Christianity Today. And certainly bold content from Anna Broadway . A seeming reaction against Russell Moore's article- which disparaged romance novels,
Now, you can probably tell where Anna is going from the pejorative title itself. The sensationalist 'poisoning of the well', so to speak. And her article diffuses this poison.
Yet, Anna is to be commended for playing boldly where few women have played before. Certainly not a prude as suggested in the comments (which are far better than the article itself). She certainly tries to be biblical.
And has some sense of being contextual. But got waylaid by fear and 'tremble-ers'.
So, let's look at Anna's presentation:
The case of Onan is poorly presented. I have covered it here.
The case of Matthew 5 is poorly presented. I have covered it here.
Have addressed the "specific silence of the Bible on this". And the general 'lack of silence' here.
Have addressed the Trinitarian implications of this "cult". With an opposite conclusion here and here.
And have done more than just 'a word study' here. Not just "a carefully argued interpretation of one passage or verse".
Now Anna also mentions the 'implausibility of masturbation without fantasy'. An implausibility that I and others happen to dispute.
Implicit in this assertion of course- is the suggestion that 'fantasy is always wrong'.
Which again begs the question of my extensive study on this subject- "Is fantasy always illicit?".
A question that the Bible is certainly not silent on.
Yet, it seems middle-age Anna would rather be safe than sorry.
Would rather feel misguided bitterness- than feel misguided guilt.
Would rather lean towards asceticism.
Lean towards an endorsement of those who say, "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch [yourself] (Col 2:21 ESV).
Rather than towards an endorsement of "things that are excellent, praiseworthy and encouraging".
By avoiding an expression that is in fact excellent, praiseworthy and encouraging.
Indeed, avoiding an expression because illicit fantasies are "probably" involved.
Although, illicit fantasies are not necessarily involved.
Yes, Anna would rather avoid an expression that actually discourages temptation (1 Cor. 7:5).
And often encourages faithfulness.
Certainly not an ungodly expression- to be swept under the rug.
And as Anna puns, "There's the rub".