Item description for Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality by Rob Bell...
Overview God and sex go together. You can't separate the two, says Bell, because this physical world is intimately linked to deeper spiritual realities. And so, in order to make sense of sexuality, at some point you have to talk about God. With beauty and unusual insight, "Sex God" explores this connection.
Publishers Description Introduction: This Is Really about ThatChapter One: God Wears LipstickChapter Two: Sexy on the InsideChapter Three: Angels and AnimalsChapter Four: Leather, Whips, and FruitChapter Five: She Ran into the Girls' BathroomChapter Six: Worth Dying ForChapter Seven: Under the ChuppahChapter Eight: Johnny and JuneChapter Nine: Whoopee ForeverEpilogue: More Balloons, PleaseEndnotes/Resources/Discussion
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Rob Bell lives with his family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he's the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church. Rob is the author of Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. He also appeared in a pioneering series of twenty-four short films called NOOMA, as well as in longer version DVDs-- The Art of the Sermon, Everything is Spiritual, The Gods Aren't Angry, and Drops Like Stars. Visit the author online at robbell.com.
After I got past the provocative book title and chapter titles I found this book incredibly powerful. We read it for a book club we have at my church and the consensus was that it was excellent. Its not a book you can rush through. I found myself pausing, crying, absorbing. I plan to read it a second time very soon. It most fundamentally validates our humanity, our need, and God's hope to heal and bring what we need and desire most--connection. It is really impossible to describe this book succinctly but I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you read it!
Divine Yet Sexy Jan 22, 2008
This was an incredibly poetic book. Bell didn't really get into sex as we commonly think of it in American society, or even how Christians should address sex, like Smedes does in Sex for Christians. Rather he goes to what sex actually is.
And that's really the point of the book. Sex isn't an act that you do. It isn't an adjective describing a fine looking woman. It's feeling comfortable in your body. It's that combination of soul and body that only we (humans) possess.
Many books of course discuss this, pointing out how wrong it is to objectify women, and how sex can be something holy, an act of worship, for Christians don't think little of sex, but rather they think incredibly highly of it. Bell does something else here though, and it's a bit indefinable. Using scripture, interviews, and his own experiences, he awakens in me a new understanding of the reality of agape love when applied to eros, of how to truly love a woman, and be loved in return. In large part this is because of the use of prose-poetry, where he gets at the gut of the subject, rather than simply the skin. Bell shows us, seemingly for the first time, that sex really is only a poor imitation of the eternal relationship with God.
This was a book you have to drink in, and that slowly, contemplating and ruminating on all it has to offer. I've come across only one other book that reaches these heights - Songs of Songs. And truly, Sex God is a Song of Songs updated for the 21st Century.
Simple and Enjoyable Read Jan 20, 2008
If you have seen any of the Nooma series of films, you will know something of Rob Bell's quirky, understandable and very insightful style of teaching. This book oozes that same tone, and often while reading it I could almost hear his voice speaking the words. As I was expecting, Sex God proved to be a very entertaining and relatively light read.
The book is written about the connections between sexuality and spirituality, however I found the definition of sexuality to be somewhat dubious: "Our sexuality, then, has two dimensions. First, our sexuality is our awareness of how profoundly we're severed and cut off and disconnected. Second, our sexuality is all of the ways we go about trying to reconnect." Nothing about males and females and nothing related to what is commonly thought of as sex. This definition is based on the fact that "scholars believe that the word sex is related to the Latin word secare," the root for other words like sect, section, dissect and bisect. This may well be true, but it still seems a counter-intuitive definition, and thus I expected a lot more explanation in its defence. He does point his readers to other books dealing more specifically with the definition of sexuality for those who are interested, however for such a central theme to the book I found it an excessively brief analysis.
A result of this broad definition of sexuality is that it leaves the book with a far wider scope than that implied by the title. Readers looking for a book looking purely at sex and God may well be disappointed by this. In my own opinion, this is a minor point, and detracted little from the overall message of the book.
That overall message I find hard to define, not because it is poorly written, but rather because it is simply an extended metaphor between spiritual truths and sexuality. As such there are a number of important but otherwise unrelated points drawn from it, and these are well organised into the various chapters (which the titles don't do justice to). These range from the inherent value of humans, being in the image of God, to considering the strength required for commitment. From the importance of recognising both our spiritual and sexual nature, to the risk God takes in extending his love towards us.
Rob Bell's style, while making ideas readily understandable, is prone to over-simplification. However this is really only a consideration for his secondary points (an interesting example being his description of humans as spiritual beings, where he says "a divine spark resides in every single human being." This is almost the exact wording my Early Christianity tutor used to describe Gnostic thought), his main ideas seem well explained and his terms defined. But still, those wanting an in depth and thorough investigation of the issues, this book will probably fall short of expectations.
I liked how Bell often expressed biblical truths in light of their historical context. Anyone familiar with the Nooma videos will probably understand this. Bell frequently refers to otherwise obscure passages and fleshes them out with their significance to the original audience, and hence discerning their importance for us today. Through this I learnt a number of valuable things about ancient Israelite society, which will no doubt prove to be of worth in the future. This also provides a good example of reliable exegesis to a readership that often wouldn't touch many commentaries.
Issues of sexuality, commitment and relationships are touchy, and Rob Bell does an admirable job at remaining sensitive to these. The book is helpful and relevant to singles, couples and those with more turbulent backgrounds. While still upholding values such as the importance of commitment, it does so in a manner that is not condescending towards those who have a marred record. Instead it seeks to bring change more by inspiration than by command, and in this I think it has been immensely successful.
I very much enjoyed reading this book. Rob Bell has a way of putting things that makes sense and is entertaining. Though the basic ideas were things I already kind of knew, I still learnt a lot from his fresh perspective on life. His writing clearly seeks to uphold a biblical perspective on the issues, while being a refreshingly different way of presenting them. Readers need to be wary of a tendency to over-simplify concepts, and instances where it stands on shaky theological grounds. For the most part, however, I think this book will constructively teach, inspire and enthuse any reader.
Awesome! Jan 2, 2008
In a world where sex and confusion is rampant, this book is a refreshing! To know how we relate to one another, why we do the things we do, how God created us, why sex is sacred, incredible. This book is broken down into very maneagable chapters so it fits well in my crazy schedule. However, I will say that the last three chapters would not allow me to escape! Rob has a wonderful sense of humor and his stories, while some are quite serious, remarkably translate into my own life. Thank you Rob!
You know if you know Jan 2, 2008
If you approach the book as God's (or Rob Bell's for that matter) all-inclusive thoughts on sex; don't bother. If you are willing to acccept the fact sex is very different for different people - and follow his tangents into your own conversation with yourself or God - read it immediately.
it's definitely more of a trail map than an encyclopedia.
Personally, i have never come across a better series of intelligent, relevant and meaningful questions and commentary on the subject. definitely a must-read if you are up for the challenge.