Sex as an Icon for Salvation?

Last week, a now-deleted article published by The Gospel Coalition about sex became the cause of controversy and concern. In that article, which was an excerpt from Josh Butler’s forthcoming book, titled “Beautiful Union: How God’s Vision for Sex Points Us to the Good, Unlocks the True, and (Sort of) Explains Everything,” Butler argues that sex “is an icon of Christ and the church.”

Shortly after the article was published, some began calling into question both the suggestive nature of Butler’s language, which includes the claim that “Christ penetrates his church,” as well as the overall thesis of the excerpt, which many found to be problematic in the way that it reinforces power dynamics that are often present in situations of spiritual and sexual abuse.

In this episode, we survey how others have responded to the article. We also evaluate its content, discussing why so many people have legitimate concerns with it.


READ: Sexual Ethics, Lightyear, and Engaging With a Shifting Culture
READ: Maintaining Hope in the Church in Light of Sexual Abuse Scandals
READ: 3 Things Christians Can (and Must) Do for Sexual Abuse Survivors


Sex Won’t Save You (But It Points to the One Who Will)” by Josh Butler (original article)
Updated link with the first chapter of “Beautiful Union”
We Should Be More Careful With Sex Typology for Christ and the Church” by Zachary Wagner
TGC, Sex, and Christ” by Michael F. Bird

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