And she does say the sorts of things in this book—about premarital sex and abortion and gay marriage—that make conservatives shudder. But in one respect at least, Knust, a School of Theology assistant professor, is a throwback. Long ago and in a place far away, Christians used to actually fear God. They saw a yawning gap between their limited intelligence and the mind of God. So they were exceedingly careful about presuming what God had to say about almost anything.
Through it, we can experience a restored sense of healing, joy, personal power to affect and be affected, passionate relationship, creative potency, and wondrous pleasure. When sexual relating functions this way in our lives, making love can be one of life's most delightful means of grace. The goodness of sexuality can be skewed, denied, or even destroyed by any number of means. The use of sex in an act of overpowering or coercing another, sexual abuse of children by adults, or the manipulation of sex as a tool of exploitation are examples of ways in which sexuality's goodness is marred or destroyed. Second, sexual intimacy is defined and linked with spiritual belonging by a reflective application of the incarnation.
Although I got a lot of things wrong when I was dating, I had one general policy I still do not regret: I felt it was best to keep my hands off the women I dated. And frankly, most of my relationships only lasted a couple of dates or a few months. So the chances seemed pretty high that getting physical would either unnaturally prolong relationships or make it really awkward when I saw a woman after a breakup. Some of these couples I only see on Facebook these days, but there are plenty of others whom I still see in person.