I just finished Beth Felker Jones beautiful book, Faithful: A Theology of Sex. This book is a must read for every Christian, in my opinion, especially these days where there is no
shortage of confusion over what it means to have a body that is created by God and is good. There is a uniquely Christian way to think about our bodies, one that has always been and will always be counter-cultural. Beth Felker Jones does a wonderful job guiding her reader through the many pitfalls that exist when we either dismiss bodies as unimportant or fixate on them as idols.
One of my favorite lines was this:
When God kills pornication and raises up, from that dead thing, redeemed and good desire, God makes space for true fidelity.
“Pornication” is a suitable substitute for the biblical word porneia, which refers to sexual immorality, but more than that, it is the air in which we breath which distorts our understanding of both sex and the proper, God-glorifying use our of our bodies whether we be celibate in singleness or sexual in marriage.
I appreciated the author’s insistence that our bodies are not meant to be slaves to our desires, and that our desires are, at every level, corrupted to some degree by sin. We must always be vigilant to bring our desires before God and be ever willing to submit our bodies to his will and purpose.
Also, referencing the quote above, I appreciated how she points the reader to the hope that in Christ, our desires can be transformed and redeemed, that we can be made new and go about living as embodied people, as icons reflecting God’s faithfulness to us through our (peculiar) ways of being faithful to God and each other in both singleness and marriage.
The Church so desperately needs these words today so that we can adequately address the pornication both inside and outside our walls. Historically, we have been very adept at saying what we are against – don’t do that! – but we have failed to offer what ought to take it’s place. I commend to you this book as a fitting answer to our growing confusion over what our bodies are created for and how faithful sex matters…really matters.