The Gospel Coalition and “Jesus is a Sexual Jesus”

Jesus wrapped himself in flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). However, according to an article written by a contributor for Themelios, a webpage for The Gospel Coalition: “…flesh is not merely a gender-neutral term for humanity, but often a euphemism for the sexual dimension of human experience.” In a review of the book, Intimate Jesus: The Sexuality of God Incarnate, J. Andrew Doole writes that this sexual dimension is a desire that even Jesus felt as a human being. But despite the crude way this is delivered, there is another assertion that should cause even the most sexually immoral person to raise an eyebrow before they can believe it.  Apparently, Jesus being in the bosom of the Father depicts “physical closeness,” which I assume is supposed to boost our understanding of Jesus and sexual intimacy.

It gets worse.

The author of the book goes on to call Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, “A Samaritan Bride and Her Jewish Groom.” While this might seem like an innocent title in another context, in this particular context, since the “watering-hole was a place to seek out a bride in Hebrew literature,” Jesus manages to find this woman when no one is around. And, the woman might have suspected that Jesus was flirting with her when he offered her living water. Yes, really. Moreover, because this “passage is overflowing with motifs linked to marriage and sexuality,” “Jesus comes across to them (the woman and the disciples) as every bit as sexual as the next man.” Lastly, in understanding this, it wasn’t just tiredness and thirst Jesus experienced, being incarnate. He also experienced “human sexuality, over which he exercised self-control, so that the anticipated climax of the scene never comes, as the two go their separate ways” (emphasis mine). Did I mention that it gets worse?

I wish this were a comedy. No. Scratch that! I wish this was never written in the first place! There is very clearly a sexual agenda here that boldly and purposefully steps over God-restricted boundaries in the continued effort to normalize sexual immorality. And in this nefarious effort lies the predictable implication of male “intimacy” between Jesus and his beloved disciple, John, which is shoved into the context of the gospel of John. Accordingly, “This disciple shares a similar intimacy with Jesus as the Son does with the Father, lying at his breast.” The author of this book goes on to say that the apostle John was prepared to risk being misunderstood in order to present the “the idea that God so loved the world that men could share this level of intimacy with one another physically, spiritually and emotionally…” And of course, we aren’t left with just how these terms are defined or explained by Doole. Just hints and insinuations. Like getting drenched with filthy, street water at the curb as a car drives by, so this contributor leaves us filthy and soaked with the implications of this reckless, linguistic drive by.

The worst part (yes, this is it), is that the contributor of this article (Doole), approved by The Gospel Coalition, seems to really believe that the apostle John “did not shy from such topics, but embraced them, toyed with them and denied them the expected climax. John’s Jesus is a sexual Jesus” (emphasis mine). Then, Doole praises the author of this book by saying, “But in his fine attention to the Gospel of John and ancient motifs of sexuality, Angel has provided a sensible and accessible resource for the discussion of sexuality in the New Testament and Christian life” (emphasis mine). Oh, how I wish we realize the terrible judgment we place ourselves in when we see Jesus in this manner! While the author of this horrible book will have to stand before God himself, the contributor and The Gospel Coalition also has much to be accountable for in the same regard.

Saints, an article like this one is so plainly false, that drawing out a long dissertation and addressing the unbiblical nature of it would be almost fruitless. At the very least, it is my hope an prayer that Andy Angel’s book has been grossly misrepresented. But because of the source of the article, and the implications it leaves us with, I this doesn’t seem to be the case. With this in mind, I propose there are at least three things we can do.

1) Let us repent of our own irreverence and misunderstandings of God. Apart from the grace of God, we too would be lost and dead in our own misinterpretations of Scripture and Christ. We must first bow our hearts in repentance before we stand up against those who blaspheme our God.

2) Email The Gospel Coalition. Plead with them to stand for the truth of the gospel and biblical Christology. Exhort them to challenge these kinds of topics, not approve of them. Such unbiblical and blasphemous implications are to be rightly scrutinized.

3) Pray for revival. We have become a generation so inoculated with sexuality, that even published works like this are making their way into the mainstream, seemingly without batting an eye. Our culture and our nation desperately need to believe the true gospel and a biblical view of Christ and the atonement.

-Until we go home


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