Author Robin Shepard Arthur Roberts and I have something in common: we believe that the men and women friends in our contemporary churches need to "discover the ecstasy that arises from touch that wants to affirm not control." In his book, Messengers of God: The Sensuous Side of Spirituality, he succinctly summarizes in about 3 paragraphs what takes me about thirtysomething pages in my manuscript to say. Of course, I think there is a place for both! As I dream, I dream about Christian communities who can move past the romantic idealism in contemporary evangelicalism in such a way that men and women may not only deeply delight in their spouses but also in their cross-gender friends. In the twenty-first century, I see Christian communities--churches and academic institutions teaching on sexuality and friendship as spiritual and sexual formation. I'd love to do that!
"Physical affection is the moral use of touch," he notes.