The Economy of Love by S. M. Hutchens

The Economy of Love

On Birth Control & Hedonism

More than one reader took exception to comments made by our editors and writers on birth control in the January/February issue, an example of which begins our letters section in this one. I wish—speaking as one of the Protestant editors—to speak here to three of the correspondent’s observations in particular: his application of the word “hedonist” to God—placed in quotation marks, to be sure, but still calling for comment—his opinions on large families, and his remarks on Calvin’s treatment of Onan’s sin.

Sexual relations as ordained by their Creator must be contemplated within the entire circle of virtues that love comprehends, which includes faith, hope, and obedience. In that observation is the response to the opinion that God is a hedonist: No, that is not the word to use, for while he is the originator of joy and its pleasures, he is not confused about the place or weight of anything in the scheme of the whole, nor chargeable with the preoccupation this term implies, a preoccupation in which the actual duties of love (following on faith, hope, and obedience) are forgotten in pursuit of pleasure.

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S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor and longtime writer for Touchstone.

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