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3 Responses to “Graphic Novel (pt. 5)”

  1. Gerard says:

    Mike,

    If Paul was to write to us today to consider modern day long-distance runners his point would be no less instructive because our long-distant runners wear shorts.

    I believe I follow most of what you are saying in that “to the pure all things are pure”, obscene is best defined as “without story”, the assent of the mind disembodied the gospel, and we should “lay aside every weight” that we might run with endurance.

    However, I do not find an appropriate connection between Paul’s exhortation to conduct ourselves as those who are running a long-distance race and the assertion that Paul was instructing us to learn specifically from the nudity of Olympians or that that the mark of an embodied gospel is nude baptism.

    Is it not the runner’s self-control – bodily and otherwise – (1 Cor 9:25) that Paul is exhorting us to consider and not the nudity?

  2. Josh Glaser says:

    Mike, thanks again for this series. I look forward to reading them each week and print many of them for the men and women we walk alongside in our ministry.

    I have two questions I’d love to hear your thoughts on:

    1. In this post, you make this great point: “The Bible defines anything out of context as obscene. Pornography is observing human sexuality out of context. Nudity – like that seen in the Louvre – is viewing the human body in the context of the unencumbered life so necessary for godliness.” Because many today are not trained to view the naked body in context, is there a sense then that pornography is in the eye of the beholder?

    2. It’s vital that evangelicals learn the truth by reading you and others who are communicating “sexuality in context,” but for many readers this is still primarily addressing the mind. Do you have recommendations as to how evangelicals can embrace or receive an embodied gospel in their bodies?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    – Josh

  3. Mike Metzger says:

    Josh:

    Kudos for thoughtful questions! I especially like this past of my work!

    Strictly speaking, pornography is not in the eye of the beholder. Properly defining pornography is not a self-referential exercise. But I “get” you point, and yes, in a sense, what can be pure can seem to be pornographic in the eye of someone with a wounded, defiled, legalistic, or seared conscience. Human conscience is the lens through which we perceive reality, so a warped lens (the kinds I described in the previous sentence) has a warped take on reality. Only a person of good conscience (I Timothy 1:5) can make the fine distinction between art and porn.

    Regarding your second question, you are exactly right on all points. Social media is a bit of myth – it’s the thinnest of “social.” Many evangelicals will have to face the reality that they should switch (or start) churches that “flesh out” these realities. You cannot experience the embodied gospel via the Internet. Nor can you experience it in “two-chapter” disembodied gospel churches, so prevalent today. This is one of those “brutal realities” that Jim Collins said leaders are willing to face. I’m at work on a book pointing out the trail markers to the kinds of churches embodying this “full-body” faith. Any and all prayers would be appreciated!

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