Sugguested | Topic: Biblical Sexuality

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.

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.

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.

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.

Love Into Light – The Gospel, The Homosexual, and The Church

Hubbard, Peter. Love Into Light – The Gospel, The Homosexual, and The Church. Ambassador International, 2013.

How can the church best address the myriad of issues related to homosexuality and sexual orientation that are embodied in the lives and stories of real people who fill our pews, seek our advice, and are part of our families? Written by a pastor, this book is a biblically-sound and pastorally-driven book that can serve as a guidebook for us as individuals and as the church. Hubbard has found that sweet spot where grace and truth come together in a way that we believe brings great honor and glory to God. Hubbard writes, “Partial truths, no matter how beautiful they sound, act as a poison to the Christian community. The freedom of grace, for example, is cancerous if it does not generate purity. And the call to holiness is malignant if it is not embedded in God’s empowering love.” This is a must-have resource for all pastors, youth workers, and church leaders.

Available in the CPYU Resource Center.

Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity

Winner, Lauren F. Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity. Brazos Press, 2005.

In Real Sex, Lauren Winner speaks candidly about the difficulty – and importance – of sexual chastity. With nuance and wit, she talks about her own sexual journey. Never dodging tough terms like ‘confession’ and ‘sin,’ she ground her discussion of chastity first and foremost in scripture. She confronts cultural lies about sex and challenges how we talk about sex in church.

Sex and the iWorld: Rethinking Relationship beyond an Age of Individualism.

Kuehne, Dale. Sex and the iWorld: Rethinking Relationship beyond an Age of Individualism. Baker Academic, 2009.

Examines current issues pertaining to sexuality and society following the sexual revolution and asks, what kind of world are we creating? Is it a world that is actually harming us more than benefiting us? With an inclusive perspective, Kuehne contrasts the long established ‘tWorld,’ in which traditional morality reigned, with the present day ‘iWorld,’ in which the immediate desires of the individual have been deemed paramount. He maintains both fail to deliver the benefits of the proposed ‘rWorld,’ in which a larger web of healthy and nourishing social relationships provides the most personally fulfilling context for sexuality and relational well-being.