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The Genesis of Sex: Sexual Relationships in the First Book of the Bible [Paperback]

By O. Palmer Robertson (Author)
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Item description for The Genesis of Sex: Sexual Relationships in the First Book of the Bible by O. Palmer Robertson...

Overview
The world today has virtually lost touch with the Creator's design for human sexuality. The book of Genesis, as the biblical book of beginnings, supplies the kind of healthy understnading of sex needed in our time. One of the fullest treatments of the subject of sex found anywhere, Genesis describes over twenty varieties of sexual relationships. In timely fashion, Old Testament scholar O. Palmer Robertson draws from Genesis vital perspectives on romance, the love-triangle, singleness, divorce, unrequited love, adultery, rape, and other matters related to human sexuality.

Publishers Description
The world today has virtually lost touch with the Creator's design for human sexuality. The book of Genesis, as the biblical book of beginnings, supplies the kind of healthy understanding of sex needed in our time. One of the fullest treatments of the subject of sex found anywhere, Genesis describes over twenty varieties of sexual relationships. In timely fashion, Old Testament scholar O. Palmer Robertson draws from Genesis vital perspectives on romance, the love-triangle, singleness, divorce, unrequited love, adultery, rape, and other matters related to human sexuality.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: P & R Publishing
Pages   184
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.53" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.53 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2002
Publisher   P & R Publishing
ISBN  0875525199  
ISBN13  9780875525198  


Availability  0 units.


More About O. Palmer Robertson


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! O. Palmer Robertson is the director and principal of Africa Bible College, Uganda. He previously taught at Reformed Westminster, Covenant, and Knox Theological Seminaries.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Topical


Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Relationships > Family Concerns



Reviews - What do customers think about The Genesis of Sex: Sexual Relationships in the First Book of the Bible?

Sexuality in Scripture  Dec 29, 2008
In the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, Moses, under the Holy Spirit's inspiration, relates the beginning of all creation, including mankind. Through all the different stories in Genesis we see many different manifestations of human sexuality, ranging from the good (marriage, romance, companionship, the blessings of children and grandchildren) to the bad (lust, incest, rape, homosexuality, and divorce). O. Palmer Robertson, former Old Testament Theology professor at Reformed Theological Seminary and Knox Theological Seminary and current professor at African Bible College, Malawi, wrote the Genesis of Sex to illustrate how much there is to learn about our sexuality in the opening book of Scripture.

In the Introduction, Robertson states the need for such books on sex: "The world today has lost touch with the concerns of the Almighty Creator in the realm of human sexuality. The whole world of relations between the sexes is viewed as a purely secularistic thing...in the realm of human sexuality modern man may rightly be viewed as a `ship of fools' tossed about on the sea of life's disordered passions." On that count, I could not agree with him more. As I have stated in the past, Christians, especially those in the Reformed tradition, need to start openly discussing and declaring God's plan and guidelines for His gift of sex before our culture and society drowns in the consequences of sexual immorality.

Robertson delves into Genesis, reviewing each account of sex and sexuality. He begins by looking at Genesis 1 and how God designed relationships between man and woman and the different roles they are to play. He goes on from there to categorize the different aspects of sex found throughout Genesis and tackles them in turn, one by one.

After discussing gender roles and the purpose of sex, Robertson takes a look at the different facets of marriage including pre-arranged nuptials, romance, second marriages, marital intimacy, and marriages of unbelievers to believers. A good deal of time is spent examining the relatively well-known relationships of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Rachel. However, Robertson also looks into lesser-known relationships. For instance, while discussing second marriages, Robertson studies Abraham's marriage to Keturah (Gen. 25:1) after the death of Sarah and later looks at Joseph's marriage to an Egyptian (Gen. 41:45). While praising many aspects of these relationships, Robertson is careful not to gloss over these patriarch's faults. Among other things Robertson notes that Abraham kept concubines and comments on his ill-advised sexual relations with Sarah's servant, Hagar.

Robertson also looks at the many instances of sexual sin found in Genesis. Included among this are sections on rape, incest, lust, bigamy, and homosexuality. Robertson first writes on Lamech and how his having more than wife (Gen. 4) contradicted God's order in marriage. He further addresses the polygamous practices of Abraham and Jacob. Though some scholars have questioned whether God allowed polygamy since there are no condemnations of this behavior found in Genesis, Robertson disputes this claim, writing, "by the very way in which God created man and woman, the truth concerning marriage was communicated." He does concede, however, "that at these early stages of divine revelation to fallen man, the intentions of God for marriage are not made as they appear at later times."

When dealing with homosexuality, Robertson not only looks at the obvious example of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18-19), but also at Noah's drunken encounter with his son, Ham, in Genesis 9 after the flood. Robertson, an expert on the Old Testament, writes that the language used to describe this incident indicates "very possibly Ham committed a homosexual act with his father, evoking his father's curse."

Robertson then turns to the incestuous coming together of Lot and his daughters found in the nineteenth chapter of Genesis. Here he denounces the attempts of some scholars to justify this action on behalf of Lot's daughters. Robertson takes his time in this part of the book, carefully looking at these and other seedy affairs found in Genesis including the rape found in Genesis 34, and the sordid dealings between Tamar and Judah in Genesis 37.

In other chapters Robertson looks at how God intentionally intertwined sex with human reproduction and the significance of parenting. Another chapter deals with examples of singleness in Genesis, looking at cases of both those who never married and those who are widowed.

What to like: After reading The Genesis of Sex I felt I had a much better understanding of the book of Genesis and God's design for human sexuality. Two things that Robertson did particularly well, though, need to be mentioned:

First, Robertson did a great job of dealing with some controversial and lesser known passages in Genesis. I've already mentioned his take on the passages concerning Lamech, Lot's daughters, and Judah and Tamar. However, he also tackles the infamous Genesis 6 passage on the "sons of God" marrying the "daughters of men." A huge theological shift has occurred recently as many modern scholars now attest that this means fallen angels (re: demons) came to earth and married humans. Others claim that these were aliens who came down to earth to procreate. Believe it or not, both of these opinions have gained traction in Christian circles in recent years although the former opinion is much more accepted than the latter. Robertson carefully explains why both of those positions are wrong and that the passage simply means believers were marrying unbelievers, or pagans.

Second, Robertson does a extraordinary job of examining the short and long term consequences of sexual sin. For instance, in Genesis 35:22, when Reuben takes for himself his father's concubine, Bilhah, for himself, he notes how it cost him his firstborn inheritance (cf. Gen. 48:5, I Chron. 5:1,2) and his father's, Jacob, blessing (cf. Gen. 49:3,4). He also notes how the sons of Lot's daughters, the result of their incestuous affairs, would father the Moabites and Ammonites, two nations that would become Israel's perpetual enemies for centuries to come.

What not to like: I learned a great deal from The Genesis of Sex but feel that Robertson shortchanged some of the chapters. I almost got the impression that he had to rush to finish some of the chapters by a certain deadline and, as a result, some of the chapters went into far less detail than others. This is especially apparent at the beginning and the end of the book. The first chapter on God's original design and purpose of sex was far less satisfying than John Piper's treatment of the same material in Sex and the Supremacy of Christ. The section on singleness also left a lot to be desired. I feel strongly that if Robertson had spent a little more time developing these sections, the book would have been much better for it. The sections on sexual sin and marriage were far more in-depth and meatier than these other portions.

Also, not to nitpick, but why can't publishers/authors get on board with footnotes as opposed to endnotes. It is so cumbersome when reading a good book to have to flip back and forth without losing your spot in the book. Some of the best commentary in the whole book was found in the endnotes (especially the part on the nephilim), but I wonder how many readers missed that material because they got tired of flipping back and forth.
 

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