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Sex and the Supremacy of Christ Review

September 9, 2005

What’s the picture you get when you say sex and Christian in the same breath, or for that matter sex and marriage? To most people I think it’s safe to say they see boring. Even when I showed this book to a Christian friend of mine, he kinda of mumbled under his breath “I wonder if it says missionary position or nothing. And is it any surprise with this day and age teaching if it feels good do it. And don’t get married until you’ve sowed your wild oats. The concept of virginity is mocked and down right hated in some corners.

What this book does and does extremely well is begin to untangle sex from the twisted knot of sin, and restore it to its rightful place as a gift from God to be enjoyed by husband and wife. I can not begin to do this book justice with my own words, so what want to do is allow the book to speak for it’s self as much as possible with out giving away too much.

While this book is edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor, it has quite a few contributors. It is broken down in five parts. Here I think it would be easier for me to just show you:

Part one: God and Sex
Sex and the Supremacy of Christ: Part One
Sex and the Supremacy of Christ: Part Two
John Piper
The Goodness of Sex and the Glory of God
Ben Patterson

Part Two Sin and Sex
Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken
David Powlison
Homosexual Marriage as a Challenge to the Church: Biblical and Cultural Reflections
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Part Three Men and Sex
Sex and the Single Man
Mark Dever, Michael Lawrence, Matt Schmucker and Scott Croft
Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know
C.J. Mahaney

Part Four Women and Sex
Sex and the Single Woman
Carolyn McCulley
Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Wife Needs to Know
Carolyn Mahaney

Part Five History and Sex
Martin Luther’s Reform of Marriage
Justin Taylor
Christian Hedonists or Religious Prudes? The Puritans on Sex
Mark Dever

Justin Taylor lays the foundation for this book in the introduction:

The genesis of this volume and its attempt to answer that question was the Desiring God National Conference (2004), entitled “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ.” We wanted to approach the topic with frankness and reverence, with the supremacy of Christ as both our foundation and our aim. What do sex and the supremacy of Christ have to do with each other, and what implications should this have for our everyday lives?

Later in the introduction he quotes’s Al Mohler:

Christians have no right to be embarrassed when it comes to talking
about sex and sexuality. An unhealthy reticence or embarrassment in dealing with these issues is a form of disrespect to God’s creation. Whatever God made is good, and every good thing God made has an intended purpose that ultimately reveals His own glory. When conservative Christians respond to sex with ambivalence or embarrassment, we slander the goodness of God and hide God’s glory which is intended to be revealed in the right use of creation’s gifts.

In Chapter one John Piper went a step further when he said:

Let me therefore sate again the two points that fly as a double banner over this book. 1) sexuality is designed by Christ as a way to know God more fully; and 2) knowing Christ more fully in all his infinite supremacy is designed as a way of guarding and guiding our sexuality. All sexual corruption serves to conceal the true knowledge of Christ, and the true knowledge of Christ serves to prevent sexual corruption.

Ok I’m now going to skip all the way down to Chapter 4, because this was were my eyes stared to be opened on just how much sin has stained the joy of sex. By far this was my favorite chapter. Not only does it talk about the “big” sins of sex, but also those “little” sins that easily get sweep under the cover as not hurting anyone. Mr. Powlison doesn’t just stop there but goes on to explain how Christ can begin to heal us:

You can hardly bear to put a name on what some people do, or on what happens to some people. Is your sexuality misshapen and misdirected? Sexual evils are among the dark things that pour forth from within our hearts. Jesus bluntly indicts a roster of sexual wrongs (Mark 7:21-23)-and offers costly mercy to the repentant. Has your sexuality been harmed by others? Some people experience terrible suffering at the hands of predators, users, misuses, and abusers. Jesus fiercely curses those who trip up other (Matt 18:6-7) – and offers safe refuge to sufferers.

On the one hand, sex becomes a complex darkness. On the other hand, sex becomes a garden of simple, pure delights. Which picture represents you?

It’s not really a fair question. You probably can’t answer either-or, because most likely you’re somewhere in the middle. This chapter is about making new, about long restoring of joys to the broken and dirtied. In other words, it’s about the process of change. It’s about moving along a trajectory away from the dark and toward the light. It’s about knowing where you’re heading while you’re still somewhere in the middle.

For the sake of time let me conclude with this, this book touches every major aspect of what sex should mean to a Christian. Like I said before, this book takes a giant step in the right direction towards restoring the true nature of sex, and how we should not, as Christians, be ashamed of using it to bring glory to God. After all it’s His gift to us, and we should enjoy it, not fear it.

This book truly has something for everyone. I’ll admit this book took me longer to read than others, not because it’s complex or hard to understand, but for the shear fact that there is so much information in its 270 pages, and is a must have.

For more reviews go to Mind and Media, who supplied me this book as a gift from Crossway publishers.

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