Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sex and the Gospel: a book review

Today's post is a book review of Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach, written by Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas. Gerald mailed me a free copy of the book and in exchange, I read and reviewed it. You'll find Gerald blogging here, and buy the book here.


If someone had said to me, before I was married, that sex was about the gospel, I might have leaned in and listened to what they had to say. Or I would have thought they were a little strange. But then I would have listened.

In my reading of Heistand’s and Thomas’ book, “Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach”, what I found most important is its thoughtfulness in helping us understand sex and its deep connection to the gospel. Instead of leading with the classic how-to manual and anecdotes, the authors first lay a foundation as to why sex matters. And we learn that sex matters because it is one picture of Christ’s union with the Church, our oneness with Christ, and, in marriage, our oneness with each other. They’ve elevated sex above what our culture has dragged it down to be: pure physical satisfaction and loss of control, assuming that our sexual desire is to be let loose, and we really shouldn’t do much to reign it in.

Though there were gender assumptions that we will not all agree on (men solely do the wooing, women receive it; men win hearts, women give them away, for examples), it deals head on with the cycle that most people go through at some point in their life – heartache after heartache after heartache. They acknowledge that pain and disappointment isn’t avoidable, nor should it be, while placing blame on our lack of sexual boundaries as the cause for much repetitive heartache. With this book, they declare that it is time to recognize there are clear guidelines for male and female relationships, the same for those who are dating and those who are not: no sexual activity.

As you read, you’ll find out more of what the authors mean by this, especially that they aren’t shy about calling us back from actions we might deem as innocent romantic expressions, such as kissing.

But before you run away, deeming this book unrealistic and out-of-touch with today’s culture, remember that we are the called-out, set-apart people of God. We are, indeed, seeking to be in a culture but not of it.

As one who has been through the throes of pre-marriage relationships with lack of sexual boundaries, I urge you to get a copy of this book!

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