How the good news of Jesus changes everything
How the good news of Jesus changes everything
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5.0 based on 1 review
This is a short book about God’s good design for sex and relationships. It uses the Bible to tackle head on where our culture has got it wrong about marriage, singleness, dating and homosexuality. The book is a transcript of four talks given in early 2014 by William Taylor to the church he leads, and also includes the question and answer session with William and two members of church staff (one male, one female) which took place after the final talk. The title of the book comes from William’s conclusion that since the thinking of the 1960s sexual revolution is so widely accepted, Christians are the ones who now offer a revolutionary, Bible–centred view of sex, and all the more so as some of those in the vanguard of changes 50 years ago are starting to question what they campaigned for. I must declare an interest – I am a member of the church where these sermons were preached, but, given the warm reception they received, I trust I’m not being biased when I say they were some of the clearest and personally challenging expositions on the subject I’ve ever heard. The writing up of the talks will, I pray, mean more people recognise the lies of our age and are encouraged to live in line with God’s blueprint for sex and relationships. I would recommend getting hold of the book for two main reasons. Firstly, William presents a helpful overview of the Biblical teaching on how God wants Christians to use the gifts of marriage and singleness. In doing this, we see how what the New Testament says is solidly rooted in the Old Testament, particularly Genesis, and are made confident in God’s wisdom and consistency. At the same time, the book is more than a Biblical survey. Each chapter contains specific encouragements and challenges intended to provoke the reader to live more like Jesus. As a single man who experiences same sex attraction, I was particularly refreshed by the chapter on singleness. I became more convinced from the Bible that both singleness and marriage are to be used in service of and devotion to the Lord. This was a truly revolutionary perspective for me, giving me solid Biblical foundations to free me from worrying about my marital status and wallowing in self–pity, and to give me a new resolve to live in every way to please the Lord. Our motivation should spring from the relationship with Jesus we enjoy as a result of his death and resurrection. Christians are a purified people who can live counter–culturally as they eagerly wait for the day when they will be married to Jesus forever. Throughout the book, there are also timely challenges to the whole church about how men and women should treat each other in a whole host of ways. William pulls no punches, yet combines clear instruction with plenty of grace. As a pastor, he understands the mistakes his congregation will have made, and warmly calls us to live increasingly in line with God’s good plans, repenting of past and present sin. The second reason for recommending the book is linked to the first. As the book challenges how God’s ideas clash with our culture’s, it equips Christians to deal with non–believers’ objections and alternative world views. In other words, the book assists evangelism and should stop us from shrinking back when topics like homosexuality come up in conversations with friends, work colleagues or family. In fact, as the book explains so plainly what the Bible really says about sex and relationships, it is that rare thing – a Christian book that we should not be embarrassed to give to non–believers. Two added incentives to do this are that the publisher makes it easier by giving discounts for bulk orders and that the talks and question and answer session were recorded in audio and video (http://www.st–helens.org.uk/resources/media–library/src/series/4722/title/revolutionary–sex-se). Readers can see how they were originally delivered and forward them to non–Christians (and to Christians too of course, who can go over the material again in the book for further reflection and prayer if they wish, either personally or in home groups). The question and answer chapter covers some of the earlier material, providing a useful reiteration and clarification of truths that readers might not have fully understood or grasped the implications of first time around, given the distance between our society’s and God’s approach to sexuality and how easily we are blinded to the lack of purity around us.
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