Like the farmer who lets the field lay fallow and refrains from sowing seed, celibacy brings to bear up on the life of the Church the witness of the rest of the seventh day, of the seventh year, of the seven Sabbaths of years. It speaks prophetically to the Church Militant of the Church Suffering and Expectant.
I don't remember how it started, but just a few blocks into the walk to our hotel the debate was on. Our conversation ranged wide—the scope and purpose of salvation, justification, sanctification, the sovereignty of God, the relationship of divine and human agency—never seeming to settle in on one thing. We argued as we walked one and a half miles of the city streets of Philadelphia, as we waited for lights to change at street crossings, as we took a wrong turn and had to retrace our steps; not even the check-in process at the hotel halted our conversation.