Saturday, June 23, 2007

Incarnational theology

James Tabor writes: "And the apostle Paul, a dedicated sexual ascetic himself, exhorts his followers: “For we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” He speaks of our “bodies of humiliation” and imagines life in a tranformed heavenly body, free of decay, and of course, of sensuality and especially sexuality."

I think it is very difficult for the 21st century to rescue Paul from the accusation of asexuality. I hope it is not impossible. I completely disagree with the connotations implied about Paul's attitudes above. I have to agree that this is what we were implicitly and explicitly taught about them over the years almost without exception to the present century. I do hope to try to change this reading of Paul because I think it is incomplete and wrong.

Tabor also notes: "The emphasis of the Torah on God’s creation declared as “very good,” with the first commandment or blessing upon humans being “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth,” created a real tension with Hellenistic forms of dualism and gnosticism, that devalued the world and sexuality."

Here I agree with Tabor but I think so would Paul. The tension cannot be resolved without recourse to additional extra-textual information. I propose to put it forward in a story. I will serialize the story once or twice a month in short segments. This location is as good a place as any. I expect the story to continue over several years. Debating a title, I was thinking: The Gospel according to Secundus. In the first post Secundus will introduce himself.

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