We are living in a period of time where there is a great deal of change. From the economy to politics, to changing views on traditional values, our culture is in the middle of changing times seemingly across every facet of life. This has caused many people to talk about what we need to do and which direction God’s people should go. Sound doctrine leads to sound living should rightly be the maxim of the church. With that said, what should be the place of imagination in Christian discipleship? These are not easy questions and there are no easy answers. Entering into this discussion is Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships In A HyperSexualized Age by Jonathan Grant.
This book has two parts. In the introduction, the author helps us understand the problem as it stands, helping readers know how we should proceed in Christian formation and relationships. In part one, the author maps out the modern sexual imagery in five chapters. Chapter two explores authenticity, while chapter three looks at the dead end of modern liberty. Chapter four examines the corrupting influence of consumerism and chapter five looks at sex and relationships as means of happiness. Chapter six ends this section considering the loss of transcendence. Part two helps us chart a new course for Christian formation. In five chapters, the author helps us understand the nature of imagination in the Christian life. In chapter seven, the author considers a Christian social imagery, while chapter eight looks at the role of vision within Christian sexual formation. Chapter nine considers how to redeem desire and become our true selves. Chapter ten looks at narrative discipleship within the local church. Chapter eleven explores the formative power of practices and the book.
There was much that I enjoyed about this book. For starters, this book will help readers understand the problem going on all around us as we watch TV shows, go to movies, the grocery store, or to a local coffee shop, even. This book will also help readers understand how we should approach these issues.
While there are many strengths to this book, there is one glaring weakness, namely that this book is more academic in nature with very little practical application. As I was reading this book, I kept waiting for the author to help us understand what his vision of sexuality looks like for our own lives and ministries. While the author explores this some in the second part of the book, I personally felt that there could have been at least another chapter or two to explore the practicality of these themes and what their impact should be on our day to day lives and ministries.
Even with this critique, Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships In A HyperSexualized Age is a very helpful book. Every Pastor, Sunday school teacher, Bible study leader, or ministry leader should carefully read this thoughtful book.
I received this book for free from Baker Academic for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.