Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sex, Lies And Religion by Randy Elrod
I'm a day behind. I was supposed to put up a review of Randy Elrod's book Sex, Lies and Religion but it's been difficult for me to express what I gleaned from or felt about this book, mostly because it's a difficult subject. In fact, I had a hard time writing Sex, Lies and Religion as the title of this blog post!
I suppose I've just proven one of Mr. Elrod's points, because I am one that grew up in church and am uncomfortable with this subject. I know this is not the way God intended and I shouldn't be and so I force myself to talk about issues of this nature when it comes up, knowing that it's not a "bad" thing. I don't even believe it's a "bad" thing; yet I still feel a bit uncomfortable candidly addressing it.
I don't know why I agreed to review this book. I think a part of it was curiosity and the fact that I participated in Randy Elrod's "Sex Survey" several months ago, and follow him on twitter. Perhaps a part was knowing, intellectually, that this is not a taboo subject, and yet here I am, having a hard time writing a review!
Mr. Elrod deals with several topics about sex and spirituality in a straightforward yet sensitive, even beautiful manner. I was struck by his use of words and ideas that have stuck with me, one being the idea that we long for God with all our being; our whole body and this longing is built into us, for the purpose of knowing God and being fulfilled by Him. I think most Christians are quick to say that in Christ alone we find satisfaction, but it's a bit uncomfortable to talk about how sexuality and spiritually are entwined at the very root of existence. I enjoyed his view on art, nudity, and beauty, yet other topics I had a harder time with. I'm not sure if it's because I truly disagree with them or if I'm just uncomfortable with them.
This book stretched me in many ways; I had to keep reminding myself I was a married adult and to look at this all objectively yet I wonder if this is a subject that can't just be viewed as an intellectual exercise. As he purports later, there is a intrinsically felt, emotional part of faith that is deep, mysterious and even "sensual". This book has also reminded me of what Grace truly is and it's redemptive power. It was a good reminder to see that all of us are reaching out for God's grace, whether we know it or not. It's what we long for above all and we search to find it.
I'm the absolute worst person to review a book like this. It has challenged me deeply, provoked me to thought and questions. It has made me re-think certain beliefs I have and has also brought me up in arms insisting that certain parts of faith are not the way he paints it.
Yet for that very reason I recommend this book. Will you agree with everything? I'm not sure. Will you see things differently, question things? If you are like me, you definitely will. As Mr. Elrod states in his book, some will find this tame, some shocking. For me, I don't think I thought it was "shocking" but I did find it uncomfortable at times..... but in a good way.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from cre:ate 2.0 Publishing to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255