Monday, February 18, 2008

Sex God... book review

In preparation for my current sermon series (Victorious Secret...embracing the biblical view of sex) I listened to a few sermons by other pastors and skimmed a few books. In general, I was disappointed at their approach. At one extreme it was too negative. At the other extreme it was too in, Three Steps to a Great Sex Life! I just don't think that's what the writers of the Bible had in mind.

So I have been pleased in my current reading of the new book Sex God by Rob Bell. Rob takes a very non-linear approach to the topic. That might drive you crazy but I appreciate his indirect approach, especially regarding sex, because it prevents him from falling into some of the typical ruts I mentioned above. When people start to anticipate your next word it tends to shut them down and say, "Oh...I know where he's going here. Yeah, been there, done that."
But you never really know where Rob is headed! He meanders around the topic exploring thoughts regarding lust, dignity, freedom, spirituality, Genesis chapter one, pornography, 1 Corinthians, etc. etc. And then just when you think that he has no intention of making a point, he'll drop in a truth that is profound, but it is so understated that if you aren't paying attention you will drift right past it.

For example, after reflecting on how lust takes us down paths we never intended on going he makes this statement... "Freedom isn't being able to have whatever we crave. Freedom is going without whatever we crave and being fine with it." And then he keeps going. If I was smart enough to have that thought I'd put it at the beginnning of a chapter and then take the rest of the chapter to unpack it so people get every ounce of what that means. But, that's the difference between Rob and Remy! And his church is 10,000 +++ so he must be doing something right!

If you want to move beyond the "just say no" phase of your sexuality I recommend this book. It will make you think deeply about what sexuality truly is and how it is central to our spirituality. I'm not done with the book yet, so I may report back with a few more of Bell's nuggets.