The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life
Hollinger, Dennis. The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life. Baker Academic, 2009.
Our culture’s border and boundary-less approach to sexual beliefs and practices has left more and more people – even within the church – confused and even convinced that there is no over-arching design or meaning to our sexuality. In this book, ethicist Dennis Hollinger offers a clear, accessible, and practical overview of the God’s purpose and meaning for his wonderful gift of sex and sexuality. One of the greatest needs today of young and old alike is to rediscover the liberating freedom that accompanies understanding and experiencing sex in all its God-ordained glory. Dennis Hollinger has given us what we believe to be the best contemporary treatment on this timely subject. This is not just a book for ethicists. Parents, youth workers, pastors, and educators alike should read this book as a clear starting point for framing conversations and teaching about sex. This is a foundational text that is a must-read.
Hide or Seek: When Men Get Real With God About Sex
Freeman, John. Hide or Seek: When Men Get Real With God About Sex. New Growth Press, 2014.
In today’s world, men struggle to understand the purpose, place, and practice of sex in their lives. Cultural messages have combined with personal brokenness to lead a growing number of men – Christian and non-Christian alike – into engaging in and becoming enslaved to all kinds of sexual brokenness (lust, pornography, adultery, etc). In this book, John Freeman, the President of Harvest USA, helps men understand the never –ending cycle of defeat and shame that hinders men from being the husbands, fathers, and friends God has made them to be. Freeman takes readers intoon a journey to discover how the Gospel and God’s love speaks to these hidden areas of life in ways that bring the true freedom that men desire. This a powerful book that all men, husbands, and fathers should read. It would serve as a great text for a men’s small group.
Available in the CPYU Resource Center.
Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn
Challies, Tim. Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn. CreateSpace Publishing, 2010.
We can expect that the number of men who struggle with pornography will continue to increase at breakneck speed. Tim Challies offers men a plan to that invites God to reboot themselves and detox from the lying/addictive pull and power of pornography. The book will help all men – single or married – to become the pure, loving, attentive, and sacrificial husbands God desires them to be.
When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart
Tiede, Vicki. When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart. New Growth Press, 2012.
Any wife who has discovered her husband’s addiction to pornography experiences feelings of shock, disbelief, heartache, anguish, inadequacy, lonliness, shame, and betrayal. Speaking out of her experience, Vicki Tiede walks women toward God and away from despair, taking them on a journey through daily readings and questions on six important topics: hope, surrender, trust, identity, brokenness, and forgiveness. While healing will most likely be a long process, God promises to walk with wives through their pain and woundedness. This book offers questions and daily readings that can be used by individuals or in groups.
Available in the CPYU Resource Center.
Pornified: How Pornography is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families
Paul, Pamela. Pornified: How Pornography is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2006.
While almost a decade old, this book makes that case that our hyper-pornified culture is destroying individuals and families, and distorting how children view sex and sexuality. Pamela Paul is an engaging writer who shares insights from research and interviews on just how costly pornography is. While this book is not written from a Christian perspective, Paul’s research and analysis is compelling.
Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
Keller, Timothy. Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters. Riverhead Books, 2011.
Written in Keller’s typically clear and engaging style, this book exposes how some of the main idols of our time infiltrate, consume, and destroy our lives. The Chapter on love and sex offers clear biblical guidance that serves to recalibrate and correct the cultural misunderstandings that so easily distort God’s plan and design for these good gifts.
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
Keller, Timothy. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God. Riverhead Books, 2011.
No doubt, marriage as an institution has been devalued and even scorned in our contemporary culture. It’s a tragedy that we have lost a clear biblical understanding of this foundation for the family that reflects Christ’s relationship with His bride, the church. This book will frame your own understanding of marriage, while giving you a clear understanding of what to communicate to young people about this mysterious and wonderful institution that’s been created by God. A clear understanding of sex and sexuality begins with an understanding of God’s place for sex within the bounds of a monogamous, life-long, covenantal commitment between one man and one woman. This book breaks through the cultural noise and confusion with a clear and practical definition of marriage.
Theology of the Body for Beginner’s : A Basic Introduction to Pope John Paul II’s Sexual Revolution
West, Christopher. Theology of the Body for Beginner’s: A Basic Introduction to Pope John Paul II’s Sexual Revolution. Ascension Press, 2009.
Catholics and Protestants alike have benefitted from Christopher West’s concise summary of Pope John Paul II’s reflections on God’s intent for sex and sexuality. Readers have found this book to help them understand the current cultural crisis in sexuality, while charting a path to authentic sexual liberation.
Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing from Sexual and Relational Brokenness
Dykas, Ellen. Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing from Sexual and Relational Brokenness. New Growth Press, 2013.
This book from Harvest USA guides participants through the process of understanding why they struggle with destructive relational and sexual patterns and how the gospel brings change and a new way of living. Twenty lessons guide participants to understand God’s good design for sexuality, the underlying reasons they struggle with sexual brokenness, and how the grace and truth of Jesus Christ can be applied to their struggles. Change begins as deeper heart issues are uncovered, and women learn that they are well-loved daughters of God who will find healing and wholeness as they live out God’s Word in their relationships. The Sexual Sanity for Women workbook is ideal for a one-on-one mentoring, college age student groups, and women’s small group study. The easy-to-use Sexual Sanity for Women Leader’s Guide is available in a handy eBook format, offering leaders notes, answers to questions, and suggestions on how to guide participants in understanding Gods good design for sexuality.
Sexual Sanity for Men: Re-creating Your Mind in a Crazy Culture
White, David. Sexual Sanity for Men: Re-creating Your Mind in a Crazy Culture. New Growth Press, 2012.
This book from HarvestUSA helps men understand that sexual sin starts in their minds and hearts. It shows them how knowing Christ breaks their chains, builds spiritual brotherhood, and helps them take practical steps to re-create their minds in a God-focused direction. The Sexual Sanity for Men workbook is ideal for one-on-one mentoring, college age discipleship groups, and men’s small group study and is produced by Harvest USA, a ministry bringing the truth and mercy of Jesus Christ to help men, women, and families affected by sexual struggles and sin and equip churches to minister to sexually broken people. The easy-to-use Leader’s Guide is available in a handy eBook format.
Grossman, Miriam. Unprotected. Sentinel, 2007.
Written by a campus psychiatrist, this book sounds the alarm regarding the anything-goes sexual climate on today’s university campuses and the consequence of a growing number of broken young lives. While not written from a Christian perspective, Grossman talks common-sense, challenging the prevailing notion that student problems can be solved with the distribution of condoms and anti-depressants.
The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics
Gangon, Robert. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. Abingdon Press, 2002.
This is currently the definitive text offering sound exegesis and hermeneutics resulting in a thorough engagement with all the Scriptures dealing with the issue of homosexual practice. Gagnon demonstrates convincingly why attempts to classify the Bible’s rejection of same-sex intercourse as irrelevant for our contemporary context fail to do justice to the biblical texts and to current scientific data. Gagnon’s book powerfully challenges attempts to identify love and inclusivity with affirmation of homosexual practice. This is perhaps the most important book for those who want to grapple with the true meaning of the Scriptures on homosexual practice. A must-read resource that will be referred to time and time again.
Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality
Hill, Wesley. Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality. Zondervan, 2010.
“Gay,” “Christian,” and “celibate” don’t often appear in the same sentence. Yet many who sit next to us in the pew at church fit that description, says author Wesley Hill. As a celibate gay Christian, Hill, New Testament Professor at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, gives us a glimpse of what it looks like to wrestle firsthand with God’s “No” to same-sex relationships. What does it mean for gay Christians to live faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality? What is God’s will for believers who experience same-sex desires? Those who choose celibacy are often left to deal with loneliness and the hunger for relationships. How can gay Christians experience God’s favor and blessing in the midst of a struggle that for many brings a crippling sense of shame and guilt? Weaving together reflections from his own life and the lives of other Christians, Hill offers a fresh perspective on these questions. He advocates neither unqualified “healing” for those who struggle, nor their accommodation to temptation, but rather faithfulness in the midst of brokenness. “I hope this book may encourage other homosexual Christians to take the risky step of opening up their lives to others in the body of Christ,” Hill writes. “In so doing, they may find, as I have, by grace, that being known is spiritually healthier than remaining behind closed doors, that the light is better than the darkness.” This book offers what we believe to be a balanced, realistic, biblically-based response to the homosexuality issue. Hill’s scholarship, biblical exegesis, and hermeneutic are exemplary, a contrast to similar attempts to interpret the Scriptures by writers Matthew Vines and Justin Lee.
God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
Vines, Matthew. God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. Convergent Books, 2014.
As a young evangelical Christian, Matthew Vines struggled with his realization that he was a homosexual, and the fact that he had been taught that the Bible condemned homosexual relationships and activity. Vines began to research what the Bible says about homosexuality, coming to the conclusion that he could, in fact, become a faithful, gay Christian. This book has gained a growing and dedicated audience among those who are looking to reconcile the Gay lifestyle with Scripture and faith. It is especially popular among those who, live Vines, are young in age and looking for a perspective other than the one held throughout history by orthodox Christians. We are including this book because it offers insight into how many are mis-interpreting Scripture in an effort to justify their lifestyles, as opposed to conforming their lifestyles to the Scriptures. Following Vine’s truly gut-wrenching journey and seeing how he comes to his conclusions will offer us insight into how a growing number of people are jettisoning Biblical orthodoxy and reading the Scriptures through the times. We believe that Vines’ exegesis and hermeneutic are clearly faulty. Still, this is a book that will help us as we frame our discussions with Christians who are choosing to follow his logic and guidance.
Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs. – Christians Debate
Lee, Justin. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs. – Christians Debate. Jericho Books, 2013.
Like Matthew Vine’s God and the Gay Christian, this book is written by a young gay man who has worked to interpret Scripture in a way that reconciles his Christian faith with his sexual orientation and practice. We recommend this book not because we agree with Lee’s conclusions (we don’t), but because it’s flow and argument model how to begin with the emotional pull that gets readers rooting for Lee to “win” in his struggle to reconcile his orientation with his faith (his struggle is intense, touching, and very real), followed by exegetical/hermeneutical gymnastics that allow him to come to such a place of reconciliation. Lee is the founder of the Gay Christian Network. This book had developed a growing audience among young Christians who are looking for an option on the issue other than that offered by historical orthodox Christianity. We are including this book because it offers insight into how many are mis-interpreting Scripture in an effort to justify their lifestyles, as opposed to conforming their lifestyles to the Scriptures.
Hooked: The New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children
McIlhaney, Joe., and McKissic Bush. Hooked: The New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children. Northfield Publishing, 2008
From researcher at the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, this book is a must-read for parents and youth workers. Society tells us that sex is an act of self-expression, a personal choice for physical pleasure that can be summed up in the ubiquitous phrase “hooking up”. Millions of American teenagers and young adults are finding that the psychological baggage of such behavior is having a real and lasting impact on their lives. They are discovering that “hooking up” is the easy part, but “unhooking” from the bonds of a sexual relationship can have serious consequences. A practical look into new scientific research and advances neuroscience show how sexual activity causes the release of brain chemicals, which then result in emotional bonding and a powerful desire to repeat the activity. This book will help parents and singles understand that “safe sex” isn’t safe at all; that even if they are protected against STDs and pregnancy, they are still hurting themselves and their partner.
Girls Uncovered: New Research on What America’s Sexual Culture Does to Young Women
McIlhaney, Joe., McKissic Bush., and Guthrie, Stan. Girls Uncovered: New Research on What America’s Sexual Culture Does to Young Women. Northfield Publishing, 2011.
Any parent can identify with the feeling that girls growing up in America face a treacherous future; Uncovered Girls unveils the facts. In a follow up to their eye-opening release, Hooked, obstetricians Joe McIlhaney and Freda Bush present stunning scientific research on the development of young girls in America’s increasingly reckless sexual culture. They survey the reality of prevalent sexual behaviors and attitudes as well as their psychological, social, physical, and spiritual effects. Despite the harrowing facts revealed by their studies, McIlhaney and Bush give us hope through their expertise as physicians and parents of daughters. Girls Uncovered provides fundamental wisdom and practical advice to help parents, counselors, and church leaders guide young girls safely through the challenges they will face so they can achieve their potential and enjoy full health, hope and happiness.
The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith
Champagne Butterfield, Rosaria. The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith. Crown and Covenant Publications, 2012.
An amazing story of God’s grace and healing! Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at Syracuse university in a field for which she cared deeply – women’s studies. She owned two homes with her lesbian partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department’s curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a “train wreck” at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could. Rosaria’s story was unknown until she was featured in a January 2013 Christianity Today article, which has been read by more than 1.7 million people. This is an amazing story of conversion, the power of grace as shown by God’s people, and the liberating power of God’s truth. Today, Butterfield is following Jesus, living in a heterosexual marriage as a pastor’s wife and mother.
Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism
Selmys, Melinda. Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism. Our Sunday Visitor, 2009.
Columnist and author Melinda Selmys gives readers an unusual opportunity to explore the topic of homosexuality and the Catholic Faith from a fresh, sincere perspective. Her intensely personal reflections help clarify the misconceptions that have hindered meaningful dialogue between Catholics and homosexuals. Transcending stereotypes and avoiding pat sentiments, she speaks directly to every Christian who has experienced same-sex attraction or knows someone who has. In addition to her personal story of exchanging secular lesbianism for Catholicism and resolving her own inner conflicts, the author presents an enlightening analysis of history, social theory, and media influence on the subject of homosexuality. She refutes much of the clumsy theorizing and junk science common from both sides of the debate, effectively bridging many gaps between perceptions and reality. Selmys addresses the complexities surrounding sexual identity with pronounced compassion, adding a practical discussion of the Theology of the Body to complete the circle from a Catholic perspective.
Same-Sex Partnerships?: A Christian Perspective
Stott, John. Same-Sex Partnerships?: A Christian Perspective. Revell, 1998.
This is the late theologians typically clear, concise, and direct reflection on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Stott examines and answers several arguments commonly put forth to justify same-sex relationships. As with most of Stott’s writing, this book was in many ways before it’s time due to Stott’s sharp scholarship. Stott effectively and concisely argues that marriage is to be between one man and one woman, while at the same time offering a clear and necessary reminder (one we all need to hear) that every kind of sexual activity and relationship that deviates from God’s order and design is displeasing to Him.