October 3rd 2023
#279: Theology of the Body: Discovering How Pornography Distorts God’s Sacred Design
Prepare to be enlightened about the intriguing interplay between theology, our bodies, and sexuality.
Ever wondered how our bodies reflect the divine image?
Strap in and get set to unlock the enigmas behind theology of the body.
We journey together, investigating the divine design of male and female, the sacredness in our roles as parents, and our destiny as human beings.
We delve into the profound symbolism embedded in marital union, pregnancy, and even a woman’s labor pain as a mirror of Christ’s suffering on the Cross.
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Hold onto your seats as we take an unexpected turn and venture into the theology of pornography. Gasp at the stark contrast it poses against the divine blueprint of our bodies. We scrutinize the messages pornography conveys about God and his creation.
Stay tuned for our next episode as we continue this captivating conversation and strive to reconcile these contrasting ideologies.
Transcription: Theology of the Body: Discovering How Pornography Distorts God’s Sacred Design
Josh Glaser [00:00:00]:
You. Welcome back, everybody. You have probably heard me. I hope you’ve heard me say, if you’re listening to this podcast, something here or there about theology of the body. And today I want to talk about theology of pornography. Theology has consequences, and theology is all over. So let me start with theology of the body. Just quick flyover of theology of the body.
Josh Glaser [00:00:26]:
There are books and books and books written about theology of the body. So this is a quick flyover. But it’ll give us some bearing for when we talk about theology of pornography, because both the way that we understand our bodies and God’s design for our bodies, including our sexuality, and the way that pornography portrays our bodies and sexuality teaches us something about God, believe it or not. So very quickly, theology of the body started with, or at least was pulled together originally by John Paul II in a series of teachings he did. And the quick flyover is something like this, that in the beginning, God created human beings, male and female, in his image and in his likeness. And that has real consequence for what it means to be a human being and what it means to be an embodied being, because we know that God is spirit, but we are made in the flesh. So when Paul writes in Romans One, for example, that God’s invisible attributes, things like his divine nature and his eternal power, actually have been made visible through his physical creation, including human beings. Genesis One speaks to this, that in the beginning, on day six, god created one creature, and that one creature was human beings that are made in his image.
Josh Glaser [00:01:48]:
He made lots of creatures, but one made in his image and in his likeness. And those are human beings. And the first attribute that Scripture talks about in that first chapter of Genesis as imaging god is male and female, he created them. Not only that, but the first command that he gave this creature that bears his image, male and female, is be fruitful and multiply, have sex and have lots of babies. This doesn’t mean that God is male or female. This doesn’t mean that God is sexual. But it means that our maleness, our femaleness, and what makes us sexual, especially following God’s design images, or is meant to image something about what God is like. So this gets pretty deep.
Josh Glaser [00:02:26]:
So pretty quick. So let’s talk, first of all, like the one flesh union between husband and wife, their sexual, marital sexual union makes them one flesh. This is an image of God’s unity in Trinity. He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And yet he is one. And we don’t fully understand how this can be. And yet the male female husband wife bond in their marital sexual union is an image of that they become one flesh. My wife and I are Josh and Jamie.
Josh Glaser [00:02:55]:
For the last 21 years, we’ve been Josh and Jamie and there’s something about us that is now together. Now we also have five biological kids together. And you can see in a very visceral, physical way that they are a product of our one flesh union. In some ways, they are an image of our one flesh union. There’s a bit of mom and a bit of dad in them and a whole lot of just them. But there’s something about this makeup of mother, father, husband, wife and children that images something of God’s trinitarian unity. And not only that, but the love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And then also there’s something in this marital union that images our design, our destiny for where God wants us to be with Him.
Josh Glaser [00:03:44]:
We’re not just kind of observing Father, Son, Holy Spirit from a distance. He actually is inviting us to be a part of this loving unity that he shares. He wants to invite us up into the love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is our destiny that we are designed for. Our design points to this destiny, as Christopher West puts it, and it goes deeper men’s genitalia. A man’s penis is specifically designed to pour forth his seed, his life, into his bride. This is an image of Christ pouring out his life for his bride. And if she in faith will receive the life of Christ.
Josh Glaser [00:04:26]:
If the Church lovingly and faithfully receive the life of Christ, it begets new life in us. This is part of how we are born again. You hear the sexual imagery in this, or the way that marital sex points to this gospel reality of our new life in Christ. We also think here of female genitalia and how she is specifically design to receive the life of her husband into her. This is the way the Church is designed. We are designed as the Church to receive the life and love of Christ into us. And in so doing, we receive new life into our bodies that gods into even more life. And it goes further.
Josh Glaser [00:05:13]:
A woman who becomes pregnant and has a baby, she carries the baby inside of her. Think here even Jesus’s words to abide in him. The baby that grows inside of her grows and grows, and then she gives birth to this baby. And in John Three, as Jesus is speaking with Nicodemus, he talks about how we are meant to be born again. We have to be born again in order to have a union with God. And Nicodemus was confused that by this and pointed back to am I supposed to enter again into my mother’s womb? And we laugh at Nicodemus, but he had it right in a way, because Jesus was saying yes, that is pointing to this. Of course he was saying that. You’re getting it mixed up.
Josh Glaser [00:05:52]:
You’re kind of pointing the reality of God back to the human person. It’s the other way around. Human person points to the reality of god. God’s not imaging you, you’re imaging Him. And so as a woman pours forth and we can also say her pains in childbirth are an image of Christ and his pains on the cross. He went through pain pouring out his life, giving his body that his children could be born again. And a woman giving in childbirth who experiences the excruciating and you hear the word excruciating, that root word is crux that comes from cross. The excruciating pain that she goes through in childbirth images Christ on the cross.
Josh Glaser [00:06:36]:
She is giving her body for the life of children that they might be born into this world. So you hear all these connections. This is and this again, this is a quick flyover. But this is the theology of the body. These are elements of theology of the body. We could take another step here to talk about a newborn who nurses at the breast of his or her mother. And the mother is producing milk out of her breasts. And interestingly, as has been pointed out, the milk is produced by the blood of the mother.
Josh Glaser [00:07:10]:
So again, think about the way that her body is imaging God. The nourishment, the comfort and nourishment that we receive as Christ’s church, as his children comes through his blood. The pure, unadulterated milk comes from his blood. That’s how it’s produced for us. And the child nurses at his or her mother’s breast is a place of comfort, place of nourishment, a place of nurture, a place of connection and bonding. This is all pointing to the heart that God has to bond, to connect to nourish, to nurture his children. Beautiful. So when I think about that, when you think about that, this theology of the body and again, I did a quick flyover if you have to rewind and let’s do it again, great.
Josh Glaser [00:07:59]:
If you want to find more resources on theology of the body, we’ll have some in the show notes for you. But as you think about that, what do all those things speak of about the nature and characteristics, the divine attributes, the eternal power of God? What kinds of words come to mind for you when you hear those? Certainly love is right at the center, desire is right at the center. And not a selfish desire, but a self giving desire. That word self giving is just saturated in all that I’ve just described. Gods is a self giving guide. And God and we are designed to be self giving, to give our bodies, husband and wife to one another in marriage, not as something that’s demanded or required, but as a self gift, generously, lovingly, desirously, to give one another to our to give to one another. And then a mother who is self giving, she gives her literally, literally gives her body for the sake of the life of her children. Self giving is just all throughout the theology of the body.
Josh Glaser [00:09:06]:
Our bodies have a theology that announce that God is a self giving, loving, nourishing, kind, gentle, tender, strong God, and so much more. Theology of pornography, we want to shift to that, but I’m going to put you on hold because we’re at time for this week, so come back next week. I don’t usually do two parts, but it’s worth it. So come back next week. And we’re going to compare theology of the body as God designed it with the theology that pornography suggests. So if we follow the trail of pornography, what would it teach about what Gods is like? Just went over what our bodies are meant to teach. God’s design for male, female and marital sexual love is meant to convey something about God to image God. What is pornography? Image of God.
Josh Glaser [00:10:00]:
We’ll talk about that next week. Bye.
Questions about this week’s podcast:
- How does the theology of the body play a role in our understanding of our own bodies and sexuality?
- In what ways does pornography distort or contradict the theology of the body?
- How does the theology of the body reflect the trinitarian unity of God?
- What does the concept of the “one flesh union” between husband and wife teach us about God’s design for marriage and sexuality?
- How does the imagery of a man’s seed and a woman’s womb point to the gospel reality of new life in Christ?