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Dallas Willard:

We are sexual beings: “male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27). This crucial passage ties sexuality to our creation in the image of God. It is a part of our power with which to serve him. In sexuality the intermingling of person, the knowing and being known that is characteristic of God’s basic nature, is provided in a special form for embodied personality. In the full sexual union, the person is known in his or her whole body and knows the other by means of his or her whole body. The depth of involvement is so deep that there can be no such thing as “casual sex.” It is a contradiction of terms—something very well understood by the apostle Paul, who, accordingly, taught that fornication is a sin against one’s own body (1 Cor. 6:18).

—Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives (New York: HarperCollins, 1988), 171.


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2 thoughts on “Why There Is No Such Thing as “Casual Sex””

  1. Michael says:

    The tragic thing is that there is “casual sex.” In our society it is ubiquitous. In fact millions count on it being casual. Work to make it so.

    I totally understand and agree with the words of Willard.

    What this should instead remind us of is the utterly incredible power we have in ourselves to cauterize our heart, mind and soul to a gift so powerful in order to make it exactly that, merely “casual.”

    While we absolutely need to be reminded by the truth that Willard is saying, if we just stop with that truth we may miss the deeper issue of trying to understand what our culture is both running from (true intense intimacy, joy, relationship, a living picture of God) and what it is running to (pleasure, fun, fill in the blank) and how they’ve been completely and effectively blinded (there is a victim here as well) by the forceful current of culture itself in this area.

    Only then can we have a connecting conversation with any real meaning that could lead us to the point Willard is making.

  2. Curt Day says:

    I agree with Willard’s statements about casual sex but another part of me understands the casual sex trend because of some of the desires I have had and I don’t think I am alone here. And both our knowledge of sex as God has designed it to be and our understanding of people’s misuse of sex because of either experience or desire have to be brought out together to gain a hearing before unbelievers and even some believers. It is not enough to just talk about these things in a loving way when we can partially identify with those who violate God’s Word, we need to speak as fellow sinners too.

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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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