Tag Archives: sexuality

Book Review: Sex God by Rob Bell

20 Feb

Written in March 2007

By Amy Sondova Thoughtful and full of biblical insight, Rob Bell’s sophomore book, Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality And Spirituality, reconnects Christians to idea that sexuality is also spiritual. Bell offers a new look on what it means to be human, how our definition of humanity is ultimately found in God alone, and what is means to be intimate with other humans and with an intimate God. Sex God has little do to with sex in and of itself, but has everything to do with sexuality.

According to Bell, when man and woman fell in the Garden, they became profoundly disconnected from the world, each other, and God. Sexuality, then, is defined as “the ways we strive to reconnect with our world, with each other, and with God.” (42) What was ultimately lost in the Fall was man’s ability to be “naked and unashamed”—that is, the ability to be completely vulnerable in front of another.

Bell likens this vulnerability to a junior high dance—boys on one side and girls on the other; both sides afraid to cross to the other for fear of being rejected. On one such occasion, Bell made the long walk over to the girls’ side to ask a young lady to dance. Instead of accepting his offer, the girl made a beeline for the girls’ bathroom and did not reappear for the rest of the evening. By asking her to dance, Bell says that he took a risk in being rejected, which he was. He goes on to compare this experience with how God interacts with His people—God asks humans to join in a love relationship with Him, and allows humans to ultimately reject Him.

This is how God is vulnerable with humans—and God’s ultimate vulnerability was given to humanity in Jesus. Bell puts it like this, “Jesus is God coming to us in love. Sheer unadulterated, unfiltered love.

Stripped of everything that could get in the way. Naked and vulnerable, hanging on a cross, asking the question, ‘What will you do with me?’”(105) As Jesus came to us in vulnerability to restore our connectedness to the Father, so it is in our sexuality that we reconnect with each other as well. Human sexuality is all about learning to be naked as we were before the Fall—to be vulnerable with each other, to give selflessly to each other, to allow another person to be who he or she really is—and all of this generally takes place in the content of marriage. Or at least it should.

Bell takes it one step further and says that this is what it means to be in a truly sexual relationship with the God who was first vulnerable with us. Sexuality with God is a human being’s ultimate goal and what humans are ultimately headed towards once this life is over. Using bridal imagery from Revelation, Bell says that humans will be reconnected with God, with the earth, and with each other.

Also, discussed in Sex God are how disconnectedness causes humans to devalue sex, how dehumanizing others dehumanizing ourselves, and the beauty of both marriage and singleness. Bell has the ability to engage readers who are new to Christianity as well as those who have studied the Bible for years. Not only does this book weave stories and experiences together with solid biblical teaching, its Endnotes are also well-done. Sex God restores a spiritual perspective on one of the church’s biggest taboo topics and makes sexuality with God and others, beautiful.

Print copy of review.


Pornography Raping Minds of Parkland Students

27 Jan

Imagine my surprise seeing one of the local high schools being “featured” on major news networks–for spreading student porn via their cell phones. Yes, Parkland High School (PHS), a proud and robust establishment with an excellent academic, athletic, and arts program is the scene of a scandal (full story).

The pornographic material includes one female student engaging in sex with an unidentified male and the other image is one a girl sent of herself exposing her breasts. Officials say that the images had only been transmitted to about 40 students, but they’ve got to be kidding. The pictures were sent a few months ago, so I can only imagine all the places in the world they’ve been by now. Students have until Tuesday to have the images deleted off their phones or they could face prosecution.

By the way, did you know the school’s mascot is “the Trojan”? Yup, the Parkland Trojans. I’m sure that causes a few giggles because of a similarly named brand of condoms.

Having worked with kids who have graduated from or attended the high school, I have been to the campus of PHS many times. It’s a nice, clean school with normal high school kids from affluent neighborhoods. People are balking at the teens and shaking their heads in disbelief that something so heinous could happen at PHS.

First, if this is what the students are sending each other via pics messages, what do they send each other online? I mean, maybe PHS should start taking a look into their students’ MySpace accounts. Oh, wait, they probably don’t care unless it happens on their campus. Believe me, what parents could find on their own computers is much worse (and on the computers of some of Parkland’s teachers).

Second, this is what some high school kids do and they think it’s funny. While I believe the behavior is unacceptable and should not be tolerated, what do we expect in a culture that bears all on television and movies? And what do we expect when parents allow their kids to watch all that crap without explaining that type of behavior is scandalous? Plus, we’re a culture of sex, and this is one more example of how teens are products of their culture (read my post “It’s a Sexually Explicit Day in the Neighborhood” for more of my thoughts on this topic.).

Third, I hope this helps Parkland and other high schools to start educating teens about pornography and sexuality. I used to volunteer for a pro-life organization and part of my job was selling merchandise. I had these bumper stickers that read, “Pornography rapes the mind.” At one concert event, I sold out of these stickers, which was awesome because it raised money for the organization. Then I realized the kids bought them so they could rip out the words “pornography” and “rape” to stick on each other. It made me puke…literally.

Let’s get serious in teaching teens about pornography and sexuality (even abstinence). Stop putting off that important talk and start tackling these issues with the teens in your life today…or we’re going to have much bigger scandals than this in the high schools throughout our nation.

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