(By John MacArthur)
Before we close this brief series, I promised to answer as many questions as possible from people who have commented here, via e-mail, through Twitter, and at Challies.com.
I first want to thank Tim Challies for his courage in hosting a discussion about this topic. The very mention of propriety and language obviously stirs contemporary evangelical passions—and not necessarily in a way that is helpful. It’s not easy to find forums on the Internet where such a volatile matter can be openly discussed with profit. And because of some of the very problems this series has addressed, even Christian forums aren’t always safe havens from profanity and grossly carnal behavior. I’m grateful to Tim for sponsoring a more dignified level of dialogue.
I resounded with the utter shock Tim expressed when he was exposed to some of the material from Driscoll’s Scotland sermon (the message that sparked this blog series). After reading some of Driscoll’s outrageous statements, Tim reacted the way any pure-minded Christian would react:
I have a real problem with anyone interpreting Song of Solomon like that . . . . To be honest, words fail me when I even try to explain myself—when I try to explain how I just cannot even conceive of Song of Solomon like that. The poetic nature of the Song is entirely eroded when we assign such meaning to it: such specific meaning. And I think as well of what it may do to a couple to be able to say “Look, this specific sex act is mandated in Scripture. So let’s do it.” That may be said to a spouse who has no desire to do that act or who even finds it distasteful. And yet with our interpretation of Song of Solomon, which we really have no way of proving (at least beyond a reasonable doubt) we are potentially bludgeoning an unwilling partner into doing something. I just … again, words really fail me here.
Tim, you were right to be shocked. The most shocking thing to me is that some people do not seem to be shocked at all. What would easily receive an NC-17 rating by the world is being heralded and defended by some in the church…