Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Book Review: Sex and the Supremecy of Christ

A week or so ago, Justin Taylor of Between Two Worlds put out a call for bloggers to review a book he had a part in - Sex and the Supremecy of Christ. I was one of the lucky few who got in early enough to be blessed with the opportunity, and below entails my thoughts on the book. I suspect I will come back to this book again from time to time, and will post additional thoughts and comments as I let it percolate in my brain.

First, I would like to comment on how appropriate the subject for the book is for Christians today. As Christians, we are called to glorify God in all that we do, and within that fall our sexuality. This is often directly opposed by how the world that surrounds us views sex and sexuality. As yet to be perfected Christians we are impacted by the graphicness and pervasiveness of the inappropriate and negative message that society showers us with on a daily basis. This book serves to begin to balance that out by giving us a clear explanation on God’s design for sex.

What I liked best in the book:
First, I greatly appreciate the readability of this book. With authors like John Piper and Albert Mohler, there is always the chance that it could quickly become very heady, making it a difficult read for the entry level reader. This is a book that I think most high school students could read, and I would recommend it for that application.

I suspect this book will be challenging to those who have been taught to be ashamed of sex and sexuality. It is a tragedy that some in the body of Christ have perverted one of God’s greatest gifts to us in this way. This book takes great steps to undoing some of that harm, and is a great reference for developing a biblically informed view of sexuality. While it is not specifically written as an apologetic against this, it nonetheless would serve ministries well that are helping people overcome those feelings of shame.

The part I enjoyed reading the most was the section on Martin Luther and his wife. It added a needed lightness to what can sometimes be a heavy subject. It also was great to get a window into the life of one of the most influential Christians of all time.

The section I initially felt I would not find very interesting was Dr. Mohler’s segment on homosexuality. I was pleasantly surprised by what he had to say. I almost always find Dr. Mohler interesting, but the past two years I have been filled to the top with data, opinions, and stories about homosexuals and Christians. Dr. Mohler made it interesting, and informative, and I suspect I will read the section again. He did not present anything new to me, but he always has a way of saying things that makes me say “I wish I could have said it that way.”

I grew up in the church, and I can honestly say I did not hear much regarding any of the topics covered in this book spoken about at church. Sex was something people talked about in private. Sex was something that jokes were made about. Sex was everybody’s dirty little secret. I think this book serves to shine a light in an area of much darkness for Christians throughout the world. I highly recommend the book, front to back, without any hesitation. I suspect I will be buying a few copies to share with some important people in my life who might greatly benefit from it.

What I would do different/like to see changed or added:
My criticisms are very limited. I would love to see this offered as a 3 part paperback series, with a Bible study guide to go with it. That way churches could utilize different segments with different groups or at different times. I honestly don’t know if something like that is in the works, but I would suggest it if not.

Piggybacking on my previous idea, a section (or perhaps a separate tool) with sermon outlines would another great blessing for the church. Providing a framework for pastors to introduce these subjects to their congregations would be a wonderful gift. While we all know we should be hearing these kinds of things from our pulpits, all too often we are not, and we can see where that has been getting the church. Anything to enable and encourage pastors to utilize this material in their churches would add to it’s impact.

I would also like to see an online resource with current info and articles pertaining the subjects discussed. There is a very nice list of references, but they are to print materials. The world is changing, and while I see the humor in asking for electronic info from a paper book, I still think it would be a nice addition for those seeking to grow deeper in these subject areas.

Final Analysis:
I give it 5 of 5 stars, with a hearty reccommendation. I suspect this will be an award winning book, topping many book lists and must read lists in the next few years.

1 comment:

JT said...

Thanks, friend, for the nice review.

There is a website forthcoming to go along with the book, which will contain some videos of the speakers delivering their addresses.

Thanks for the other good suggestions.