Good Christian Sex--Introduction

A couple of years ago, I did a lengthy, multi-part review of Dr. Greg Popcak's book Holy Sex!  In general, the book was, well, not good.  There were some decent parts, but the good stuff was buried under the overwhelming tide of a stark duality--everything related to sex can be divided into "Holy Sex" (which is good) and "eroticism" (which is bad).  It was a more sophisticated version of the "two boxes" approach to sex that causes so many problems.  Plus, there is the Popcakian weirdness, like how wearing lingerie is like clergy wearing vestments during services.

But the biggest disappointment about the book is that a book like Holy Sex! is good and needed.  A nuanced take on sex and sexuality is desperately needed in Christianity, especially among more progressive visions of Christianity.  It is easy, though problematic, to simply "just say no," but it is hard to come up with a set of tools for navigating the complex and turbulent waters of sexuality.  I don't think anyone really loves the idea that "anything goes" with regard to sex, but because we don't have a good approach, people often default to that position.  I threw out some unorganized ideas, but there is much, much more work to be done in this space.

To that end, I recently stumbled upon Good Christian Sex, by Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan, a Methodist who is a pastor at a United Church of Christ (UCC) church in Illinois.  The book has the provocative subtitle of "Why Chastity Isn't the Only Option and Other Things the Bible Says About Sex," which is encouraging.  Based on the Amazon reviews, the book is either a wonderful book or the Word of Satan himself (according to folks who proudly claim that they didn't read the book), which strikes me as promising as well.  I am also particularly interested to read a book about sex and Christianity written by a woman, as far too much of this space has been dominated by dudes talking to other dudes about dudes.

So, the plan is to do the same style of review for this book that I did for Holy Sex!  I just ordered the book, and it should arrive via the magic of Amazon soon.  As with Holy Sex!, rather than reading through the whole book and doing a review at the end, I am going to go chapter by chapter without reading ahead (perhaps grouping a couple of chapters together, depending how the book is set up).  I feel like that provides a more authentic reaction to the book, and I think it worked well with Holy Sex!    

The book is scheduled to arrive on Saturday, so I hope to have a post on the first section next week.

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