Thursday, December 08, 2005

Book Review: Sex and the Supremacy of Christ

What do sex and Jesus Christ have to do with each other? When we think about Jesus are we really thinking about sex at the same time? Or vice versa? The answer is most likely no. However, according to John Piper, the two are closely linked. In fact, he makes the point this way in the opening chapter of Sex and the Supremacy of Christ:

"I have two simple and weighty points to make. I think everything in this book will be the explanation and application of these two points. The first is that sexuality is designed by God as a way to know God in Christ more fully. And the second is that knowing God in Christ more fully is designed as a way of guarding and guiding our sexuality. I use the phrase "God in Christ" to signal at the outset that I am going to move back and forth between God and Christ because the biblical assumption of this book is that Christ is God.

Now to state the two points again, this time negatively, in the first place all misuses of our sexuality distort the true knowledge of Christ. And, in the second place, all misuses of our sexuality derive from not having the true knowledge of Christ.

Or to put it one more way: all sexual corruption serves to conceal the true knowledge of Christ, but the true knowlege of Christ serves to prevent sexual corruption."

(page 26, emphasis in original)

The subsequent chapters in the book explore these two basic points from a number of different angles: from the man's perspective, from the woman's perspective, from a historical perspective, and examining the issue in light of distortions that naturally occur because of sexual sin.

The book is essentially a compilation of the speeches given at the 2004 Desiring God National Conference and even includes a DVD with the various addresses. Each contributor is clearly knowledgeable on their individual subject and tackles their issue quite well.

However, the fact that there are twelve different contributors, each with their own unique style, makes it a little difficult to read straight through the book. This is not necessarily the type of book you would want to sit down and just read through. Instead, it's greatest asset is as a resource on the topic of sex and our relationship to Christ. Pastors and teachers will especially appreciate the presentation as a resource to use in their own teaching endeavors. My recommendation is for anyone who wants to read the book to be prepared to take their time and take each chapter one at a time spending sufficient time with each to fully absorb the material that is being presented.

This book was provided to me for review by Mind and Media through Crossway, publishers of the book. No other compensation has been received for this review.

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