Monday, February 26, 2007

Sex God

This weekend I got the opportunity to finish reading Rob Bell's newest book Sex God, recently released by Zondervan. I didn't really know what to expect from a book entitled Sex God, especially bearing the subtitle Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality. I know there are definite connections, but I didn't know how you could write a whole book about it. Now I wish he would write another book about it. This is really solid stuff, which made me rethink and expand my definition of sexuality while vastly challenging my theology of sexuality, opening my eyes to a God who has chosen marriage as the primary metaphor for his relationship with his people.

For those who don't plan on reading the book, but still want to glean some insight from it, I'll summarize some main points, chapter by chapter. I highly recommend checking it out, whether you're married, single, male, female, etc.

I'll try not to give everything away, but if you plan on reading the book, I wouldn't read the rest of this post, but that's because I love to approach a book in complete ignorance. You may not.

Introduction This is Really About That
Sexuality is ultimately about spirituality. It is a reality which points to a greater reality.

One God Wears Lipstick
Sexuality is connected to our humanity, our dignity. When we abuse humans, when we strip the dignity of another person, it doesn't just affect them. It is about us. We are all imago dei, and to abuse one is to abuse the whole thing, and to abuse ourselves. Simple acts of grace can restore our humanity.

Two Sexy On The Inside
Because of sin, Shalom with God is disrupted/broken, and therefore so it Shalom with others, the creation and the self. Our sexuality attempts to reconnect these broken relationships. Sexuality doesn't have to involve the sex act. Celibate people can be very sexual because they can have meaningful connections with God/others/earth/self. Sexiness is living out those connections in a godly way, restoring Shalom.

Three Angels and Animals
Animals have sex in a purely instinctual, strictly reproductive way. Angels are not sexual beings. We are neither, and shouldn't want to be. We must not avoid tackling difficult questions about our sexuality, because we are meant to wrestle with it. Our sexuality ought to be embraced as a gift from God.

Four Leather, Whips, and Fruit
Lust is insatiable. It always wants more. When left alone, it doesn't remain static, it grows. The energies of our lives must be channeled into positive things, beautiful things, so they don't turn to endless lustings after sex/food/drugs/money/power/porn/success/etc. Overcoming is about finding something beautiful to live for.

Five She Ran Into the Girls' Bathroom
God put himself out there just like we do when we ask a girl to dance. He leaves himself open to rejection. The choice is ours. He is vulnerable, but He does not override our freedom, even when we run crying into the bathroom, leaving him "out there." The ground at the foot of the cross is level.

Six Worth Dying For
The headship referred to in Ephesians 5 comes from laying down a life, as Christ the church. A godly husband would "die to himself so she can live." Flesh of my own flesh, blood of my own blood. My wife is my strength in my weakness. Sexuality is to be pursued in the context of this mutual submission and great willingness to sacrifice. We are worth dying for. This is a completely insufficient description of this chapter. It is amazing and everyone should read it.

Seven Under the Chuppah
Chapters six and seven hit me the hardest and opened my eyes the most. This chapter talks about chuppah, symbolized by a prayer shawl held over a husband at the marriage ceremony and consummation. God has taken us under the chuppah with him in Exodus 19. Amazing stuff.

Eight Johnny and June
Yes. That Johnny and June. We're walking the line here. Love is meant to grow in time. There is temptation to give up on each other because we are tempted by others who look more interesting, and because we don't realize that there is an endless depth to each human which is only meant to be explored by a spouse. We must be willing to be completely naked (not just physically) with each other in order to continue to grow over time. For relationships to get better, not worse. Like Johnny and June.

Nine Whoopee Forever
In the end, will we need sex to reconnect? If this (sex) is really about that (spirituality), then in the fulness of the kingdom, will there be need for sex? Jesus has prepared a room for us, just like a Jewish bridegroom (John 14). Lots of stuff to think about.

Epilogue More Balloons, Please
It doesn't always work out well in relationships, in life. We have to believe that there is limitless forgiveness and second chances. God's grace will not run out.

Consider this book recommended to you.

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