Joshua Ryan Butler
(For all other podcast platforms: The Naked Gospel podcast)
All around us we hear the message that sex has no real meaning. Sex is just fun; the body doesn’t matter. We are told that sex is whatever we want it to be. Or to say it another way, sex has no inherent meaning—no meaning on its own.
Yet, we’re sex obsessed. A large majority of people (Christian and non-Christian) regularly watch pornography. Casual sex is the assumed norm for sexual relations. And hookup apps are the most downloaded apps in the world.
We all observe this, and the questions that naturally comes from these observations is, if sex is meaningless and trivial, then why are we obsessed with it, and why does it so powerful across all demographics—age, income, race, education, and gender?
To look at it another way, if sex is meaningless, why is there such intimate trauma—physiological, biological, psychological, social—from sexual abuse?
More specifically, if sex is meaningless why are we instinctively hurt and outraged from sexual violation?
Doesn’t our reaction to sexual violation show us that sex is intensely powerful, acutely intimate, and inherently meaningful? Why is sex powerful, intimate, and meaningful? What does sex show us that we are ignoring by treating it casually or not speaking about it at all?
Pastor and author Joshua Ryan Butler joins us for a conversation on the meaning of sex. We discuss how we are turning to sex for salvation—pleasure and hope in the hardships of life. We discuss how sex is powerful, why God gave it us as a gift, and why we naturally experience intense trauma when sex is violated.
Fundamentally, we explore with Josh Ryan Butler why did God give us sex, and how God has given us sex to reveal our relationship with Him.
A Few of the Interview Questions:
Does sex have meaning, and how is sex meaningful?
Why does sex have such a powerful presence in every culture?
Can sex be casual?
What does sex have to do with God and us?
To what extent is sex in marriage a metaphor for our relationship with God?
Is all of this just for married people or is this for singles as well?
At a theological level, why is sexual violation traumatizing and wrong?
What does union and intimacy with God look like day to day, for both married folk and singles?
How does this connect to salvation and the gospel?
Josh currently serves as lead pastor of Redemption Tempe, a thriving church near Arizona State University, one of the largest colleges in the country. Prior to 2018, Josh served as an outreach pastor for fifteen years at Imago Dei Community in Portland (OR). Josh’s latest book is Beautiful Union: How God’s Vision for Sex Points Us to the Good, Unlocks the True, and (Sort of) Explains Everything (Waterbrook/Multnomah, April 2023). He is also the author of The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell. To see Josh’s work check out his website here!