Book Review: Sex God

{F4B9DC3A-E2B1-4574-AB29-C711F7B375BE}Img400When my wife and I moved into our new home a few months back, I claimed the all-important task of merging our individual book collections into one glorious, unified library. After all, that’s what everyone looks forward to the most in a new marriage, right?

As I was unpacking my wife’s books, however, one of them caught my eye: Sex God, by Rob Bell.

Yes, that Rob Bell.

My wife owned a book by Rob Bell, which is probably something she should have brought up in premarital counseling.

Now, before anyone runs away at the mention of Rob, I have a confession I would like to make. Actually, I have two:

  1. My first reaction when seeing the book was to get rid of it. I’d heard enough about Rob to subconsciously categorize him as a heretic in my mind, even though I’d never read any of his stuff myself. I had judged him based solely on the testimony (and tweets) of others. To be honest, I’m ashamed of that reaction, as it’s exactly the type of thing I try to avoid.
  2. My second reaction, which came after reading Sex God, was that it is hands-down the best book on Biblical sexuality I have read to date.

All that being said, my second confession makes me all the more ashamed of the my first confession. It also made me realize I should never question my wife’s ability to discern which books are worthy of being added to our library.

In all seriousness though, what is it about Rob Bell that polarizes people so much? Granted, I’ve only read one of his books, so I don’t know all the things he’s said in his other works, but are a few questionable beliefs enough reason to reject everything he’s put in print? Especially considering he has never claimed to be “right” about everything, he’s just trying to figure stuff out like the rest of us:

“Just because I’m a Christian and I’m trying to articulate a Christian worldview doesn’t mean I’ve got it nailed. I’m contributing to the discussion. God has spoken, and the rest is commentary, right?” —Robb Bell, back cover of Velvet Elvis

I doubt many Christians agree with everything Russell Brand says, yet we’re willing to stand unashamedly with him as he talks about the destructive nature of pornography. Most of us love Russell even though we don’t agree with him universally, so why don’t we treat Rob the same way? Is it because he carries the label of pastor? I don’t know.

What I do know, though, is Sex God is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to develop a deeper understanding of the connection between their spirituality and their sexuality. When my daughter is older and our discussions about sexuality become deeper, this is the book I will recommend to her. It’s that good.

And as for Rob? The way I see it, if I had even half the ability to connect with the hearts (and hurts) of people the way he does, I’d be a better person for it. Rob may not get everything right (as none of us do), but he loves others amazingly well. And for that reason, I can now say that I’ve become a huge fan of Rob Bell.

Purchase Sex God on Amazon today!

Highlighting My Highlights:

I’m one of those guys who can’t read a book without a highlighter in my hand, and as far as I’m concerned, it would be a shame to mark up my favorite content and never share it with you. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite quotes from Sex God.

Chapter 1: God Wears Lipstick

“The problem is when a ‘she’ becomes a ‘that.’ We forget the objects of our sexual desire are human beings with the image of God and reduce them to body parts.”

“How you treat the creation reflects how you feel about the creator.”

Chapter 2: Sexy on the Inside

“There’s a saying in the recovery movement: ‘You are only as sick as your secrets.’This is true for relationships as well. If there are secrets that haven’t been shared, topics that can’t be discussed, things from the past that are forbidden to be brought up, it can cripple a marriage… And so they’re sleeping together, but they’re really sleeping alone.”

Chapter 3: Angels and Animals

“In the creation poem that begins the Bible, people are created after animals. And from the rest of Scripture, we learn that people were also created after angels… When we act like angels [shut down our desires] or animals [blindly give in to our desires], we’re acting like beings who were created before us. We’re going backwards in creation. We’re going the wrong way. We’re headed back toward the chaos and disorder, not away from it.”

Chapter 4: Leather, Whips, and Fruit

“Whatever it is that has its hooks in you, you will never be free from it until you find something you want more. It’s not about getting rid of desire. It’s about giving ourselves to bigger and better and more powerful desires.”

Chapter 5: She Ran Into the Girl’s Bathroom

“Anytime we move toward another in any way, we are taking a risk. A risk that she may say no. Our gesture may not get returned. Our invitation may be rejected. Our love may never be reciprocated.”

“Why is heartbreak so universal? It’s universal because we’re feeling something as old as the world. Something God feels. The Bible begins with God making people who have freedom. Freedom to love God or not to love God. And these people consistently choose not to love God. It’s written in Genesis 6:6 that God “regretted that He had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled [broken].”

Chapter 6: Worth Dying For

“There is something about losing yourself to another and their losing themselves in you at the same time that defies our ability to categorize. Healthy marriages all have this sense of mutual abandon to each other. They’ve both jumped, in essence, into the arms of the other. There is a sense of mutual abandon between them. If one holds back, if one refrains, it doesn’t work.”

Chapter 7: Under the Chuppah

“Sometimes when a couple is living together, one of their friends tells them they should make things right in God’s eyes by making their relationship a legal marriage. But maybe it’s already a marriage in God’s eyes, and maybe their having sex has already joined them as man and wife from God’s perspective. This isn’t a low view of sex, it’s a higher view of sex. It’s a higher view of marriage. It’s people living in the reality of the decisions they’ve already made… Often people are unaware of just how serious this bond is, and it suffers—they suffer.”

Chapter 8: Johnny and June

“When our trust has been betrayed and those who were supposed to stand by us don’t, this naturally has consequences for how we think about God. It becomes hard to trust that God is good when our significant relationships simply aren’t that good.”

“The passage in Genesis about Adam and Eve is about whole persons coming together. All of Him being given to all of her. All of her being given to all of him. If he wants her just for her body, that splits her. It means that she is good to him only for a part of her. That’s why when she’s slept with him, she wants to know where the relationship is headed. She wants to be integrated. She craves it. She wants to know that he will be there in the morning, and the next morning, and the next morning. She wants to know that beyond the sex, he loves her, he wants her—all of her.”

Purchase Sex God on Amazon today!

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