This is a review written a number of years ago – so apologies for the style, brevity, and pace!
This review was done from reading a book entirely on my Kindle, and so is by necessity not able to take into account presentation and so on. Bell’s books are frequently presented very well, with cutting edge graphics and an appealing style. This belies what is often actually a very scholarly approach – getting in to the nitty-gritty of the text, understanding the language, and contextualizing what is going on.
It is worth saying her – I am not a Rob Bell fan, and going into this book, I was sceptical.
I was wrong.
‘Sex God’ is BRILLIANT. It is not a book about sex. It is not a book about God. It is not a book about dating, relationships, courting, marriage, male or female. It is a book about true identity, true relationship, and how everything is connected. It blew me away. Christians are often seen as being prudish when it comes to sex, stuck in the 50’s, and genuinely ridiculous in today’s society. Bell blows that apart. He makes it clear that sex is good, from God, for God, and a great way to express a great number of deep things. There is, for Bell, (and I believe generally) no such thing as ‘just sex’.
Marriage, between a man and a woman, is where sex happens. As an integral part of it. As part of a life-long effort. It is for nowhere else. Bell has much good to say about a range of topics in this book.
One of the most popular highlights in the kindle edition is this:
‘You can’t be connected with God until you’re at peace with who you are. If you’re still upset that God gave you this body or this life or these circumstances, you will never be able to connect with God in a healthy, thriving, sustainable sort of way’
This is a powerful observation.
Another great observation is about Lust:
‘Lust does not operate on a flat line, as if we can give in and stay at the same level of consumption indefinitely. People who are not aware of what they’re dealing with will keep insisting that they’re fine and that they can stop at any time… Lust, over time, will always lead to despair. Which will always lead to anger. Lust always leads to anger’
There is also the following, under the subtitle, ‘pulled into the future’:
‘Jesus reminds his disciples, “you did not choose me, but I chose you”. People in the scriptures essentially are loved into their futures. Think of how many of us had encouraging or affirming or inspiring words spoken to us years ago about our worth, our value, our future, and how those words shaped ups. We often carry those words of agape around with us our whole lives’
This is amazing.
What if there were a better way?
That Way is Jesus – ‘do you realize that you are worth dying for?’