One of the problems in our theology of marriage and celibacy, as well as frankly most other topics, is that we often use the certain words interchangeably that don’t mean exactly the same thing. This of course causes all sorts of confusion and it makes it really hard to have theological conversations of any kind let alone a debate.
Now part of this is due to the English language itself. Now I’m fan of English, but let’s face it, some of our words cause problems. Think of the word love. I love my car, I love my dog, I love Mizzou, I love my wife, I love God. Obviously I love all these things differently and yet I’m given only one word to use.
But a lot of our problem comes from lazy theology and/or lazy language use. For example, while they are to varying degrees related, salvation, justification, and election are not theologically the same word, and yet we often treat them as if they were.
This is also true when it comes our theology in the contexts of marriage, celibacy and sexual sin. So today, I want to break down a couple of these words we use. I’m not expecting everyone to agree with me, but we have to at least try to talk about it because if we don’t have any nuance of language then we can’t really have much of a conversation about any of this.