This conversation is an evaluation of the work of Sheila Wray Gregoire, host of the Bare Marriage Podcast, and author of many popular books including The Great Sex Rescue: The Lies You’ve Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended, She Deserves Better: Raising Girls to Resist Toxic Teachings on Sex, Self & Speaking Up, and, most recently, Fixed It For You: Rescuing and Reframing Common Evangelical Messages on Sex and Marriage Vol. 1.
Our review of her work notes that Gregoire represents the last stage in the Evangelical world’s “struggle” (a beloved Christian-ese term for failure) to preserve a theological and spiritual grasp of the person. Her view of marriage offers a bare nod toward the Christian telos of that estate. She teaches about sex from the unquestioned assumptions of two decades ago—Christians can have good sex too! God wants you to be happy! Great sex is one of the markers of Christian Flourishing that is essential for what it means to be a healthy, well-rounded person! These messages ring hollow in a post-Christian materialist neverland where young people are happy to identify as “spiritual” but are, ironically enough, not equipped with the tools necessary to understand what the spirit is, nor what the body is for. The spiritual needs of the person are everywhere eclipsed by carnal ones.
Absent from Gregoire’s work is any discussion of the transcendent, metaphysical spiritual soil that produced the fruit Gregoire is so eager to devour. Discussing sex, especially as a Christian, in exactly the same way as publications like Glamour or Vogue is an assumption of a philosophic framework that, to me, feels like sawing at the very branch one is sitting on. The reason that women and men are both to honor each other with their bodies is because God made men and women in his image and redeemed them to be the Church. The call to sanctification and holiness requires at least an attempt to honor and uphold the spiritual goods of marriage and sex, even while trying to instruct married people how to do it “better.”
This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with JOURNAL author Anne Kennedy about her online article, “Sex and The Evangelical Girl: A Review of Sheila Gregoire“.
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