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Pastor apologises for likening sex to Christ and the Church in TGC article

by Kelly Valencia

A pastor and author who compared salvation and the Church to sexual intimacy has apologised for his "unwise" choice to include that specific excerpt in the article published in The Gospel Coalition (TGC).

Authored by Joshua Ryan Butler, the article sparked criticism on social media as it included an expert of his book 'Beautiful Union', which declared ", Christ penetrates his church with the generative seed of his Word and the life-giving presence of his Spirit".

Many described the passage as "heresy".

Now, Butler told Preston Sprinkle from the 'Theology in Raw podcast' that while he stands by his work, he recognises it was "unwise to allow that excerpt to be used in a short article".

"My response from my heart has been extremely heavy the last few weeks, particularly where my lack of nuance evoked pain in some people's stories," he said. "If that's you, I can only ask for your understanding and grace."

In the now-deleted article, Butler also used the sexual act to describe what it means to be a follower of Christ.

"Generosity and hospitality are both embodied in the sexual act. Think about it. Generosity involves giving extravagantly to someone. You give the best you've got to give, lavishly pouring out your time, energy or money."

Butler explained told Sprinkle that the excerpt's "loaded language" was meant to be understood within the context of his book. He said he wanted to show that God creates sexual intimacy also points to the Gospel.

Following the backlash, TGC announced Butler's resignation from The Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics, where he was due to teach an online cohort.

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