Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sex God

After enjoying Velvet Elvis and recommending it to many people I was looking forward to Rob Bell's new book Sex God. Now if you're about to make some joke about how this book is about you, you're too late. Unofficial statistics from the Denver Seminary bookstore (David) are that about 63% of people who see the title make that joke.

The book is actually about the connections between sex(uality) and God. Here's my thoughts on it.

The Good

1) As he usually does, Rob (we're on a first name basis, he just doesn't know it) brings out some very interesting points. He spends a lot of time unpacking Hebrew concepts that bring life to biblical concepts.
2) This would be a good book for someone who doesn't have much biblical or Christian theological background. He does a good job giving accessible descriptions of concepts like "oneness."
3) He does a good job working through the submission issue.
4) So often in Christian circles we communicate, "Don't have sex until you're married. God says so and that settles it." But for anything God tells us to do there are good reasons. He wants what's best for us. Rob presents clearly many of the reasons why a Christian sexual ethic is best for us--not just random rules to follow.

The Bad (at least for me)

1) "Our sexuality is all of the ways we strive to reconnect with our world, with each other, and with God." This statement just seems way too broad to me. From this statement and other parts of the book I get the sense he's saying, "anything relational in any fashion is sexual." I suppose you can redefine sexuality in this way, but then what does it really mean? There are some relationships that are sexual and others that aren't. I suppose a relationship with a good friend could be related to sexuality in that it is or isn't sexual based on our sexuality, but now I'm confusing myself!
2) This seems to be a collection of a number of things he wanted to talk about that aren't all that connected. He strays from his stated purpose for the book. Although assuming the broad view of sexuality in #1 I suppose it's all related.
3) There wasn't much substance. I think some of the concepts are great but probably could have been covered in an article or two. There really wasn't enough to warrant a book.

So having said all that--it's a quick enough read that it's worth picking up. I'd love to hear reactions to the book as you read it.

No comments: