24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Heart-warming, challenging, inspiring, counter-cultural,
This review is from: Open Embrace: A Protestant Couple Rethinks Contraception (Paperback)
Bethany and Sam Torode have written a superb and charming little book! Open Embrace is a marvelous meditation on what it means to have an authentic and all-encompassing pro-life outlook on sexuality and marriage. The theology of natural family planning is not merely Protestant, it is broadly and classically Christian. It is also radically life-affirming, and in our contemporary culture of disposability and death, it is a joy to read of the Torodes' faith and idealism.
As a teacher and a youth worker, I have noted that most teenagers and young adults with whom I interact are passionate idealists. They want their lives to be imbued with significance and meaning. They want love without limits. As one of my high schoolers put it, "Everything I do matters: what I eat, how I spend my money, what I drive, whom I touch, whom I love and how I love them". Our culture at large is contemptuous of such apparent naivete. But as Christians, we are called to be naive like children and to love without limitations.
The kind of selfless, servant love that Jesus offered to his church is reflected in Sam and Bethany's wonderful book. They believe in love without limits -- not in the sense of indiscriminate promiscuity -- but in the sense that they courageously embrace the awesome consequences of love. Sex and life are inextricably bound together, they claim, and they make that claim with such joyousness and such sincerity that it is all but impossible not to be captivated, convicted, and convinced.
One of the favorite passages of any youth worker is surely 1 Timothy 4:12: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity". In this humble and beautiful book, Sam and Bethany set that example. Hurrah.