The man said, “This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”- Genesis 2:23
In Chapter 9 (“Naked and Unafraid: The Paradox of Vulnerability and Authority”) of I’d Like You More . . . , John Ortberg writes that most of us think of authority and vulnerability as two points along the same continuum. As a result, we think we must set as our goal to maximize authority and minimize vulnerability (citing Andy Crouch, Strong and Weak).
However, John stresses, God created us to have both great authority and great vulnerability. Andy Crouch defines the two terms:
1. authority – the capacity for meaningful action
2. vulnerability – exposure to meaningful risk
As Pastor Ortberg observes, we see in Jesus the ultimate combination of the two. Thus, only Jesus offers us ultimate intimacy.
Furthermore, as Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggeman notes, the words Adam used to recognize Eve speak about one person in total relation to another. In other words, intimacy thrives on the connection between bone and flesh. Here bone symbolizes strength, power, and might. And flesh represents softness, frailty, and vulnerability.
Finally, the diagram at the top shows the range of possible combinations involving authority and vulnerability. For example, suffering, exploitation, or withdrawal mark relationships lacking authority and/or vulnerability. Lacking both marks the worst possible case. And sin promises authority without vulnerability. However, sin turns those terms around. You’re vulnerable without authority. Therefore, true intimacy grows only when both are genuinely present.
Today’s question: What crack allows the light of Jesus to enter you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “In the beginning – exquisite vulnerability”