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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.

 

Book 21/100: Sex Good - Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality by Rob Bell

Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality - Rob Bell

I previously read Rob Bell's Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, which was one of the few books I gave 5 stars in 2011, so I hunted down this one hoping his take on sex would be as provocative as his take on salvation.

This is written in a very similar style to Love Wins, full of anecdotes, Bible stories, and observations all interwoven to present a meditation on the nature of God. The short paragraphs and large amounts of white space make it feel like an easy read even though it tackles very heavy subjects.

While I enjoyed this book, and found portions of it worth copying down and reflecting upon more deeply, it wasn't exactly what I expected it to be. That is, it wasn't really much about sex. It was more a contemplation of the inherent sacredness of each human being, and a call to expound this realization to its natural conclusions when it comes to sexuality: each person is reflective of God, and so no person should ever be reduced to an object, whether it's your spouse, someone you ogle as s/he walks down the street, or a stranger in pornography.

Still, it didn't delve as deeply into the issue of sex as I would have liked. There were hints that Bell's sexual ethics veer toward the conservative (i.e., saving sex for marriage), but for the most part he plays it safe in this book (probably because Zondervan published it). I was hoping for something a little more edgy, but what I got was still a decent read. I think this book could be especially useful for Christian teens still trying to make sense of how sexuality fits with the rest of their lives, as well as those planning to get married as a reminder of sex's potential to serve a "higher purpose" than gratification.