Trinity & Liturgical Sexuality

Lest anyone be scared off (or drawn to!) this post because of the title, let me hasten to clarify: James Jordan has argued that human gender (sexuality) is primarily a liturgical design-feature (see his challenging, but profound, articles here & here).

God has made us male and female to help us worship Him. Since worship is the center of human existence, by worshipping God as male and female, God is teaching us central truths about his own character and personality. Thus, male-pastors speak words of comfort and admonition to the Bride (the Church). The Church responds in loving submission and obedience, winning converts (seducing sinners!) by her chaste and modest life (1 Pt. 3:1-2).

This liturgical view of gender/sexuality helps square Galatians 4:28 (no longer male/female in Christ) with Paul’s prohibitions of female teaching and ruling in the Church (1 Tim. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 14:34-35). This only makes sense if sexuality is a liturgical type (pointing to, or embodying spiritual truths), and not a permanent mold from which women can never escape (as in Islam or Mormonism, where women retain their sexuality in heaven). C.S. Lewis said (somewhere in That Hideous Strength) that we are all feminine in relation to God. Men just have the additional hardship of learning to feminine (in a Biblical sense!) on Sundays (excepting pastors).

Here, we Protestants need to learn (perhaps grudgingly) from the ruddy Roman Catholics: “The theological core of John Paul’s ‘theology of the body’ is his profoundly sacramental apprehension of reality. Our embodieness as male and female is not an accident of evolutionary biology, he insists. Rather, that embodiedness and the mutuality built into it express some of the deepest truths of the world, and teach us something about the world’s Creator. John Paul even goes so far as to propose that sexual love within the bond of marital fidelity is an icon of the interior life of God the Holy Trinity, a community of mutual self-donation and mutual receptivity. Thus, sexual love, within the bond of Christian marriage, is an act of worship,” (George Weigel, “John Paul II and the Crisis of Humanism,” in John Richard Neuhas, ed. The Second One Thousand Years: Ten People Who Defined a Millennium, 119).

So then, married sexual love is an expression of Trinitarian love & mutual indwelling. If our Christian marriages are not more attractive to the world, perhaps we’ve fallen into the Darwinian fallacy of thinking it’s all animal impulses.

Abraham Kupyer said that every inch of the universe belongs to Christ: this includes our sex-life. As Calvinists, we chant the chief end of man: “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. Amen … but we glorify Him and enjoy Him by glorifying our spouses, and enjoying them. There are depths here we have not begun to sound!


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