Sex GodThis is Always about That. This is the premise of Rob Bell’s new book that you should grab a copy of and read with your wife and/or your teenager soon…

Rob Bell’s new book, http://ventureplus.net/buy-midamorphine/ Sex God, was released three weeks ago at the beginning of a short promotional tour by Mr. Bell.

This book is an exploration of a number of issues which we may initially see as mostly dealing with sex or the relationships between the sexes. However, Bell delves into each topic to show that each issue of sexuality (’this‘) is really more about an issue of spirituality (’that nolvadex for sale, generic Zoloft. ‘), which he does in a highly-engaging, but yet tasteful manner. While it is less controversial (despite the primary topic) than his first book, Velvet Elvis, I suspect that there will still be a number of Calvinists, in particular, who will take issue with his depiction of a God who will not force himself upon people who do not want Him (so much for irresistable grace…), or the provocative title (provocative because of society’s cheapening of sex and the church’s opposite reaction which makes even the word ’sex’ titillating).

Chapter One, “God Wears Lipstick” is still available online in PDF format, for those interested. It deals with humans being made in the image of God, and the ways that we treat other image-bearers (’ http://galatasaraybasketbol.com/order-metoprolol.html this‘) through objectification or abuse, and how this reflects upon our view of their Creator (’that http://www.saintdiegoband.com/phone-keylogger-localizador-gps-movil/ ‘). The chapter title comes from an anecdote from the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945 which hauntingly demonstrates both sides of the coin of treating the creation in a manner that respects (or disrespects) the Creator.

Chapter Two, “Sexy on the Inside”, examines how all people (Christian and not) feel degrees of ‘disconnected-ness’ from God’s creation, each other and even within themselves – which he traces back to the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Here, he defines sex as coming from the latin word secare, which means “to sever, to amputate, or to disconnect from the whole”. (040) It is this broader definition of sexuality that Rob uses as the ‘this’ to spirituality’s ‘that’. He then talks about how our relationship with God is hindered by our own discomfort with how He made us.

Chapter Three, “Angels and Animals”, is where Bell starts hitting on sexual subjects and conclusions which won’t sit well with people out of balance with their views on abstinence and purity. He deconstructs the humanistic notion that we are but the product of our animal urges, and that pre-marital abstinence is a fully desirable and achievable notion. He asks “Who decided that kids – or anybody else for that matter – are unable to abstain?” (054) and notes that those who make such arguments are just voices of despair. Next, he swings to the opposite extreme which he calls the ‘angel impulse’, which completely denies that we are sexual beings – where parents won’t even discuss the topic of sex. (He doesn’t talk about folks, like friends I know, who decide to remain single, which bothered me a bit – until he covered this particular subject in a later chapter).

[As an aside, at the end of this chapter, he deals with a topic that I've been very interested in probing the past year, from a discussion I had with Dr. Tim Brown, who was teaching on Genesis Rabba last year in Pergamum. It deals with the God as Creator, and that the opposite of God is the tohu va vohu http://mccaryagency.com/2018/02/13/assignment/ , the chaos - formless and void - from Genesis 1. It is this chaos vs. order that defines sin...]

Chapter Four, “Leather, Whips and Fruit”, deals with the narrow topic of lust (this) and expand it to the way we take God-given urges and try to make them fulfil ‘promises they can’t deliver’ (072). This leads into a discussion of addictions – some of which involve sex, but most which don’t – and how they are all ways we try to meet needs in ways that they can’t be met. He goes beyond this, then, to explain how to get beyond the ‘don’t do this’ to how to channel God-given desire into the Christian action.

Chapter Five, “She Ran Into the Girls’ Bathroom” is a beautiful lesson on God’s love for us and the choice we have to accept or reject that love (and is, thus, the chapter most likely to be criticized and reviled by hyper-Calvinists of the blogosphere). Bell starts with a story of a girl he asked to dance with him at a Junior High dance (with the result given away in the chapter title), and the nature of the power to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – but how it takes even more nerve/power to become vulnerable to give someone else that decision. He also tells a very haunting story of a friend who left his wife and the cry of a broken-hearted lover. In this chapter, Bell gives one of the bext expositions on the Song of Songs I’ve ever read.

It is in this chapter, that Bell hits a complete home-run on the subject of love in a way few other authors (C.S. Lewis comes to mind) outside of the Bible have captured it. In part of this section on love, Bell states

Love is a giving away of power. When we love, we give the other person the power in the relationship. They can do as they choose. They can do what they like with our love. They can reject it, they can accept it, they can step toward us in gratitude and appreciation.

Love is a giving away. When we love, we put ourselves out there, we expose ourselves, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

Love is a giving up of control. It’s surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two – love and controlling power over the person – are mutually exclusive. If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all of the desires within us to manipulate the relationship.

So, if you were God – which I realize is an odd way to begin a sentence – but if you were God, the all-powerful Creator of the universe, and you wanted to move toward people, you wanted to express your love for the world in a new way, how would you do it?

[...]

So how would you express your love in an ultimate way? how do you connect with people in a manner that wouldn’t scare them off but would compel them to want to come closer, to draw nearer?

You would need to strip yourself of all the trappings that come with ultimate power and authority. That’s how love works. It doesn’t matter if a man has a million dollars and wants to woo a woman. If she loves him for his money, it isn’t really love.

If you were the almighty being who made the universe and everything in it, you would need to meet people on their level, on their soil . . . like them.

This is the story of the Bible. This is the story of Jesus. (098 – 100)

Chapter Six, “Worth Dying For” is an incredibly good exposition on the subject of submission between a man and a woman – one that avoids the pitfalls of liberal attempts to free women from Paul’s instructions in Ephesians without, in turn, giving a traditional – and often abusive – interpretation to Biblical instruction on this male-female relationship. It’s not a topic you would expect someone in Bell’s position to tackle – sheerly for its chance to alienate every reader in one way or another. Instead, though, he lets neither the man nor the woman ‘off the hook’ (so to speak) on the needs of love and submission.

nolvadex tablets buy, dapoxetine online. This is a chapter that should be required reading for any couple who desire to tie the knot. Required reading with required discussion.

A man must love his wife to the end that he will die to his own desires for her, in sacrifice for her as Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for his bride – the church. He says that a “husband’s waiting for the wife to submit is actually a failure to lead. [...] He would die to his need to be in control and do whatever it takes to serve her, to make sure she has everything she needs. He would die to himself so that she could live. [...] How would she respond if it were crystal clear that her husband was placing her needs ahead of his own? What if he had a habit of this?” (117)

He also notes that “In marriage, you’re talking about power and control only when something central to the whole relationship has fallen apart.” (118)

He talks about I Corinthians 7:3-4, and then asks:

So, which is it?

Is his body hers or her body his?

Who has the authority in this passage?

The only proper answer is yes.

Which is it? Yes.

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

Next, he deals with agape in an excellently clear manner, followed by a discussion on how women mistakenly look for validation in physical sexuality (what we in the Lyons household sometimes talk about as “girls with ‘daddy issues’”), and he gives advice to young ladies that I will be giving to mine when they get a bit older – advice that would make most young men tremble (and would have done so for me). Men – read this chapter with your daughters before they ever go out on their first date. She will thank you, and (I suspect) the boys you don’t want to ask her out will curse you, for it.

Chapter Seven, “Under the Chuppah”, is another chapter for the newly-engaged (or the newly-married), which deals with the need to keep a number of things (not just the obviously sexual ones) within the relationship, and how these thousands of ‘little things’ are glue within the relationship. He compares this to the relationship between God and His people in Exodus, and the ketubah (agreement) between them as the Ten Commandments. Bell also talks about the Jewish wedding customs, including the central definition in which sexual union defines that the marriage has been sealed. It is also this union, and the private conversations within it, that are not to be shared – because to do so removes the mystery from the relationship.

Chapter Eight, “Johnny and June”, deals with how love grows – and continues to grow over time – in which he uses the relationship between Johnny and June Cash as a modern example of this. In one of my personal favorite sections, he talks about the word echad, which means ‘one’ – and is part of the http://brochetterieparthenon.com/sms-spy-whatsapp-spy/ shema which is to be written upon our hearts. When God created Adam, He declared it “good”, but He found that it was “not good” that Adam was alone. In the way that God is one (echad), it is written that a man and wife become one (echad) flesh. He then goes on to talk about how sin has fractured our world, and has fractured marriages, where they are no longer http://unabet.com/sports_betting/purchase-minomycin/ echad. Bell poetically explains that “This man and this woman who have given themselves to each other are supposed to give the world a glimpse of hope, a display of what God is like, a bit of echad on earth.” He also talks about the dangers of putting the God-designed progression of relationships and sex out of order, and how this is destructive, both on a personal and on a wider level.

Chapter Nine, “Whopee Forever”, deals with the subject of singleness and how people who are single have a well-designed place in the kingdom, and the damage often done to them by well-intending Christian brothers and sisters who treat them as if they will become something when they get married, that somehow as a single person, they are not ‘normal’. He states “Paul doesn’t seem concerned about whether a person is married. If you aren’t, great. You’re more free to serve God. If you are married, splendid. Love the person well, and the two of you get on with your life together. After all, it’s better to marry than to burn.” (164)

Bell then goes on to talk about the image of a wedding in Revelation, and how this coming of perfection leads to there being no need for giving or taking in marriage. He goes on to ask “If marriage is meant to shpw people what the oneness of God is like, what happens when everybody is one in the presence of God?” (167) He then finishes with an example of a first-century traditional bride and bridegroom, and Jesus’ description in scripture of his father’s house, that Ray VanderLaan included in his book, Echoes of His Presence.

Sex God is an excellent book – one I plan on giving to a number of folks, and one I plan on reading with my kids, as the times become right…

UPDATE

In addition to this review, you can check out Ben Witherington’s review and Scot McKnight’s Review.




Comments

This entry was posted on Monday, March 12th, 2007 at 6:46 pm and is filed under Arts & Culture, Religion/Philosophy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Comments so far

  1. CRN.Info and Analysis on March 13, 2007 12:58 pm

    [...] I published my review of the book last night here, with a few excerpts here: This book is an exploration of a number of issues which we may initially see as mostly dealing with sex or the relationships between the sexes. However, Bell delves into each topic to show that each issue of sexuality (’this‘) is really more about an issue of spirituality (’that‘), which he does in a highly-engaging, but yet tasteful manner. Chapter One, “God Wears Lipstick” is still available online in PDF format, for those interested. It deals with humans being made in the image of God, and the ways that we treat other image-bearers (’this‘) through objectification or abuse, and how this reflects upon our view of their Creator (’that‘). The chapter title comes from an anecdote from the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945 which hauntingly demonstrates both sides of the coin of treating the creation in a manner that respects (or disrespects) the Creator. Chapter Five, “She Ran Into the Girls’ Bathroom” is a beautiful lesson on God’s love for us and the choice we have to accept or reject that love (and is, thus, the chapter most likely to be criticized and reviled by hyper-Calvinists of the blogosphere). Bell starts with a story of a girl he asked to dance with him at a Junior High dance (with the result given away in the chapter title), and the nature of the power to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – but how it takes even more nerve/power to become vulnerable to give someone else that decision. He also tells a very haunting story of a friend who left his wife and the cry of a broken-hearted lover. In this chapter, Bell gives one of the bext expositions on the Song of Songs I’ve ever read. [...]

  2. Blondie on March 14, 2007 11:24 am

    Thanks for this synopsis Chris. I can’t wait to read the book with Tim, and then share it with our boys when they are old enough. I was already interested in it after reading the on-line chapter, but now am really excited to read the whole thing.

  3. Laz on March 14, 2007 11:52 am

    It is in this chapter, that Bell hits a complete home-run on the subject of love in a way few other authors (C.S. Lewis comes to mind) outside of the Bible have captured it.

    Alright man, you’ve crossed the line here. Putting the emo-bespectacled one on the same level as the Don. I still haven’t stopped laughing…

    By the way, do you know if Bell was in Houston this last weekend? Saw a guy at the local grocery store that was dead-on Bell. Same height, glasses, manner of dress, even a Chairman Mao hat to complete the ensemble. A friend of mine claims to have seen the same guy at a local gas station. Can’t figure out if it was him, I suppose I could have asked.

  4. Chris L. on March 14, 2007 12:27 pm

    From what I can tell, Rob was out on the West Coast 4 days last week at colleges to complete the mini-”book tour”, and he preached in Grand Rapids Sunday morning and evening (you can d/l the podcast), so I would guess that you’re Mao-guy was not him…

  5. Chris L. on March 14, 2007 12:31 pm

    I think Lewis’ definition of love was more broad and solidly practical (in the day-to-day sense), and is superior to Bell’s in that regard. However, in metaphor, Bell’s description relating God’s love for man and a bridegroom’s love for his bride, works on many levels beyond the intellectual.

    Bell’s a good writer, but I would still put Lewis on a higher level in terms of breadth and depth…

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Share your wisdom