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God's Glory, Man's Sexuality

Book Title: God's Glory, Man's Sexuality

Geoff Bingham

by Rev. Geoffrey Bingham

Subject: Relationships, God, Humanity

Pages: 277 pp, Book

Pub. Date: 1988

Book Code: 205

ISBN: 0 86408 093 X

PDF Download 591kb

See also:

Discovering Your Identity

I, The Man

Man, Woman & Sexuality

Profound Mystery (The)

Love & Marriage

God's Glory, Man's Sexuality

FOREWORD

Without doubt a spate of books on our subject has issued in the last three decades which has been unprecedented in the last 2,000 years of Christian history. Many of these books have been more concerned with the fact of human sexuality than with the truth of it. Of course a study of the phenomenology of man makes for a scientific approach to the matter of human sexuality, but it may add nothing much to research on the truth of the subject.

Our question is, 'Is there indeed an ontology of human sexuality?'. In other words can we get past our philosophies of sexuality to its created reality? In order to do this we must start with God, understand the reality of creation, and also of man as created by God. Immediately our subject enlarges.

It has seemed to me that when we research biblical anthropology we always commence with creation, and this is fair enough. However since God planned His telos of man and creation prior to the act of creation, we must go back to that wisdom and counsel of God in order to understand man. For example man as created was not total. He certainly was total as a created being, but not as a being for whom God had set a telos or goal. If what we suggest is true then man is always a becoming creature. He must never be regarded apart from the dynamic element of his becoming.

The ontology of humanity is linked of course with his creation. However it is no less linked with his telos, and this takes us into the realm of eschatology, i.e. the doctrine of the last things such as judgement, heaven and hell, eternal life, man's inheritance planned by God including his resurrection and glorification. We must look at man in the light of these, so that his sexuality can be more fully understood.

There is yet another element, namely that the Scriptures open the truth for us of God, creation, and man. The truth of Emmanuel, i.e. 'God with us' refers not only to creation with its doctrine of providence, but Christ's incarnation when God becomes man. The incarnation is not an end in itself, but is with a view to redemption, and this it accomplishes. Now that God and man are joined in Christ and the church becomes Christ's Bride, a new type of revelation of the truth comes to us. It is the opening up true feminity and true masculinity in the persons of the Bride and the Bridegroom, i.e. the Church and the Lamb.

We may care to treat this element under the terms of ontology, of archetypes and ectypes, something which in fact I have done in this book. Thus we are not dealing with analogy, but rather homology, and even more with distinct archetypes within ontology.

This then, brings us to examine masculinity and feminity as we discover them through the Bridegroom and the Bride, the relationships they exercise, and the goals (or goal) they have in view. We are then called to draw upon all our understanding of God, man, and the telos, of eschatology and creational theology. Since all of this is oriented to redemption, we see we need an examination of all the biblical materials.

The result of my own research is found in this book, and according to the mind of any reader may have great value, or very little. It may, however, trigger off a fresh line of enquiry for some readers. For the reader who calls himself 'simple' and who reads this Foreword, this very introduction may put him off reading the book. Let it not do so. I have found that people who call themselves 'simple' simply have a distaste for the complicated. The book itself should not prove complicated. It may just be that it is unravelling ideas which have made understanding of the subject difficult.

I urge the so-called simple reader to read the book, as I do those who see themselves as wise and intelligent. I believe the book is quite useful for discovering and applying the truth of human sexuality, rather than merely the fact of human sexuality. The facts of sexuality may well be a useful addition to what is set forth in this book, but to penetrate the truth may prove immediately to be the most valuable of the two exercises.

When we keep in mind the fact that today we view our sociality mainly from a humanistic point of view, and assume that humanism is the new but true philosophy by which to live then we may not be seeing truth in its own right. To make humanism our measuring rod for the value of belief and practice may blind us to the reality of truth. After all, humanism began with the primal couple, and is by no means a new thing; nor has it brought much joy to human history.

I strongly urge the reader, whatever concentration may be required to obtain the insights of this book, to pursue reading this volume, for I believe this treatment of God's glory and man's sexuality could yield palpable and practical results.

Geoffrey Bingham

Coromandel East, 1988