Is the Trinity a Sex Orgy? Part IV of Tim Keller on Sex: More Virtual Discussion with Shirley Taylor

Sex and the Trinity?  (Continuing the discussion of Tim Keller’s views on sex)

I didn’t intend to include this element of these teachings because I really don’t like discussing this aspect of the topic of the Eternal Subordination of the Son Doctrine, but this element keeps surfacing.  In a way, I’m glad to see people discussing the convoluted nature of the doctrine and how bizarre it is when you have time to think about it.  I think that people who sit in a seminary lecture or a sermon and hear these ideas take in the ideas fall into the traps of social proof and the appeal to authority.  They don’t have time to pull apart the rapid “pile on” of thoughts in order to make sense of them.  By the end of forty minutes of twisted logic from someone trusted in a room full of fans who accept what they’re told, I think people sitting there just absorb it as fact out of the fatigue of overwhelm.  But we who read here can take apart these ideas at our leisure with the freedom of time and logic apart from social proof and pressure.


The Analogy as a Direct Correlation
?

As we established in previous posts, Tim Keller’s writings (along with those of his like-minded ideologues) claim that marital relationships as well as sex itself gives us the best insight into the social nature of the Trinity and the personalities within it.  Along with thinking about our spouse as we are in the throes of passion, we are are told that we Christians should be thinking about the relationship between the Father and the Son.

The female counterpart in this arrangement within the Trinity has been assigned to Jesus — who happens to be the only Divine Person who had a male body, complete with a penis.  So much emphasis is put on the assertion that God is a sexual being who is male, and the Father is male.  So why is Jesus selectively female?  Well, those who ascribe to this bizarre riddle must have way to tie the female identity to the Godhead.  Though I did not read of this focus in early writings in this genre, the latter writings follow the theme of the enjoyment of sex to its logical conclusion.  If husbands and wives have sex because their identities are based on those relationships between the Father and the Son, then doesn’t it follow that the Father and Son have some degree of literal sex?

What does Keller profess?

Keller says in Chapter 8 of his book that marriage is a “commitment apparatus” after explaining that sex is not dirty and it is more than a physical act.  But then, he goes on to say that we need the “spousal love of Jesus” in our lives.  I find this to be a profane (unholy) statement and nauseating.  I need God’s sacrificial love, and I need the love of my husband, along with the love of family and friends, too.  God uses all kinds of people — even non-Christians — to demonstrate His love and care to me through others.  But I am not having sex with Jesus.  He then says that we all need the “cosmic need for closure that our souls find in romance.”  WHAT???  That means that if you are single, you can’t know God which is why Keller claims that if single, you must have a very large peer group community of singles who are all seeking marriage.

This also opens up into other conundrums such as the limitations that a man has to know the Father if he is to bond with his wife to understand Jesus.  He learns about Jesus but not about the Father through sex?  This may sound lewd as well, but I can just imagine that if a wife cried out “Jesus” in an act of passion, wouldn’t that be wrong theologically?  Her partner is analogous to the Father, so she would have to cry out, “Father God.”  This comes to mind because of Bruce Ware’s teaching that it is wrong to pray to Jesus because He lacks the authority to hear and answer prayer.  Ware contends that Jesus can only carry prayer to the Father and then delivers responses at the Father’s bidding.

And what goes around comes around, doesn’t it?  If sex is as vitally important as Keller professes, then doesn’t that mean that our marital sex must be patterned after an act between the Father and the Son?  When this sexualization is drawn out to such an extreme instead of poetic analogy, what can one conclude?

Note what Keller writes at the conclusion of the chapter on sex under the subheading of The Glory of Sex:

   “Sex between a man and a woman points to the love between the Father and the Son (1 Corinthians 11: 3). It is a reflection of the joyous self-giving and pleasure of love within the very life of the triune God” (pp. 227 – 228).

Doesn’t this sound like they’ve taken the analogy a bit to far?  Doesn’t it sound like the Father and Son pleasure one another with sex?  And I can’t for the life of me figure out the significance of his proof text.  “The head of every man is Christ and the head of woman is man….”  Sorry, folks.  If this is his proof text for this statement, then this sounds like a big orgy to me.  I find that to be profane.

Frank Viola’s Echoes

(original artwork source)

When discussing this with a friend, she mentioned reading something similar to this in one of Frank Viola‘s books, so I purchased it.  She said she never threw a book in the trash before, but she did so with this one out of sheer disgust.  She said it sounded to her as if Viola was describing sex between the Father and the Son.

Viola states in his book From Eternity to Here that the Father was full of passion for the Son.  He “pours out His passion” on Jesus who is called the “recipient and the responder.”  It sounds like some kind of bad science fiction novel that I read in the Seventies.  He goes on to say that the Son “had no beloved” upon whom to lavish His passion, though Viola says that Jesus reciprocated the Father.  So Jesus has to take His libido elsewhere.  In a subheading on page 41 declares “The Lord Jesus, a Lone Bachelor.”   There is a section where Viola claims that the Father wanted the Son to have His own counterpart who was like Him, so He made a bride for Jesus.  To me, though there are careful disclaimers included, it sounds like Viola tells us that Jesus the Son was not the same kind of co-equal and same-substance being as the Father. (It seems to illustrate all of the pitfalls of the Social View of the Trinity quite vividly.)

In a few short pages, I read the word “penetrate” at least six times.  The Father penetrates Jesus who penetrated His disciples… Viola couldn’t think of a less sexual word than that?  What kind of imagery would occur to a person outside of this evangelical bubble of those who are blackmailed by the appeal to authority and the social pressure to accept this kind of “teaching”?  I understand the utility of them:  to prop up views on gender.  But even I find these descriptions to go beyond the semi-arianism (that Jesus is of lesser essence).  But even I find this perverse.

Shirley Taylor’s Response

I had the opportunity to discuss this with Shirley Taylor last week in response to discussion of the earlier posts on this subject.  She is the founder of bWe Baptists for Women’s Equality and the author of three books about how the church marginalizes more than half of all Christians through prejudice against women.

People raised all of these kinds of questions and conclusions.  If sex in marriage is about the Trinity to help us know God, and we’re told by all of these authors that God’s love is passionate and essentially erotic which is projected on to man and woman in marriage, then the Divine Three must have sex.  There is also the claim in the writings out of Doug Wilson’s camp that the Holy Spirit is like unto the child of the Father and the Son’s union. [Jones, D. Spoiled By the Trinity: A Primer for Secularists. Credenda Agenda, 15(4)]

Since we know that babies are produced as a consequence of sex, and the Holy Spirit is like the child of Father and Son, then what kind of visual are people supposed to picture?  Then Jesus directs His erotic interests to men and women — and I guess he’s a spiritual hermaphrodite since men and women have the equivalent of the communion of sex with Jesus.  Who can keep it straight?

Shirley gave me permission to post her private comment to me:

 “I saw it. Tim Keller also says the sex between a man and a woman points to the love between the Father and the Son and used 1 Corinthians 11:3 to back it up. Sick!  They like the sex part of it. And pastors don’t have the guts to tell them to stop it.”

Sometimes, I wonder if I’m reading things into the text that isn’t there, but plenty of others find problems and issues with the same material that I do.

In conclusion, concerning books, I encourage people to refrain from purchasing Keller’s and Viola’s books.  If someone told me that this kind of Christian psychedelic science fiction would be counted as theology twenty years ago, I never would have believed it.

 Save your money and read some good sci fi instead.

 ~ ~ ~

In the final post on this bizarre doctrine, I will explain what I was taught about the connection between marriage and holiness.  Marriage is not a sacrament (that which imparts holiness), but is an illustration of what Christ accomplished on the Cross.  I will include some closing thoughts from Shirley as well.

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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5 Responses to Is the Trinity a Sex Orgy? Part IV of Tim Keller on Sex: More Virtual Discussion with Shirley Taylor

  1. Cindy K says:

    Shirley,

    Thank you for reposting this particular item which I believe demonstrates how far we as the Church today have fallen so far from what we should be. I don’t know how anyone could read this kind of material written by the men I cite here and find it acceptable == apart from their names and their authority as experts. If a nobody had written such tripe, it would be easily dismissed as foolishness.

    There are reasons why we as Christians should remain accountable to one another — so that we remain focused on Christ and Him Crucified instead of hobby horse doctrines. Between parachurch organizations and these Christian superstars, not only has mutual submission fallen away between men and women — it’s fallen away from the community of ministers, apologists, and academics who used to keep one another honest. And the almighty dollar plays a role in the mess, too. A theologian may strongly oppose another peer’s aberrant doctrine, but because they fear losing their own source of income through donations, they will not risk challenging anyone.

    People tend to take mental shortcuts around critical thinking, but we take a risk by doing so. Tim Keller and Frank Viola present excellent examples of those who may be competent in one area of doctrine and/or ministry and curry respect from many. Because of those competencies, people rush to defend their honor and integrity concerning everything about them — even if the defender has no knowledge of these rock star ministers’ errors. While I’m encouraged by their loyalty and their willingness to defend what they believe to be true, I’m saddened.

    We tend to take too much for granted as believers, placing too much trust in such ministers — as though we’ve hired them to do our critical thinking for us. It’s as though we’ve “contracted out” our duty to renew our minds and to be transformed by the Word to others who pre-digest it for us. In that process, we become conformed not to the Word through the working of the Spirit in us. We’re conformed to the traditions of men by way of the traditions of men.

    Like

    • Cindy, you don’t know how much I appreciate you helping spread the word in the way that you do. You have so much knowledge and insight and hopefully, people will begin to understand what is happening. It is almost like if it has Christian attached to it, then it must be good (books, movies, sermons, etc.) But they are not all good. We must be discerning in philosophy and theology, not just in the hot topics such as abortion and same-sex marriages. There are some really bad theologies that can do far more harm to Christianity and Christians.

      Like

      • Cindy K says:

        The feeling is mutual, Shirley!

        I wept today, thinking about all of this. I keep thinking of what Jesus said to Saul Paulus on the Road to Damascus. “I am Jesus whom thou persecute.” That’s really what they’re doing with these teachings — and it breaks my heart. But it’s also that much better of a blessing when people like you see it and understand it for what it is.

        Like

  2. JRW says:

    It is amazing to me how much Biblical interpretation is pure speculation which has more to do with the proclivities of the speculator than anything else.

    Like

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