Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Romantic Conversion

Joe Carter quotes economist Robin Hanson:
A key pillar of modern morality is the sanctity of romantic love. We reel in horror at the thought of “backward” societies, including our ancestors’, who arrange marriages without intense emotional romantic love. While they think it nice if arranged partners have such romantic feelings, if that does not happen such partners are not to look for love elsewhere. They think a life without romantic love can be a fine life.

An intense emotional religious conversion is not the same as an intense emotional romantic love, and one is not a substitute for the other. But the two have much in common. In fact, one could argue that someone who has lived a life without ever experiencing an intense religious conversion is nearly as emotionally impoverished as someone who had never experienced an intense romantic love.

Yet our modern sensibility does not reel in horror at the thought of a life lived without an intense religious conversion. In fact, among our cultural elites religious feelings are seen as embarrassing, and low status; they think lives are usually better without such conversions. Why?
I heard someone advance an interesting theory about this the other day. It lies in the simple idea that sex is a transcendent experience. It is more than the satisfaction of a biological urge - it is the ultimate creative act - as close as we can come to doing what God did.

Thus we readily confuse the religious experience with the sexual one - people turn to sex/marriage when they should instead turn to God.

Like virtually everything around us - we make idols rather than turn to God. We avoid God, yet our desire for Him is so intense that we reach for any substitute at hand.

Or worse when we do turn to God, we do so in a manner that prevents His fullness from truly changing us. Either we approach it so intellectually that it is devoid of passion and our core emotional and spiritual nature remains unchanged, or we approach Him so emotional that there is no reason or thought to it.

We come to Christ both intellectually and passionately - with our whole selves.

I wonder what I am holding back?

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