Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Does It Make a Difference?

OK, re the discussion going on here (scroll down a bit to the Mary and Mariology posts),* I'd like to ask a question that's been on my mind a long time. This should be pretty short on my part, but I hope will generate some discussion, and even thought.

There are number of differences between Christianity and Islam. Many of them center around the lives of their founders and around the different conception of heaven.

Jesus was, we confess, a life-long virgin. Muhammad married several times and had a healthy enjoyment of the sex act.

In the resurrection, Christians believe there will be neither male nor female, no marrying or giving in marriage, in short, no sex. Muslims, on the other hand, believe that sexual intercourse is an integral part of the experience of paradise. (As a pretty good non-sensationalist account of the religious significance of sex in Islam, I enjoyed this book.)

So here are my questions:

Does the perpetual virginity of Jesus diminish the incarnation or cast doubt on the goodness of sex? Is Jesus a model for our lives as well as a savior? If so does this difference between Jesus and Muhammad make any difference to our lives?

Does the resurrection life we are aiming for have some kind of connection to our view of the ideal life? If so does it make any difference to us now that in our view the ideal life to which we are tending has no sex?

*Thanks to John H for giving me the archive link!

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