My latest post Theology of the Trench Coat does not begin to scratch the surface of what's wrong with Christopher "Wild Wild" West.
On page 186 of his new book At the Heart of the Gospel, West says ...
As we let the fundamental truth about good and evil sink in more and more deeply, it changes our whole approach to evil. We overcome it not by categorically "throwing it out". Why not? Because there is always a baby in that bathwater ... We ultimately conquer evil not by wagging fingers at it, but by "suffering it" in union with Christ.
This, my friends, is plain rationalization.
West is saying (slyly and in happy-clappy theological terms that are hard for college girls to see through) that you should view pornography because there is a good at the heart of it. Evil is merely the privation of good, therefore evil has no real existence, therefore seek the good even amidst the evil. You should not block porn sites from your computer, for that is "wagging your finger" at evil. Instead, see the body with the redeemed eyes given us by the risen Christ and you can use porn for the good that's there, not the evil that isn't.
This reminds me of nothing so much as Carl Jung, the gnostic psychologist who was my biggest hero in my atheist days. I read the entire collected works of Jung, over thirty bound volumes, and the center of his psychology is what he called the "integration of the shadow", or the indulgence of the dark side of our souls. Jung claimed that only by seeking out, drawing forth and cultivating this rejected part within ourselves could we achieve "individuation", by which he meant self-actualization, the fulfilment of our highest destinies.
This is why Jung slept with his patients, one of whom became his life long mistress. This is why he got lost in New Age thinking, in alchemy and sorcery. This is why he saw everything within the mind as merely a reflection of the mind itself. Jung preached the redemption of evil, the normalization of it, the celebration of it. And he used language not unlike Christopher West's.
West is a Jungian.
He is telling us to embrace our dark sides.
He is doing so in terminology that is superficially Catholic, but it ain't Catholic underneath.