I can't speak for everyone, but I have never questioned the orthodoxy or the intellectual honesty of Christopher West or any of the popularizers of the theology of the body TOB , but since when does a person's uprightness and good intentions put their ideas beyond critique? He is a well known writer and speaker, whose subject matter is sensitive, and as one who speaks to the masses, he is looking for the easiest and most effective way to communicate difficult and sensitive ideas.
Some of the things he says about sex, regardless of what he actually means, are inherently controversial. The problem is that sometimes the combox is too easy a place to lock and load, fire and reload. But the sword cuts both ways: I am not out to sentence and execute Chris West, so don't suggest that a critique of his thought, even if you disagree with that critique, is an effort to, in Shea's words, "bayonet our own troops.
In summary the problem consists in West's interpretation of the past and the future and the way in which the present age of TOB is the hermeneutical key for both. He proposes, with George Weigel, TOB as a "theological time bomb" that addresses both the disease and the false cure. But this implies that before TOB the Church's position was puritanical. I know West's position is actually more nuanced than this, and that his method is apologetical, aimed at those who have never heard the Church's teaching, but the fact is that puritanism is not the real disease afflicting our sexuality.
The real disease is original sin. Both puritanism and pornographic lust are a function of fallen nature. West is easily interpreted as suggesting that without TOB Catholics have never had any clear vision of what God's intention for human sexuality was from the beginning.
Otherwise, would he not make a greater effort to teach chastity with a hermeneutic of continuity instead of concentrating almost exclusively on a very narrow part of magisterial teaching on human sexuality? It seems he is suggesting that our past has been clouded by puritanism because we did not have TOB, and our future will be the age of the love banquet because we do. Is my interpretation of West a bit facile? But this is the problem with trying to popularize a work of deep theology and philosophy. It is not even clear to me whether West is engaged in apologetics or catechesis.
The two are not the same thing. Apologetics is a kind of preamble to catechesis that elicits the assent of faith in respect to difficult truths by way of arguments that are easily understood and appealing to someone who has no basic understanding of revelation. Catechesis is sacramental preparation or ongoing education, based on faith already elicited.
Alice von Hildebrand on Theology of the Body
Granted, the two overlap: Catechumens will often have to come to terms with issues they have a hard time with before their initial catechesis is completed, but apologetical explanations are not sufficient to complete a catechesis. If a new vision of human sexuality gets them in the door, only the tradition of the ages will get them to the sanctuary. In either case, TOB is not easily distilled to those who are relatively uninitiated.
The fact is the fundamental problem with human sexuality, even in the Victorian age and that of the sexual revolution is original sin. It still bothers me, but my reaction is more internal now. God said dont do it, through his Church. God said dont do it, hrough his Church.
1. Interpretations of Genesis 3
That's not the same logic at all. God specifically condemned eating of the fruit. No one has shown me any evidence that sex for the sake of sex with one's spouse is ungodly. Personally, I agree with you. I don't understand why condoms are wrong. But, I have found that the Church is right about a lot of things that weren't obvious to me before.
So, I trust her on the few things that still aren't obvious to me. This is one of those. I just can't do that, there must be a reason for things. I can't believe without reason, and God never works without it. He is the epitome of wisdom, He doesn't just command things for no reason. If the Church says God doesn't want us to use condoms, then I want to know why, otherwise I can't regard that as a true commandment.
Basically, sex has two end 1 procreative making babies and 2 unitive bonding the spouses together. For sex to be moral, both ends must be met. Stop being so dramatic, it's a medical term, you know in the field of medicine? There are specific words for different biological stages and processes, there is nothing dehumanizing about it.
Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian
So instead of doctors going around and saying "unborn child" they say "foetus" - it's kind of like this:. There is a 3rd, which is pleasure, and there's nothing wrong with it, it's not the same as bonding. Furthermore, even those are the aspects defined by the Church, they haven't necessarily said that all 3 must be met for each act, if that was the case, even NFP would be contradictory.
So either you've interpreted this wrong, or the Church is lacking some reasoning behind this. If I'm wrong, please show me a definite teaching in relation to what you just said by the Church, I'm interested to know. Why are condoms wrong? Moral Theology. AdamC May 26, , am 1.
Is It Time for Christians to Celebrate Pre-Marital Sex? | Tony Jones
This might not not be the right section for this. AdamC May 26, , am 3. Anyway, thanks for the references. Anyone else out there have anything?
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