Understanding Sex

Alice von Hildebrand has recently taken issue with the way Christopher West explains John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Alice von Hildebrand is someone I greatly admire and respect, so when she speaks I listen. I know many others feel the same. Her main concern with West seems to be his lack of reverence when discussing something as “intimate” and “extremely serious” as sex. Von Hildebrand is also concerned that West does not respect the tremendous danger posed to us by concupiscence. Read the CNA article

Recently, West, in an interview with ABC, made remarks suggesting that Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body takes what was good in the sexual revolution a step further. West sees an explicit and “profound” conncection between Hugh Hefner and Pope John Paul II. Both saw that sex was good and natural, but only one (JPII) saw how sex can be sanctified. There is a good point to be made here, but it does lack reverence. But I think this is exactly what West is trying to do. He is trying to use “the language of the world” in order to show the world a “better way”, like a Trojan horse of Holy Love Making in the temple of the Aphrodite. This is fine as far as it goes, but I do share von Hildebrand’s concerns. If sex is sacred, it should be talked about with reverence. If sex is beautiful then it should be talked about in the language of beauty. This was something her husband, Dietrich von Hildebrand, was very concerned with. He wrote that one of the greatest sins that go unnoticed in our world is irreverence. Giving a proper response to value is what makes us human and a proper mark of reverence. An improper response to value belies irreverence. It seems this understanding of irreverence in response to value is what underlies Alice von Hildebrand’s concerns with West’s approach to sex. I tend to agree with her. Let us not be prudish Puritans, but lets us not be Holy Playboys either.

4 Responses to “Understanding Sex”


  1. 1 TW June 30, 2009 at 9:04 am

    good thing we have theoblogs.

  2. 2 Peter July 6, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    (1) On the face of it, the union and relationship of the one man Adam/Eve comprises that which reflects God, the one God who has an internal relationship. Let us make man in our image … in the image of God created He them. In New Testament terms, “man (male and female)” reflects “Trinity.”

    One might then be excused for thinking that Adam and Eve’s procreation (be fruitful and multiply) in some way mimics God’s act of creation.

    (2) In criticizing prostitution, Paul assumes the sexual union is almost a quasi-marriage: one with her in body (1 Cor. 6:16). In the same breath, Paul unmistakably alludes to Adam and Eve: “the two will become one flesh.” Thus the sexual union is what comprises “one flesh,” although God Himself, Paul reminds us, is incorporeal, is Spirit.

    Prostitution in some sense thus violates what it means for man to bear God’s image. Physical prostitution comprises a kind of spiritual adultery, though Paul in 1 Cor. 6 prefers to think of it in terms of violation of the temple of the Holy Spirit, where the temple is the physical body. In either case, the sexual act is a holy thing, and marital violation terrible to the core or our being and purpose.

  3. 3 Brandie March 21, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Simply desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clearness in your post is just cool and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.
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  4. 4 Dianna April 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I hardly leave comments, however i did some searching and wound up here Understanding Sex | Reason in
    the Light of Faith. And I actually do have 2 questions for you if you usually do not mind.

    Could it be only me or does it seem like a few of the remarks come across as if they
    are coming from brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting at additional
    sites, I’d like to follow everything fresh you have to post.
    Would you make a list of every one of your communal sites like your
    Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?


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