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Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality Paperback – June 29, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 201 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bell raises the bar with this evocative follow-up to last year's bestseller Velvet Elvis. "Is sex a picture of heaven?" he wonders. It's all about God and sex and heaven, he says: "...they're connected. And they can't be separated. Where the one is you will always find the other." Bell's book isn't a sex manual, an exploration of the differences between men and women or a marriage how-to, though all of that is here. Instead, it's the story of God becoming human, of humans mirroring God and love made manifest in the chaos of our humanity. Sex God is about relationships revealed in a way that elevates the human condition and offers hope to those whose relationships are wounded. In Bell's spare, somewhat oblique style, he addresses lust, respect, denial, risk, acceptance and more. His love for God and the Bible is clear, as is his ability to ask probing questions and offer answers that make readers think deeply about their own lives. He does a fine job using the Bible and real life to show that our physical relationships are really about spiritual relationships. This book joyfully ties, and then tightens, the knot between God and humankind. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Bell raises the bar with this evocative follow-up to last year's bestseller Velvet Elvis. 'Is sex a picture of heaven?' he wonders. It's all about God and sex and heaven, he says, '...they're connected. And they can't be separated. Where the one is you will always find the other.' Bell's book isn't a sex manual, an exploration of the differences between men and women or a marriage how-to, though all of that is here. Instead, it's the story of God becoming human, of humans mirroring God and love made manifest in the chaos of our humanity. Sex God is about relationships revealed in a way that elevates the human condition and offers hope to those whose relationships are wounded. In Bell's spare, somewhat oblique style, he addresses lust, respect, denial, risk, acceptance, and more. His love for God and the Bible is clear, as is his ability to ask probing questions and offer answers that make readers think deeply about their own lives. He does a fine job using the Bible and real life to show that our physical relationships are really about spiritual relationships. This book joyfully ties, and then tightens, the knot between God and humankind.' -- Publisher's Weekly <br><br> (Publisher's Weekly)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (June 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310280672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310280675
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dale McConkey on March 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I agree with other reviewers that the title of the book is misleading (whether this is a reflection of crafty marketing or Rob Bell's uber-creative whimsy is debatable). This misnaming is unfortunate, because I think it confuses the reader (myself included) as to the overall goal of the book. However, a simple addition of a "/" renders the title more accurate: "Sex/God." As Bell emphasizes in his introduction, "This" (sexuality, intimacy, marriage,) is always about "That" (God and his loving relationship with humanity).

When read this way, I think the book becomes more coherent and compelling. In fact, I think it is one of the most inspiring theological statements on love, marriage, and intimacy that I have read. Rather than the typical, predictable, shallow Christian answers to defend traditional marriage and sexual purity, Bell provides a sweeping vision of how our intimate relationships reflect the self-giving love of our Creator. Not only that, but our self-giving love for one other person actually helps to manifest God's love to many other people. Even the pain of a failed relationship reflects the pain God feels and the risk God takes by loving us humans. Bell challenges us to think of sex, intimacy, and marriage in the most holy and reverent - yet also in the most realistic and practical - of ways.

Through all this, "Sex God" cleverly and somewhat subtly tells us as much about "God" as it does about "Sex." While we think we are reading about human relationships, we find ourselves learning about the Gospel - God's supreme love for us, manifest most explicitly in the sacrificial love of Jesus. "This" is really about "That."

"Sex God" is biblically grounded, yet never in predictable ways. I always enjoy Bell's trademark usage of vivid cultural context.
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Format: Hardcover
First of all, this book is not so much about that, despite the title. The title almost immediately sets you up for an anti-climactic rest of the book. The title is good marketing, but not necessarily truth in advertising. This is ok. Buying this book is not about that.

Think about why you bought it first. You bought it because you really like Rob Bell, and in your mind you run through conversations that you'd like to have with him when you two are hanging out at Starbucks, which I'm sure he'll have time for. Given that that's what this is about, just realize that you're getting the next best thing. You're hanging out with him. He's talking about what's on his mind. You get to listen in. Even though it's a monologue, it kind of scratches that itch that all of his fans have been having.

So for that reason, it's a pretty good book.

In keeping with the postmodern, emergent ethos, which Bell leads while disavowing, the book is not linear. He starts out with a provocative introduction which broaches the sacramental without using that word, and then a powerful first chapter that reaches into our deepest longings for the dignity for which we were created. Immediately we are on board and want more. Particularly in hopes that he gets to the s-e-x.

The second chapter skirts around our "disconnection" from the created order, which makes me wonder if we're walking through a systematic theology of creation, sin, salvation (I was soon dissuaded). I'm also wondering if we've taken on a neo-Tillichian doctrine of sin-as-victimization, but I don't think the book's theology is quite so intentional.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of the reviews I read on this book pertained to the controversy of the subject matter. Being that I'm extremely open-minded and was just plain curious, I went ahead and ordered a copy. Thirty-five pages in, this book went into the trash bin, and I consider it a sin of the highest degree to destroy books. This never deserved to be published; I assume it was printed based on Rob Bell's reputation rather than its own merits. My tossing the book has absolutely nothing to do with offensive content. The lack of momentum in the logic is beyond frustrating. The anecdotes are filled with so much unnecessary fluff that when he finally gets around to making a point, you can't figure for the life of you how he got there. At first I questioned my own lucidity, being low on sleep when I began the book and having heard what a great author this guy is. But even now that I'm fully rested, half of the points this guy has tried to make so far have gone over my head, or I can JUST make the connection if I cock my head to the side and squint really hard. And then once he does get around to the point, he repeats it like a broken bloody record, like he's clinging onto that wee bit of logic for dear life. Let's see, he says this couple sat next to him at a concert, and had said that on the way there they'd both had the feeling they would sit next to someone of significance. Lo and behold, they sat next to a pastor. But the point here, people, is that the human race is violent and disconnected. Then, this woman told him she's a prostitute, wanted to kill herself, and wanted to know if she'd go to Heaven or Hell. The fact that she had a daughter named Faith is what made the author realize that HE could have been THAT prostitute.Read more ›
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