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Marriage is a Thin Place

November 10th, 2023 | 9 min read

By Zephram Foster

In the aftermath of the much discussed controversy surrounding Josh Butler’s book Beautiful Union, Rod Dreher summarized some of the issues with the uproar around the article. Specifically, Dreher highlighted the lack of historical and theological perspective brought to it by evangelicals at large. When evangelicals have an instinctive gut reaction against sacralizing language of the sort used by Butler, it’s usually because we’ve been brought up in an age in which the spiritual is neatly divided from the physical. The things we believe about the afterlife aren’t necessarily important to the way we treat the body, the Earth, and the physical realm—or so we think. We’ve been taught (more by behavior and implication than by explicit words) that salvation is an individual issue, and it pertains to the far off spiritual future alone. Many evangelicals would be shocked to learn that the kind of thing Butler is doing in his excerpt isn’t a new, progressive, sexualizing effort imposed upon theology - but is in fact, the overwhelming testament of the historical theology of the Christian church. Some authors have referred to “thin places,” by which they mean places where the division between the seen and unseen seems to diminish or blur. We might say that marriage is just such a place.

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Zephram Foster

Zephram Foster writes from Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He works in higher education, and in youth ministry in a Reformed Baptist Church. He creates in various formats such as songwriting, blogging, and hosting a film podcast called Not Qualified.