing her fellow human beings. For some feminists, the human beings most unneeded were the men. “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Remember that one? Scripture says we do need one another, in fact, that we Christians are literally part of one body and cannot function without one another. Thus the great egalitarian verse of Galatians 3:28: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” [NRSV]

Now on the right wing side of this equation, we have the exercise of the very authority the feminists – rightly in my opinion – fear. And among other things, that authority is rooted in destructive forces which prevent true community, true interdependence among God’s people. There is no term more misleadingly used by these reactionary forces than the term “complementarians” – this is not what they are, but rather what they are not. They use a term which hints at mutuality even as they assault mutuality’s core – the rejection of static authority roles by gender, ethnicity, or station in life. The Word nowhere suggests that giftings are handed out according to gender.

At any rate, you can wake up now. After that sketchy, incomplete background in the gender debate, we’re at last back to sex. And, in Paul’s passage in 1 Corinthians 7, we’re also back to one of the signal examples of mutuality anywhere in Scripture. It offers a balance between rabid individualism on the one hand and unbiblical discrimination against women on the other hand.

Listen, again, to the core of Paul’s sexual message for marriage:

3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

Hear that word “authority”? Who has it? Well, on a quick read it seems the husband has it over the wife’s body. And who doesn’t have it? The wife. Yikes, I don’t think Andrea Dworkin would have liked this. But wait now. Hear what comes next. Who has the authority again? The wife has it over her husband’s body. And who doesn’t have it? The husband!

That is how community works, at least, Christian community. The thing I treasure most in the world, my own body, doesn’t belong to me. When I married my wife, I gave her sexual control over my own body. If she wants it, she gets it. Likewise, when she married me, she gave up sexual possession of her own body and gave that possession to me. Therefore, if I hunger for her sexually, she is (under normal conditions) to give me full and liberal access to her body.

But none of that goes quite far enough. If my body belongs sexually to my wife, with her having authority over it, do I then have any right to make it one sexually with another person? Or, digging even deeper, do I have the right to even in my imagination, to give my body to another or to take the body of another? Even without the many verses forbidding adultery and fornication, and even without Jesus’ own words condemning lust of the heart, Paul’s “authority over” verses about the married person’s body provide a strong case against them. Paul, as do the other biblical writers, is speaking from the rich context of the entirety of God’s Word. And that rich context speaks of sexuality flowering relationally within marriage, often with the fruit of children but always with the fruit of companionship and joy and touch and mutuality of purpose in Christ.

Thus, my wife owns not only my body, but because it is so intertwined with my mind and emotions sexually, also has authority over my sexuality overall. Does that sound scary? It should. For someone who’s main “love language” is indeed sexuality and eros, it can be especially scary. As C. S. Lewis once wrote, “to love at all is to be vulnerable.” There is no doubt that my wife sometimes fails me, and more importantly, that I sometimes fail her. But marriage for many of us will be where we learn the art of love not only in bed, but in all aspects of relational humanity. It is here I learn first and foremost to love she who, by being my wife, is my closest neighbor. And I am to love my neighbor as myself with Agape, even before I love her with the fidelity and beauty of Eros. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” [Luke 10:27].

But there is a less philosophical, more practical, application Paul’s words offer us. What he seems to be saying, among other things, is that the hornier of the two partners, whether it be husband or wife, gets to basically “steer” the sexual life of the marriage. (Did I say “hornier”?) But I don’t think that is really all Paul meant to suggest. Rather, I think these verses have to be balanced further by passages such as 1 Corinthians 13 – the love chapter – where Paul expresses the heart of love as selfless giving. Or, as Paul writes in Eph. 5:21: “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” And again in Phillipians 2:3,4:, Paul writes: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”

So when I have authority over my wife’s body, yet regard her as better than myself, putting her interests ahead of mine, what then happens to that so called “authority”? Isn’t it true that I will have to listen to her, be a student of her whole person – emotions, thoughts, body language, not only her romantic and sexual preferences but also her relational needs? Sex is all about relationship! And love, not my own sexual hunger, is always is the ace in the Christian deck of cards. If my wife is tired, sad, or unwell physically, my sexual hunger may need to wait. It isn’t necessarily wrong for me to ask her forthrightly if now is a good time, but it is wrong for me to pressure her. In fact, sometimes it really may be wrong for me to ask, especially if I sense she will feel a compulsion to perform simply out of duty. She also will have to deal with the law of love from her perspective. When should she realize I am hungry for sexual expression and perhaps bless me despite her own tiredness? Some secularists would say she never should, that doing so is to cave in to the old “men need sex” stereotype.

Let’s consider that. While it seems true that most men and many women sometimes think they “need it” when in reality we almost never MUST have sex, it is also true that the higher sexed partner (male or female) does primarily experience love via sexual expression. In the Christian scheme of things, then, a lower-desire wife or husband will make sure to bless their mate sexually. As a very rough guideline only, I would note that three times a week (even if one or two of those times are quickies) seems to be a normal suggested number by many sex therapists. Each couple, however, is unique and will have to sort this out on their own, or perhaps with the help of marital counselors. Remember Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in “Anne Hall.” Split screen, each answering essentially the same question asked by their respective therapists: How often do you have sex. Woody says, in disgust, “Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week.” Diane Keaton says, “Constantly! I’d say three times a week.” Obviously, each couple is going to have to mutually work out their frequency of sex, along with quality and time spent per sexual encounter.

Big picture again. I recently attended a meeting of folks involved in New Monastic Communities. There, the issue of hospitality came up. What is hospitality? One comment, not made by the speaker, consisted of only two words, but they echoed in my heart and mind. “Making space.” Making space for whom? When? Where? How? And Why? Well, Christine Pohl has written a whole book, it turns out, on the historic Christian and Jewish understanding of hospitality, which she entitled – surprise – Making Room. I won’t go further into that due to time, but will say this: the marital relationship is perhaps the first place a person really learns what it is to make space for another in one’s heart, mind, and (yes) body. By nature, we shrink in on ourselves when faced with sacrificial love. We run for safety, or what appears to be safety.

But in a marriage that is at all rooted in Christ, each person is required to make space. Often. Yet a non-mutuality marriage allows a husband not to make space, almost forces him to fill space with his alleged primacy of authority. Instead, he is urged to demand space over and against his wife’s cries for space. In fact, if this non-mutual scenario becomes the rule of a marriage, it is ultimately up to him to declare what of her needs are even legitimate needs. Now, I know that if what some folks call “soft hierarchy” really were lived out totally as spelled out by its promoters, it would in fact bear a great resemblance to a mutuality model of marriage. I’d philosophically and theologically disagree with the soft hierarchy folks, but I would complain less angerly if such men really loved their wives as Christ loved the church. I just haven’t seen it much myself, that’s all.

Mutuality in bed is a pefect biblical model for mutuality in marriage overall. It offers us a real-life example of the strange balances and apparent contradictions within marriage. Two individuals, with two bodies, yet becoming one flesh. Total authority over the other’s body sexually, yet an authority balanced by the other having total authority over one’s own body sexually. Complete surrender, yet complete mastery. Outdoing one another in works of love is the only logical answer to these apparent contradictions. And outdoing one another in works of love can never be more thrilling than while in the marital bed together.

Mutuality in marriage is the same. Paul in Ephesians 5 does indeed urge my wife to submit to me as the church does to Christ. Yet in the same breath he urges me to love my wife as Christ loves the Church. These are not gender-specific commands. Why? Because is not my wife also to love me as Christ loves the Church? And am I not also supposed to submit to my wife as the church does to Christ? After all, is not the entire New Testament teaching on relationship and even authority summed up by Jesus at the last supper? “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” [John 13:34, NRSV]

In the very same chapter of Ephesians where Paul says wives are to submit to their husbands, he also urges all Christians to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (v. 5:21). There is no hierarchy here. Neither is there any gospel of the individual here. What we are talking about with mutuality in bed is, in the end, what Paul is also talking about at the end of Ephesians 5, where he quotes Genesis 2:24 and then draws an astonishing conclusion:

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. [NRSV]
Male obtuseness about women’s bodies and sexual experiences, emotions, and related thoughts, are examples of how easily a culture where maleness equates with spiritual superiority can cause a husband’s failure to listen to his wife. Even more sinister, her own self-interpretation, coming through men’s interpretations of her as authorities over her sexual self, can cause her to become estranged from, even at odds with, her own sexuality and her own body. Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics is one feminist book well worth reading, even though its treatment of our faith is at times gravely mistaken. But her targeting of the novelist D. H. Lawrence, for instance, is brilliant. Lawrence was only putting into fictional works the teachings of Sigmund Freud, whose theories on women and sex were about as messed up as could be.

Sexual mutuality says that each member of this tiny community of two listens attentively to the other’s word interpretations, feelings and intuitions, sexual turn-ons and turn-offs, trying to bless them sexually in every and any way the other would like to be blessed. But likewise, the partner being blessed should mutually think of her or his mate, asking if thus and such is pleasing or desired. True community is rooted in agape love, the desire to love another by putting her or him ahead even of one’s self. This applies fully to the realm of the couple’s shared sexuality. And need I say that all sexuality should be engaged in as an act of worship, something that honors God? This most intimate physical expression of love certainly does just that.

Mutuality in bed sees each couple as both a unity of two and as two individuals. Thus, the authority in their relationship is God’s Love, or more accurately, the God Who is Love. Neither individual should act outside of that agape, other-focused love.

But let’s have some balance and reality here. Sex is very selfish in one sense. It is terribly, delightfully, amazingly selfish. The ecstasy one feels is in one’s own body, nerve endings, skin and emotions. And God made it to be that way. If taken too far in a spiritually spooky direction, my agape idea could end up with each partner so anxious about being selfless in bed that she or he fails to allow pleasure to be given to themselves by the other, or even (and this too is God-honoring) to take pleasure for themselves from the other.

Not all taking diminishes the taken from; sex, if anything, should teach each of us the holiness of taking another’s gift joyfully and without restraint. In sex, as in loving God, one often can’t help but to take, yet in taking to give all back to the other. Shouldn’t we let our enjoyment of, even consumption of, one another’s charms a form of worship? Enjoy it! Let it wash over you! And in that pleasure, which after all is located within one’s own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self, the overwhelming joy and thankfulness to God will arise. It doesn’t really take a lot of work to make love. I’ve known quite a few Christian couples who say they find themselves prayerfully thanking God during the act of love. Many couples start and end a sexual time together with prayer.

There is a moment for many married couples where, perhaps rarely or perhaps often, the body of the one seems to have become the body of the other. I once wrote a passage of poetry which attempted to describe this oneness:

Who is who in this rite of first community?
Who enters and who is being entered?
He enters his garden, no longer hers, and
She enters, possessing his thighs,
his taut essence her liquid embrace.

They touch each other, and so themselves.
They enter the selves of one another,
The rushing blood and rising rivers of desire.

And then it is hard to know who enters,
And who rises like a flood with cries of joy,
And who drinks the wine, or provides the milk to be drunk,
And who cries first, or who after, with newborn voice?

Quietude comes after comes cease;

The tides have temporary turned, the moon
Ceases for the moment pulling oceans higher.
Each now looks at the other as part of themselves,
Yet truth told, more mysterious and unkown.

Who twined, and who did the twining?
Who’s roots more deeply drink of the
Other’s rich, dark soil, the secret chambers of the heart?

Books I recommend for further reading. Ian Kerner’s She Comes First is a celebration of the clitoris, offering training to men in oral stimulation but also some solid science on just how central the clitoris is to most women’s sexual lives. Warning: non-christian book and does not always reflect biblical values.

Clifford and Joyce Penner, The Gift of Sex, offers a very good to excellent overview of sexuality in marriage. The drawings in it are very, uh, conservative and not well done. Not their fault. The text is theologically rooted and solidly biblical overall. I’m not absolutely sure where they stand on mutuality vs. hierarchy, but will say that they actually believe the woman rather than the man should lead more of the time in the sexual lives of the couple.

Doug Rosenau’s Celebration of Sex is to me the best book on relational Christian sexuality I’ve ever read. Some will be tempted to jump over the very lengthy chapters on relationship building. Don’t do it. This book really could change not just a couple’s sexual life together, but perhaps their entire marriage. He’s also got other books out, including a Celebration of Sex for Newlyweds and a Celebration of Sex over Fifty. The original Celebration of Sex, however, is the best. Even for newlyweds, in my opinion. Oh, the book’s drawings are a little better than the Penner drawings (it is a newer book), but still not all that great.

There are others I’ve missed here, some out of my own ignorance, others because they push a non-egalitarian model of marriage and promote male-centric ideas.

One, for instance, assumes that males are always horny and females are almost always waiting for male initiation. Sure, sometimes. But sometimes not. I’d hate for high-desire women to feel bad about something that actually is good, and furthermore is reflected in the Song of Song’s Shulammite. She, after all, vividly imagines him sexually stimulating her: “O that you were like a brother to me, who nursed at my mother’s breast! If I met you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, and into the chamber of the one who bore me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the juice of my pomegranates. O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me!” By the way, biblical interpreters have suggested that the last verse about the right hand under her head, left hand embracing her, is actually a veiled description of her wish for him to clitorally and bodily caress her.

Mutuality in bed is about listening, observing, and acting according to Romans 12:10: love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. And it is one time that such a command is quite enjoyable.

Yet how can we love one another like that if we don’t even listen? Mutuality, by definition, requires a whole lot of inter-communication. If one spouse wants to try something new, for instance, but the other one is resistant to the idea, the natural inclination is for the adventurous one to push, push, push his or her agenda. It turns into near-nagging – and yes, men can nag just as well as women can. Especially, it seems to this sometimes nagger, when it comes to sex. But a maturing mutuality marriage can make space for differences of perspective. I’m borrowing the example of this that follows from Doug Rosenau’s Celebration of Sex but putting it in my own words.

Say one member of the couple, the man, is interested in his wife performing oral sex. She, however, is afraid of some sort of scenario where he goes too deep, provoking her gag reflex, or is afraid of him climaxing in her mouth. A mutuality relationship would have him deferring to her desire that she, not he, control depth of penetration, and that he warn her before he has an orgasm so that she can decide whether or not to use another form of stimulation at that point. Of course in cases where oral sex reminds her of past sexual abuse, a husband should bring the whole topic up far away from the bedroom, and inquire how she feels about it while not being offended if in fact doing so would be painful rather than playful for her.

Or, and I add this myself because this is about mutuality, perhaps it is the husband who objects to returning the above favor. He complains that there is an odor, or that “going down” isn’t something manly men do. His loss, of course. As one Christian sex book – perhaps the Penners, though I can’t be sure – said, her odor is, if he only considered it, the result more often than not of his having sexually aroused her. Further, if he does this in the beginning as an act of sacrificial love – sounds silly, but for some guys it would be sacrificial – she should let him do it. Once he discovers her reaction, it may well become a favorite.

In the end, in our weaknesses and our strengths, we are mutually conduits for grace, forgiveness, and the faith in God’s commitment to us which allows us to remain in committed love to one another. When eros and agape meet, one often encounters human beings who are Kings and Queens. Their crown is their partner, and the light pouring from them the very light of God. If in this couple we see a promise that Pure Eros is indeed possible among us, we also see the deeper promise of the resurrection, that human community, the reconciliation and becoming part of one another through Christ, is already happening. The Kingdom of God is both coming and already present, and Eros through Agape spreads that wonderful news.

All rights reserved, (c) 2007, Jon Trott

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