Where I Am at Right Now with Theology of the Body


Well,  I have to admit that I have just about run out of steam with the Theology of the Body debate, which, God help us, is not preventing me from posting once again.  I suppose I should say something about the end of Christopher’s West’s sabbatical.  He has returned.

I don’t know that we are getting anywhere, unfortunately.  Christopher West, for example, says he is always learning from his critics, but he still maintains that we have misrepresented him in a number of “serious” ways.  And I am still waiting to find out what he considers we were right about.  Just to remind everyone: the objections were not all about style and presentation.  Well, at least he admits he lacked balance.  I am not sure what that means, but look forward to finding out what his new approach will be.

Unfortunately, this debate runs the risk of turning into a propaganda war.  Much of the criticism of one of my most recent pieces was that I was not nice.  But I already knew that.  Mea culpa.  Pray for me.  But also, please tell me why I am wrong about the doctrines contained (or not contained) in John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

Well, anyway.  I have said just about all I have to say for now.  I am not making any promises though.  Christopher West says he will be addressing the criticisms he has received in a number of articles.  He thanked his critics in that context, but then went on to speak of how his ideas have been misrepresented.  Again, I look forward to finding out both the reasons he has to thank his critics and the reason why he thinks they are wrong.  I do not plan to comment on each of his articles.  What interests me in view of avoiding a propaganda war is patterns verified by facts.

I will just leave you all with several thoughts.  One thing that neither side has talked about in all this is the element of the diabolical, and especially the way in which the evil one uses sexuality as a snare.  I only know of one article aside from the ones in which I have linked to it which comments on this phenomenon. I would be interested in what Christopher West has to say about this.

Another point to consider is it is absolutely incontrovertible that Christopher West’s version of Theology of the Body, along with that of Father Loya’s, minimizes the role of modesty.  In this view, modesty is relative and primarily interior, necessitated by a lack of domination over concupiscence, but not fitting in itself.  Where it does not fall away in the interests of a Christian regard for the body acquired by a growth in virtue it turns into prudery.  Think about diabolical influence in this context.  (In this vein, take a look at Father Loya’s defense of the paschal candle-as-phallus assertion and compare with my essay and the thesis of Dawn Eden.  You decide.)

You should all take a look at Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve’s critique of Dawn Eden’s thesis.  From Sister’s essay, one gets the impression that the critics of Christopher West have completely misunderstood his work, and would not be able to properly assess it unless they had followed all his circumlocutions over the last fifteen years and more.  Sister Lorraine asks:

Does any fair-minded observer really think it’s possible to accomplish this project in a master’s thesis of under 100 pages?

Huh?  No one could possible critique West in a master’s thesis of less than 100 pages?  I guess that means no one could possibly understand him at all unless they were capable of writing more than a 100 pages on what they had learned from him.  People have brought up the same issues with West since the beginning. See West’s Open Letter answering an early critic who had approached him privately.  Dawn Eden has not catalogued all the changes West has made over the years because she is interested in the positions West currently holds with which she disagrees.  Or is Sister Lorraine claiming that at this point West and Eden have nothing really to disagree about?

This is like arguing that no one can really say anything intelligent on the matter unless they have read everything West has ever done and then attended all his public appearances and have done a textual analysis of all the content from a strictly technical point of view before one decides to agree or disagree with him.  Until then, we should just all be obedient sheep and rely on episcopal approbations.  West’s work has been effectively canonized.  I have been a part of this debate for some time.  I know how West’s disciples interpret him.  Dawn Eden is not putting an adversarial spin on West’s work.  She is criticizing West on the basis of the way he is being understood by those who support him.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard from disciples of West something to the effect that “we shouldn’t cover women up because that is to treat the female body as evil.”  That is just one example.

Sr. Lorraine’s critique covers the whole of Dawn Eden’s thesis.  I will let you compare and contrast.  I would just suggest that before you accept anyone’s interpretation of John Paul’s text, that you read it for yourself.  Whenever someone quotes one sentence, or paraphrases, or includes multiple incomplete sentences as quotes in a single paragraph, or inserts the telltale ellipsis (. . .), read the whole paragraph in the pope’s writings carefully, or better, read the whole general audience.  I submit that what you will find is that the Westians are often hyper-sexualizing the text, making it do work for which it was never intended.

Here is an example from Sr. Lorraine’s critique.  The first paragraph a quote from Christopher West, quoting the Holy Father.  The second is Sr. Lorraine quoting directly the Holy Father:

“As John Paul shows us, the question of sexuality and marriage is not a peripheral issue. In fact, he says the call to “nuptial love” inscribed in our bodies is “the fundamental element of human existence in the world” (General Audience 1/16/80). In light of Ephesians 5, he even says that the ultimate truth about the “great mystery” of marriage “is in a certain sense the central theme of the whole of revelation, its central reality” (General Audience 9/8/82).” . . . . [Yes, please check out the text to see what I am leaving out with the ellipsis.]

But there’s one more thing. What does Pope John Paul say about this issue? Referring to the spousal analogy in Ephesians 5, he says: “Given its importance, this mystery is great indeed: as God’s salvific plan for humanity, that mystery is in some sense the central theme of the whole of revelation, its central reality. It is what God as Creator and Father wishes above all to transmit to mankind in his Word” (TOB 93:2)

I will now provide you with the actual texts of the Holy Father:

For the present we are remaining on the threshold of this historical perspective. On the basis of Genesis 2:23-25, we clearly realize the connection that exists between the revelation and the discovery of the nuptial meaning of the body, and man’s original happiness. This nuptial meaning is also beatifying. As such, it manifests in a word the whole reality of that donation which the first pages of Genesis speak to us of. Reading them, we are convinced of the fact that the awareness of the meaning of the body that is derived from them—in particular of its nuptial meaning—is the fundamental element of human existence in the world.

This nuptial meaning of the human body can be understood only in the context of the person. The body has a nuptial meaning because the human person, as the Council says, is a creature that God willed for his own sake. At the same time, he can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself (General Audience 1/16/80).

******

In the overall context of the Letter to the Ephesians and likewise in the wider context of the words of the Sacred Scriptures, which reveal God’s salvific plan “from the beginning,” one must admit that here the term mystérion signifies the mystery, first of all hidden in God’s mind, and later revealed in the history of man. Indeed, it is a question of a “great” mystery, given its importance. That mystery, as God’s salvific plan in regard to humanity, is in a certain sense the central theme of all revelation, its central reality. God, as Creator and Father, wishes above all to transmit this to mankind in his Word (General Audience 9/8/82).

It seems to me that the sense of these texts is that the nuptial meaning of the body points to the fact that God created us for Himself and that we find our true identity in self-giving.  This self-giving of Christ is the central theme of all revelation and is expressed in the language body.  It is the “nuptial meaning” of the body, not the body itself or sexuality that constitutes the “great mystery.”  In other words, God gives us the body in order to point to Christ, He does not give us the body in order to point to itself.  There is a real difference.  And the difference is expressed, for example, in one’s willingness or unwillingness to simulate a sex act in the Easter Liturgy.  For those who see the nuptial meaning of the body as central, such a thing is pornography.  For those who see bodily sexuality itself as central, such is liturgical prayer.

I am not sure whether West still holds the following position, but I do remember that in the first edition of the “Naked without Shame” tape series, he claimed that it was important to understand the “revelation” of the nakedness of Christ on the cross.  I am not here going to take up the question as to whether the loin cloth is historical.  I remember West claiming that it was not.  What is important to me is that he stated that while most people would not be able “to handle” the nakedness of Jesus, they miss out because of it.  To me this is theological madness.

Yes, West may have “evolved,” but the tenor of his work has not.

And this leads me to Mark Shea’s latest piece on theology of the body.  Shea sees what everyone else with open eyes sees, namely, that the TOB team USA is presenting TOB as a theory of everything.  He sums up his points in the following way:

If you do smell something amiss, don’t panic or declare it to be the fruit of somebody’s monstrous will to subvert and destroy the Faith. Assume “blunder” before “diabolical plot.” Conversely, if you find something fruitful, good, and beautiful in the TOB, don’t run off and declare it a revolution in Catholic thought that will provide an All-Explaining Paradigm of Everything in Time, Space, and Eternity. It’s a human school of thought, not the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

In a word, relax. It’s just somebody’s opinion, not the End of the World or the Consummation of All Things.

Earlier in the essay he makes the point that the corpus of TOB is not magisterial because it is only a series of general audiences, and not an encyclical.  I am not sure I would refer to it as “not magisterial,” but I certainly agree that it is essential to place this single corpus of general audiences in the context of the whole teaching of the Church, and give to it a relative importance and not an absolute authority.  The problem with so much of this TOB enthusiasm is that  it is being presented as a theory of everything and the absolute trump card for every possible objection.

I would just say that I find it odd that Mark Shea hovers over the controversy and declares it to be relatively unimportant, when in fact West, Father Loya and others are presenting TOB as the theory-of-everthing-trump-card.  That is not a small matter because it is the sexualization of Christianity and more akin to the pagan religions that Christianity replaced than to the historical reality of Christian faith.

I imagine this game of theological ping-pong will continue until Rome intervenes.  I had hoped that would not be necessary.  What I see in this unwillingness to place the Theology of the Body in the larger context of Church teaching looks more like the pagan worship of sex than it does the Christianization of marriage and sexuality.  It is time to abandon the sex-obssession and to stop trying to baptize it.

23 thoughts on “Where I Am at Right Now with Theology of the Body

  1. Fr. Geiger,

    Thank you for another excellent piece regarding this controversy.

    Like you, I am beginning to tire. I continue the dialogue on Sr. Lorraine’s site because it continues to be charitable, fair, and I think both sides are listening openly to the other.

    But I would rather this just be resolved. It is like the Medjugorje issue, which I also wrote a lengthy article on (http://wademichaelstonge.blogspot.com/2010/08/apologetics-discerning-spirits-fresh.html). That remains my “definitive response” to the question on what I think of Medjugorje, and for those who are interested in hearing what I have to say, it is there for all to read.

    Regarding Theology of the Body, I have said my say on my blog (http://wademichaelstonge.blogspot.com/2010/09/theology-of-body-debate-critique-and.html), and that is where I send everyone who wants to argue with me about it. If they do not wish to read it, that is where I end our conversation.

    Bless you, Father, and hopefully you will join us in continuing, at least in some small way, to the discussions on Sr. Lorraine’s blog.

  2. By the way, the most frustrating thing for me is that the substance of Dr. Schindler’s initial critique has still not been responded to. Waldstein’s two replies did not address the issues or counter the attacks, but the mere fact that he replied convinced many that Schindler was wrong and West right. That is the frustrating thing, and makes me believe that indeed, as you say, it has become a “propaganda war” where reason is trumped by emotion.

    Among many, there is a seeming inability to “stick to the issues”, and there are many people who have been impacted positively by West that will disagree prima facie with any critique because their positive experiences with West’s materials “prove” to them the critiques are misplaced, just as Medjugorje supporters point to their conversions there as “proof” that Mary is really appearing there.

  3. Not sure what all the controversy is about but because to West and TOB my husband had his vasectomy reversed, I dress modestly, and my children are being taught the true teachings of the Church regarding sexuality. 35 women in my Mom’s group did his study and there was a baby boom 9 months later. Amazing what happens when you view yourself in God’s eyes rather than societies.

  4. I will first say that I have neither read all of our Late Pope’s TOB text in its entirety nor have i read/ listened to all of West’s interpretation in its entirety. If I could find a way to make an 8th day in my week, this would surely be something I would hop right on! However, what I keep hearing is that West probably makes very many wonderful points and, as Elena points out, much fruit has probably come from it. Yet, it seems that there are dangerous subtleties to West’s interpretation.

    God clearly created our bodies as He did and He clearly gifted us with the ability to be co-creators with Him. Yet, this was not the be-all-end-all or single persons (whether secular or religious) would have lives that were totally meaningless. Their ‘sexual’ energy is used in a very different way … as is a married person’s at times. If one doesn’t look carefully at this, the subtleties can quickly skew one’s whole viewpoint of human sexuality. The older I get, the more I recognize how dangerous the subtleties truly are; they’re insidious. It’s easy to be fooled by the details that seem all so right and miss the underlying danger. It’s like a field of mines, if you will. It looks like a beautiful green pasture but if you’re not careful, what lies beneath that green pasture could destroy you.

  5. Further to Father Geiger’s correct understanding of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, please see Cardinal Arinze’s catechesis on Theology of the Body here:

    http://arinze.libsyn.com/ (These podcasts are free, and they are the Truth. I don’t think Cardinal Arinze sells lots of books and DVDs, but that is the way with the Truth…those who posess it are unknown)

    Regarding those who think Fr. Geiger is “not nice” for his critique of Christopher West’s interpretation of Theology of the Body: When one speaks the truth, one of the first reactions from people who do not want to hear the truth is to attack the person who has spoken it by telling him he “is not nice”, etc.. Whether the accuser realizes it or not, it is meant to silence the person. It is an ad hominem attack…totally irrelavent to the arguement.

    To intepret Theology of the Body or any other development in doctrine in the light of Catholic teaching requires humility. At the root of those who do not want to do so is intellectual pride.

    Father John Hardon stated on discernment of truth from error:

    “How to discriminate? All that I have just said is the answer to “how”. But let me add three suggestions at the end. First, watch the conduct of people. Ideas are often hard to identify; people can be recognized. Are they humble and patient? Are they respectful of the Holy See? Are they docile to the teachings of the Church? If they’re not, no matter what else you may like about them, protect yourselves – they are dangerous. Second, by expecting false teachers to disguise their intentions. They are attractive; they are disarmingly nice people; they are, generally, pious people. Expect error to be in disguise. And finally, by recognizing with Saint John that the surest mark of Christ’s spirit in what we hear, in what we read, in what we see or observe is the humble submission to Christ’s teaching. And conversely, the plainest mark of the Antichrist is the proud unwillingness to follow this teaching as interpreted by the Church. The first is to be followed because it is true; and truth is identified by humility. The second is to be avoided because it is false; and falsehood is always identified by its pride.”
    (http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/discern.htm)

    Finally, if one is living a sacramental life (frequent reception of the Eucharist and Confession) and praying, one can read the original work of John Paul II and meditate upon it and understand it. After all, John Paul II gave his talks to a GENERAL audience (men, women, children from all over the world…from all walks of life). He didn’t give the talks to a room full of so-called theologians.

    Thank you Father Geiger for your courage and witness to the Truth.

  6. Great post. First let me say thank you for a very thought out and calm response. Many times I find myself reading other blogs where the obsession of this topic has reached a fever pitch and the only attitude expressed is one of malice towards anyone who remotely likes Mr. West and are automatically labeled a “westian” or other derogatory name.

    As for me I think West makes some good points and has written excellent books; and like so many have enjoyed learning on how the Church views sexuality. Soon after this whole thing blew up, starting with the ABC interview, I realized that there were some faulty views Mr. West had, which I guess subconsciously I picked up on and ignored. In a sense, his sometimes strange comments, such as the paschal candle-as-phallus for example, did not bother me as much because I knew West is not infallible nor did I see TOB as the be all and end all of Catholicism. So I simply kicked that comment to the curb and continued with the lesson.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do care if misrepresentation of church teaching is being taught and do feel that anyone who persists in making misrepresentation should be held accountable (including Mr. West) and given a chance to change. But I would much rather take a St. Francis approach to reformation than a Martin Luther one.

  7. It has occurred to me, talking to a friend about this matter, that the term “Theology of the BODY” is a mis-characterization of the subject matter.

    It is the theology of Persons, body and soul, in the nuptial relationship.

  8. Dear Father Angelo,

    I love the picture you chose and I’m sure in dealing with all of this, plus trying to start writing about the occult as you previously mentioned, you must relate to this picture oh too well.

    I will continue to pray for your strength. I wish we could ‘hold your hands up’ like was done with Moses to help you continue the fight against evil.

    God bless you for your tireless efforts.

  9. I think I know what Mr. West meant by his “lack of balance”. As I said on my blog piece, he has been doing so much traveling around the country and world that he has left himself little time to be there as husband to his wife and father to his children. He is busier than many celibate priests.

    He was not speaking of his presentations (although I think he lacked balance there too). He was talking about not being there enough for his family.

  10. @Wade, I tend to agree. It seems reasonable that a man would come to the realization that he lacked balance in his life after spending a lot of time with his family. Given West’s comments about his critics, I don’t have any confidence that he believes his presentations lacked balance.

    @Fr. Angelo, thank you for all the time and energy you’ve expended on this issue. It hasn’t been wasted.

  11. I think there’s a few issues here:

    1.) A lot of the scholarship revolving around TOB is very new. Many of Mr. West’s ardent defenders in my view seem utterly unable to answer any of the objections because of this aspect. They treated TOB as the “theology of everything”, and when they found intelligent and articulate Catholics able to offer a rebuttal, they aren’t sure how to react. (With the exception of Sr. Lorraine, almost to a person West’s defenders have been wildly polemical and scoffed at the very notion that they should have to provide any evidence for their assertions.)

    Because of this, I think in the future, fruit will come from the critique’s. West’s views for the most part hold few if any devotees in the academic realm (the scholarly journals and the like), nor many serious philosophers. So like most populist movements, it will die out eventually.

    2.) For those who are critics of Mr. West, here is the more difficult task. Having already demonstrated that Mr. West is wrong, there now needs to be an alternative to his viewpoints. They need to start pounding the streets, showing how the traditional understandings West omits are not prudish, Manichean, or silly, but something inherently beautiful and great about them. On a one on one basis, I can say that people are receptive to this kind of thing who are also devotees of West. An interesting project, for those who wish to do it. (I for one find JPII’s philosophical style rather boring lol.)

  12. Dear Fr. Geiger,
    I thank you for your insights regarding the TOB interpretation. I have sat back on the sidelines and have studied this with intense interest. And I write here now as it seems every critique is ultimately batted away by the TOB defenders with the insinuation that the academics just don’t get it. I guess I weigh in as one of those “nonacademic” regulars then who fits their target demo. To prove my credibility here is my profile: former entertainment industry exec in Hollywood who has huge conversion along with husband also former Hollywood exec. No masters degrees. No catachesis. No ability apparently to read the writing of the late great Pope John Paul II. After said conversion we were inundated with a sort of “fast food” slew of worldly movements w/in the church designed to keep us in “the problem ” IMO. And then some great soul thought enough of us to share JPIIs writing on his experience with St. Louis de Montfort’s consecration to Our Lady in “True Devotion” wow! And then shortly after another soul shared with us ab St Maximilian Kolbe’s consecration taking it even deeper and urging us to do the same “as soon as possible” so we went to Jesus through Mary and our path became very clear. The innocent nature of Our Lady is essential to our obediance. I write in here as a voice from the common Catholic who is observing the West phenomena as if it was another mass marketed product from my former profession. But what is not being shared on these blogs is the affect that these parents – in the lack Marian dimension in TOB- are now passing down to their children hypersexualizing these little souls. One such family who teaches ” Gods plan” shared with us their graphic description of their love making which they share each morning with their 6 year old at breakfast. As they walked by a photo of my children with an order of nuns in habits the wife off the cuff murmered ” oh my daughter has NO interest in being a nun”. O course not she is being filled with emotional pornography. As we come up on St. Jerome’s feast it might be wise to flip back a fee pages in our church’s history and remember what this wise man who translated our bible into Latin : ” one can lose his virginity with a thought”. On last thing this is crucial to work on getting his work out of the dioceses. It may have some short term gains but another family who teches it has recently taken it upon themselves to walk around the house naked and they have children 7 and under. When I mentioned the lack of Marian dimension in Wests programs both couples dismissed me with “oh these people aren’t ready for Mary” if parishes taught in marriage preparation about what St. Kolbe and St. De Montfort had to say that seems to me in my experience to teach ” the narrow path”. When I think about the little souls in the next generation as well as the current one who are being lead astray it is difficult not to stay on this topic. One thing I can thank West for is in sensing the counterfeit has caused me to read and grow deeper in my faith which has only served to bring us closer to Our Lady at the foot of The cross of Jesus. As difficult as it is to continue on this topic rest assured that many souls are depending on it. Sorry for the long email. Please count on my prayers! Ave Maria!

  13. Ps. In thinking it over further I wanted to add this post to clarify that I did not mean in any way to be uncharitable to the two couples I cited in my post. I love these people. I bring them up bc like some of the religious you cited these are the interpretations of the interpretor himself. In the case of my couples I want to share further that they are pro-life, pro-traditional marriage Catholics who are considered to be leaders in 2 good dioceses. My point is these are the self proclaimed JPII generation whom we are all counting on to be the life blood of the church. That is why I do conclude that there is the presence of the diabolical here. It is not a case of ” you say potato I say potahto” it is serious division within the JPII generation who will defend these ideas and pass them down. JPII was also famous for saying in his mediations on the message of Fatima ” we don’t need a lot of new ideas… just reminders”. God bless and Mary keep!

  14. Monica,
    I am just stupefied by your comments and I am sick about what those little children are being exposed to. I agree with Wade St. Onge …. Mr. West should be alerted to this. Granted there are always people who take things the wrong way, but clearly this is an example of people trying to help their children see the beauty in the body by exposing them to soft-porn and/or a nudist colony in their own homes! I will pray for these family member of yours (and any other families who are confused like this). I am so sorry that you must carry this cross.

  15. Dear Fr. Geiger, Wade, Jen and all,
    I may be way out of my league in my assessments nor have I been too public on my private findings. But I can assure you that privately there have been attempts to bring these matters to light. Until I found this blog I had only found 2 people who were brave enough to engage this topic which is a concern. Please edit me if I am out of line in going one step further Fr. Geiger! My one step is that of we can not count on West to issue a major mea culpa and ask for help from his critics which may or may not be happening I admit I would not know. I found his critics to be more eloquent than I was so he may be consulting with these helpful leaders. However my one step further is this: if he is not able to take these lifelines being offered than what is it going to take? Which Bishop will take this on? I really believe that the people who are buying into this “parish leaders, lay faithful, priests etc” for the most part there are exceptions but for the most part to be Ignation about it ( as my spiritual advisor would advise) I firmly believe the good backers are innocent of being able to detect the deeper fall out either from lack of experience or formation or both. Because of my background my husband and I went silent taking a pg from St Paul or 7 years an still do not try to resume any leadership or roles which could draw attention or attract power. This was how Our Lady lead us to be quiet and listen and read. But still we do have that past which is like a “Screwtape Letters” for red flags. Trying preserve the innocence of one’s children I can assure is like ground zero for warefare. It is relentless. And when something isn’t suitable for a child at this point chances are it shouldn’t be suitable for an adult. For example, in trying to be solution oriented there should be a much more innocent interpretation of ” theology of the Body” which could aim at the sheer wonder and mystery of the body which should reflect back on the creator in truth. One last thing I do apologize for being so long winded my mea culpa (can I blame it on my Irish heritage?) one last thing I will mention is that one couple a marriage prep couple mentioned to me that C West taught them that God said in the Garden of Eden ” not yet” in reference to the eating from the tree of knowledge. I investigated this with a scholar of Greek who explained that this was not true. If I mistaken on this point pls feel free to correct me. Regardless the point I trying to make is that we have a large marketing machine and publishing company who is tied in with many parishes and offering a platform for Bishops parish leaders priests and lay faithful in key leadership positions. I love these people and believe they have no sinister motives in getting connected with these offers and programs. But the fact remains The very best thing would be if West could an I realize how humbling this would be- but if he could reverse his sexualized ideas that would be the best he could do for our church right now. I do promise to pray for this intention. God bless and may this all end up in the loving arms if Our Lady!

  16. It really depends on the way West uses the “not yet.” Now as far as the text goes, it was a clear “no.” “Knowledge” of good and evil implied “authority” (in a particular sense) over good and evil. (Something West rightly notes in TOB explained when talking about the nuances of the Hebrew concept “to know.”)

    Now if West wanted to say that as we become “partakers of the divine nature” we have knowledge of what is good, what is evil, and choose the good (ultimately in heaven being removed from the stain of sin always choosing the good in worshipping God eternally), then maybe so. Yet it’s just another example of West being sloppy.

  17. I would say that the behaviors mentioned by Monica are not an aberration, but rather something that has historical precedent. I was just reading Fr. Knox’s book “Enthusiasm”, history of Christian sects, and came across this in the book:

    “Thus the Beghards ‘looked upon decency and modesty as marks of inward corruption, as the characters of a soul that was still under the dominion of the sensual, animal, and lascivious spirit, and that was not reunited to the divine nature.’ This was the account they themselves gave of their promiscuous lodging and the nudism practiced in their assemblies”
    (P. 125, 1961 paper edition)

    It seems to me that this is what Mr. West is saying. Namely, that if you are concerned about modesty, then you are not mature in your faith, i.e. you are not “reunited to the divine nature”.

    Apparently, this is a continuing temptation for Christians; e.g. see Wikipedia article on Christian naturism. There you will see the arguments for Christian nudism, and these seem to be similar to what Christopher West is propounding.

  18. Philip,

    This sounds like the similar logic that has been used to teens over the last decade or more … SHOW them and TEACH them MORE and MORE about sex and once they truly get it and understand, why, it will reduce the promiscuity and teenage pregnancies.

    NOT.

    Total opposite has happened. Show them, talk more about it and as my husband said, if they weren’t thinking about it before, they are now!

    Christian nudism … I’ve heard it all now. God save us.

  19. Pingback: Christopher West’s Translation of John Paul II’s Body Language « Mary Victrix

  20. Pingback: Compendium of TOB Posts « Mary Victrix

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