I m done I m so done I went into reading Love Wins excited, hoping for some cool ideas I thought it was limp Shallow So what do I do I decide to look into what he has to say about sex.Oh for GAH I need to STOP doing this to myself, but I have oneaggravating book waiting for me at the library.I wish for five seconds he would stop pretending to be all hip and trendy He s like a freakin conservative in sheep s clothing OHHH, I m gonna be all DARING and say the word SEX in the ti I m done I m so done I went into reading Love Wins excited, hoping for some cool ideas I thought it was limp Shallow So what do I do I decide to look into what he has to say about sex.Oh for GAH I need to STOP doing this to myself, but I have oneaggravating book waiting for me at the library.I wish for five seconds he would stop pretending to be all hip and trendy He s like a freakin conservative in sheep s clothing OHHH, I m gonna be all DARING and say the word SEX in the title, so I look all cool and edgy Screw that Stop pretending to be something you aren t, dude And this one is STILL shallow and vague, as far as I m concerned But anywayWhere to even start I mean, his writing style It makes me want to rip my eyeballs out It s terrible It s literary torture Still reading like he s delivering a sermon If I wanted a modern sermon, I would go to church But I would go to a church where the pastor might actually KNOW about real life Mr Bell, well, he seems to know some Greek and Hebrew, like a good little pastoral student He can use his knowledge to interpret things, fine.But when he talks about actuality Real people Addiction HAH So, uh Let s see To start, he doesn t seem to have any real understanding of addictions Smoking is all about the feel of the paper, the opening of a new pack It s actually from my experienceabout stress and reward, and feeling like you need some sweet, sweet nicotine to chill out after work.And food Of COURSE, his over eater eating disorder example is a WOMAN, even though rates of eating disorders with men are growing And its about her CONTEMPT for food No, again, it s about stress and reward And the fact that she has a psychological disorder, you twit It slike contempt for self and appreciate for food because it helps her deal with things Fat shaming, yayz Alcoholics feel contempt for booze and don t care about taste That isn t true either Plenty of alcoholics LOVE the taste and get the good stuff Because, y know, RICH PEOPLE can have that problem too, y know And Ms JoCo Housewife probably isn t gonna be swallowing Bellows vodka or Wild Irish Rose in a paper bag It ll be Bombay Sapphire in her gin and tonic For instance Oh, yeah, and sometimes, it runs in families, dude.Shopping is fun too, fella It s not about the hangers and tags It s about stress, reward, or even FUN HOLY CRAP Or the satisfaction of finding that book that you d sought for simply AGES is now on sale, and you can walk out happily with it and read it and see it s beauty on your shelves By the bye, the DESIGN of the cover is the only good thing about this book This time, Bell doesn t get ANY free passes for any little tidbits of information he gives, because I could find them elsewhere if I were so motivated And then we have a complete and total lack of understanding about kink Depression and contempt lead to whips and leather facepalm Actually, many people in high stress occupations or with high strung personalities enjoy a little flogging It s cathartic And, frankly, it s only viewed as dangerous and scary by someone who has NO clue what he s saying when he talks about it A responsible kinkster is polite and aware of his or her partner and isn t disdainful, except by consent, like in roleplay, for example I just can t even And waaaaayyyy to slut shame, homeskillet How is it MY responsibility as a woman to make sure some guy behaves responsibly toward me It s HIS duty, frankly, to view me as a human being and not be a douche if, say, I show a little cleavage No man EVER has the right to disdain a woman or think she s a slut based on what she s wearing We don t complain when YOU lot take off your shirts when it s hot, do we We don t comment or try to rape you Give us that same respect If a guy isn t worth a girl s time, he s not worth a girl s time It s not our responsibility to make him a better man He should be a big boy and do that on his own If I wear a short skirt, I am NOT sharing my body with you It s your problem if you lust in your heart So go tear out your own eyeball I m not helping with that one, chum.ALSO, this whole chastity thing Guess what It hasn t lessened rates of STDs, teen pregnancy, or the fact that KIDS STILL HAVE SEX In fact, from everything I ve read, abstinence sex ed just makes kids think condoms don t work, and then they try oral or anal sex, which can STILL GIVE YOU STIs So, that s great DON T educate those kids See how much worse we can make it for them Kids in countries with actual sex ed have better chances of NOT getting pregnant thereby lessening the need for abortions, yo So Ab Ed is actually harmful Sex SHOULD be discussed It SHOULD be studied If people don t examine it and learn about it, they have unhealthy ideas about it If it s repressed and narrowed to mean one thing, it harms an awful lot of people So STUFF IT, pal, and don t talk about it until you ve actually done some research The problem in America is that sex is examined and discussed in unhealthy, uneducated ways And women apparently don t like it either I guess not This book makes it sound like girls should be chaste little clueless objects for MEN S sexuality I ve read Ms Shalit s book, thanks Actually, NO thanks And, frankly, Mr Bell contradicts himself within one page at one point We women are beautiful, he says We re loved by our Creator BUT we shouldn t dress inappropriately And it s okay not to marry, the Bible says so But a woman truly blooms and is loveliest when she is loved well By a man.So, I m great, but in order to be really lovely and fully myself, some guy must love me So not only was I bored through most of this book, but Mr Bell went a step farther and began discussing things of which he knew nothing Which, actually, makes this book less dull, butire inducing And this book is only nominally about sex Most of this book is discussing relationships and claiming, basically that most relationships aresexual A rock concert in which everyone is getting along and on the same wavelength and one issexual I ve been to rock concerts I ve felt at one with everyone But there is a massive difference between unity and sexuality I was not having an intimate, romantic relationship with everyone there That would be an orgy, dude And anyone outside the hetero normative continuum doesn t exist So any gay guys, lesbians, trans people, asexuals, queers not even discussed If you write a book purporting to be about SEX, you actually should probably tackle questions of gender and sexuality Nope Doesn t happen If you don t want to come out and say you think it s wrong, you re a wimp.I can only hope he s matured beyond this But if he has, it s time to amend this book If he hasn t, then he should maybe be a bit wiser and say less Because thisthisis only one connection between the sexual and spiritual.Needless to say, I will NOT be reading Velvet Elvis I m not a big huge fan of Rob Bell, mainly because I never feel like he actually says much of anything But this book looked like it would be about something that a lot of Christian books aren t human sexuality Oh don t get me wrong, there s tons of Christian books on sex married sex, unmarried sex, gay sex, straight sex, what sex is, what sex isn t, bla bla bla But there s very little about the fact that human beings, no matter which of those above categories they fall into, are in general I m not a big huge fan of Rob Bell, mainly because I never feel like he actually says much of anything But this book looked like it would be about something that a lot of Christian books aren t human sexuality Oh don t get me wrong, there s tons of Christian books on sex married sex, unmarried sex, gay sex, straight sex, what sex is, what sex isn t, bla bla bla But there s very little about the fact that human beings, no matter which of those above categories they fall into, are in general in fact sexual beings I ve always found this rather bizarre since the Bible itself seems to have no problem recognizing and talking about this.Unnnnnfortunately that s not what this book was about I m not totally sure what this book WAS about Like other Rob Bell books I ve encountered, it doesn t seem to say much at all He justmakes entiresentenceslike thisas ifthat willcreate philosophicaland emotional depthwhere there is none.And it drove me CRAZY So yeah, very little of the book says much at all, and a lot of it is in that super annoying pseudo poetry format And the few times he said stuff that I was like Yeah, good point I agree I d look it up in the endnotes and discover these were ideas he d borrowed from some OTHER book usually a book I d already read.Sooooooooyeah No point No point at all And it was SUCH a good title This is possibly the most refreshingly accurate piece of work on sexuality by a Christian author I have ever encountered But then again, Rob Bell is an exceptional observer of humanity and its spiritual side If you have not read his first book, Velvet Elvis, I really suggest you visit that text before you jump into this especially if you come from a background where everything biblical is hyper literal if you are recovering from that sort of situation, I completely empathize with you or if This is possibly the most refreshingly accurate piece of work on sexuality by a Christian author I have ever encountered But then again, Rob Bell is an exceptional observer of humanity and its spiritual side If you have not read his first book, Velvet Elvis, I really suggest you visit that text before you jump into this especially if you come from a background where everything biblical is hyper literal if you are recovering from that sort of situation, I completely empathize with you or if you are rediscovering your own concept of Christianity This book won t be as effective if you do not.Sex really isn t a topic Christians like to discuss see the Angels and Animals chapter , but Rob Bell is correct in his point he makes through the entire book that our sexuality is connected to everything and it needs to be dissected and examined Being one with another human being is a direct representation of the oneness we strive for in God The imagery of the chuppah and other fine points of traditional Jewish wedding ceremonies in relation to God is something that is explained throughout the Bible constantly, yet most readers and believers miss out on this point Bell revisits and explains this relationship well just as a couple enters an agreement into oneness, so has God with us Every word, every story contained in this book builds upon this concept like a wonderfully layered cake.I firmly believe every one, especially couples or anyone entwined in any sort of relationship, should read the Worth Dying For Chapter Everyone needs to understand agape, which as Bell explains, is Greek for a giving type of love the heart of every healthy relationship, including one with the divine.More importantly, the last chapter is a confession that rings true for everyone Things don t always turn out well They don t No lies, no trickery here Just hope in a divine being that can heal anything and everything with the agape kind of love.And who cannot love a man who not only devotes a chapter to one of the most inspiring marriages of our time, but does take the time to make the obligatory Month Python and Star Wars reference You will miss some of these gems if you do not read the notes and discussion at the end If you have read through this book and did not complete the survey on page 199, you are truly missing something.Can t wait for the next Bell piece Rob Bell s communication style is if nothing else consistent He wantsto getpeople to stopand feelevery, little, detailof what is being said And this is how he does that For some, I know that this can almost feel manipulative and forced If you are paying attention at all you know what he is trying to do to you For me, I can both enjoy this and find it a bit annoying I know many Christians are terribly offended and outraged by Rob Bell but I think that if they just stop screaming heretic Rob Bell s communication style is if nothing else consistent He wantsto getpeople to stopand feelevery, little, detailof what is being said And this is how he does that For some, I know that this can almost feel manipulative and forced If you are paying attention at all you know what he is trying to do to you For me, I can both enjoy this and find it a bit annoying I know many Christians are terribly offended and outraged by Rob Bell but I think that if they just stop screaming heretic for a moment, there might be some real gold that even the most anti Bell fanatic could find within this book It is written about sexuality and what our sexuality really says about us as humans I think this is a muchapproachable topic and one that many Christians could likely come together on, if willing, and see it for what it really is I could see this book being much less controversial than Velvet Elvis or Love Wins because Bell isn t addressing such weighty theological questions and is focusing on something so muchbasic, something that none of us can escape from, and that is our sexuality The book introduces itself by saying that THIS is always about THAT Bell talks about how if we were to go through our garage and find a trophy or a picture and identify why we have held on to this item throughout the years, it wouldn t really be about the trophy It would be about what that trophy represented in your life Or how often in conflict within intimate relationshipswe might outwardly be arguing about why the dishes still aren t done but really the argument could be traced back to feeling ignored or devalued in some way So, sexuality is the THIS and spirituality is the THAT.I think Bell makes a compelling case that our sexuality is largely about connection and the physical act of sex is only one of the many ways that we try to channel our deep need to feel connected and known That sex is not the search for something that is missing but rather the expression of something that has been found I certainly didn t agree with everything he had to say but I think he contributed to the ongoing conversation about sexuality in a very meaningful way Some of my favorite quotesYou can t talk about sexuality without talking about how we were made And that will inevitably lead you to talk about who made us At some point you have to talk about God Lust can drive us to do frightening things It can own us It can take up massive amounts of head space and make us feel miserable Lust comes from a deep lack of satisfaction with life Lust often starts with a thought somewhere in our head or heart If I just had that him her it, then I d be happy When we re not at peace, when we aren t content, when we aren t in a good place, our radar gets turned on We re looking Searching And we re sensory creatures so it won t be long before something or somebody catches our attention The idea creeps into our head that we are lacking and that this craving in front of us is the answer Pg 73 If I want something to the point that I can t conceive of being content without it, it owns me Lust is slavery Whatever it is that has its hooks in you, you will never be free of it until you find something you want Before I get into the substance of the book, I would like to make a few notes about the composition One point I would like to make is that I now know why writers should not use one sentence paragraphs They should not use one sentence paragraphs because it does not help with the flow of ideas or the point the author is trying to make with my first paragraph of this review being an exception.The other point or suggestion I would like to make is that the reader should make sure to read the auth Before I get into the substance of the book, I would like to make a few notes about the composition One point I would like to make is that I now know why writers should not use one sentence paragraphs They should not use one sentence paragraphs because it does not help with the flow of ideas or the point the author is trying to make with my first paragraph of this review being an exception.The other point or suggestion I would like to make is that the reader should make sure to read the author s end notes The author puts some of his best commentary, points, ideas and stories in teh footnote of this book They definitely should not be skipped over or even skimmed.In regards to the substance, this book really did not enlighten me much at all I came out of this book feeling the same way about sex as I did going into it This may have been because I had such high expectations for the book However, I did rush to read it on the weekends, so part of the reason for my disappointment is that I did not take the book seriously enough, giving it time and thought I m not a particularly religious person and by that I mean not at all , but this book really got to me in terms of how sex and spirituality arerelated than we ever would have thought Bell does something refreshing in that he never says sex before marriage is wrong in fact, he doesn t feel that way at all In this book he uses specific passages from scripture and key moments in his personal life to exemplify the ways in which sex is spiritual and should be respected as such This does I m not a particularly religious person and by that I mean not at all , but this book really got to me in terms of how sex and spirituality arerelated than we ever would have thought Bell does something refreshing in that he never says sex before marriage is wrong in fact, he doesn t feel that way at all In this book he uses specific passages from scripture and key moments in his personal life to exemplify the ways in which sex is spiritual and should be respected as such This does not mean waiting for marriage, it means being with someone for the right reasons because you love them I have always believed in that, but like many young people, have gotten sucked into the idea of using sex as a tool to satiate a physical need and rather than using it as a means to express my love for another person I m about to go chat with the friend of mine who recommended it to me, and hopefully chatting with him about it will help me finish this review How can you not love Rob Bell The man has been given an incredible gift of insight and communication He explains things so profoundly, yet, so simply It s a solid combination.Turns out this book isabout God and His love than sex, but it will get you thinking A lot A lot about what you really want, what you expect from a relationship, what you re willing to give, and what is the point of it to begin with I d say for anyone who isn y a believer in Christ, and thinks Christians are prude How can you not love Rob Bell The man has been given an incredible gift of insight and communication He explains things so profoundly, yet, so simply It s a solid combination.Turns out this book isabout God and His love than sex, but it will get you thinking A lot A lot about what you really want, what you expect from a relationship, what you re willing to give, and what is the point of it to begin with I d say for anyone who isn y a believer in Christ, and thinks Christians are prudes and virgin goofballs who don t know what they re missing out onthis book will be a reality check and enlighten you about why many Christians believe what they do about sex.And for anyone who is a believer.this book will be a great encouragement, and will add a lot of depth to what it is you already believe I m hoping to read through it again with the lucky lady who s fortunate enough to marry my rockhard body And by rockhard body, I clearly mean, not rockhard at all.but not too flabtastic either While this book did not impact me as much as Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, there were a few chapters that made this a four star read Leather, Whips, and Fruit She Ran Into the Girl s Bathroom More Balloons, Please These were worth the price of the book to me Leather, Whips, and Fruit We re addictive creatures We try things, we experiment, we explore, and certain things hook us They get their tentacles in us, and we can t get away from them What started out as While this book did not impact me as much as Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, there were a few chapters that made this a four star read Leather, Whips, and Fruit She Ran Into the Girl s Bathroom More Balloons, Please These were worth the price of the book to me Leather, Whips, and Fruit We re addictive creatures We try things, we experiment, we explore, and certain things hook us They get their tentacles in us, and we can t get away from them What started out as freedom can quickly become slavery Often freedom is seen as the ability to do whatever you want But freedom isn t being able to have whatever we crave Freedom is going without whatever we crave and being fine with it Whatever it is that has its hooks in you, you will never be free from it until you find something you wantIt s not about getting rid of desire It s about giving ourselves to bigger and better andpowerful desires She Ran Into the Girls Bathroom Love is handing your heart to someone and taking the risk that they will hand it back because they don t want it That s why it s such a crushing ache on the inside We gave away a part of ourselves and it wasn t wanted.Love is a giving away of power When we love, we give the other person the power in the relationship They can do what they choose They can do what they like with our love They can reject it, they can accept it, they can step toward us in gratitude and appreciation.Love is a giving away When we love, we put ourselves out there, we expose ourselves, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.Love is giving up control It s surrendering the desire to control the other per son The two love and controlling power over the other person are mutually exclusive If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all of the desires within us to manipulate the relationship And who does Jesus identify with The outcasts, the people of the land who aren t good enough, clean enough, wealthy enough, and pure enough to be a part of the establishment He s invited to dine with the elite and the rich, which he does numerous times, but he also eats with the lowest of the low and he enjoys it He enjoys them.He touches people with infectious skin diseases,88 he lets questionable women touch him,89 he lays his hands on dead bodies,90 and he engages in conversa tion with promiscuous women alone in the middle of the day.91His entire life is about the stripping away of power and control Jesus always chooses the path of love, not power Inclusion, not exclusion.Connection and solidarity rather than rank and hierarchy Touch rather than distance.Compassion rather than control More Balloons, Please But for others, all this subject does is bring up pain and regret Relationships, mistakes, the endless breaking of the heart All of the ways we ve missed out on how things were meant to be Perhaps this book has opened wounds you thought were healed years ago.Several years ago, I conducted a wedding ceremony on a Saturday afternoon in June The bride wore a white summer dress, the groom a white linen shirt They insisted on the simplest ceremony possible It was held in a park in a groveof trees Their family and friends stood in a circle, with the three of us in the middle I began with a welcome, they exchanged vows and rings, I pronounced them husband and wife, they kissed, everybody clapped The ceremony took seven minutes.They were then each handed a cluster of helium balloons on strings The balloons, I told everybody, were symbols of their past marriages, pregnancies they had chosen to terminate, people they had had affairs with when they were previously married, relationships that had not lasted As a picture of starting over, together, they wanted their first act as a married couple to be letting the balloons go.They walked out of the grove of trees into an adjoining field Just the two of them, holding hands, standing in knee high grass, exchanging words that only they could hear Then they raised the balloons above their heads and let them go We all stood there, watching those balloons float away until they drifted from sight.There are moments you wonder if you ll ever forget Events that sear them selves on your conscience That moment was one of those for me.A few years later their marriage imploded She moved an hour away He relocated to another part of the country They divorced.I finish with this story because life is messy Gut wrenching Risky Things don t always turn out well Sometimes they don t turn out at all Sometimes every thing falls apart and we wonder if there s any point to any of it We re tempted to shut ourselves off, fortify the walls around our hearts, and forge ahead, promising ourselves that we will never open ourselves up like that again.But I have to believe that we can recover from anything I have to believe that God can put anything anyone back together I have to believe that the God Jesus invites us to trust is as good as he says he is.Loving.Forgiving.Merciful.Full of grace.And I have to believe that God does not run out of balloons From Rob Bell, the author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller Love Wins and a Christian pastor named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in , comes Sex God, an enlightening exploration of sexuality and spirituality With profound beauty and insight, Bell addresses the truism that we can t talk about ourselves as sexual beings without asking who made us that way For progressive Christians and readers who enjoy the writings of Donald Miller, NT Wright, Brian McLaren and Timothy Keller, Rob Bell is a pioneer among those seeking a new kind of Christian teaching Revised Review 3 5I think I have probably shifted my stance slightly with this book As you might notice I took it down a notch to 3 stars instead of 4 And I also removed it from my recommended shelf I would say it is because on further reflection, it is muchof a dangerous book than I would have originally thought It is a little reductionist towards a Hebrew centric view on marriage, and while the old testament was written by the Israelites, marriage was instituted for mankind and no Revised Review 3 5I think I have probably shifted my stance slightly with this book As you might notice I took it down a notch to 3 stars instead of 4 And I also removed it from my recommended shelf I would say it is because on further reflection, it is muchof a dangerous book than I would have originally thought It is a little reductionist towards a Hebrew centric view on marriage, and while the old testament was written by the Israelites, marriage was instituted for mankind and not just for Israel So while there are interesting tidbits about the meaning of various tradition, i m not sure if it really serves as a holistic basis for sexual norms.Secondarily, I think while it may be better than Velvet Elvis , this books till depends on an unwritten assumption that you know your basic christian doctrine That is, it depends on you to bring in your knowledge to really Christianize what he writes Looking objectively at the book again, I think it would be muchdifficult to really read this and get a coherant understanding of how it all works.In the end, interesting, but I am not sure I would recommend it now.Take it or leave it, but don t depend on it Original Review 4 5I don t characteristically like Rob Bell, but I did enjoy this book In the current day where the meaning of sex has totally been lost through gross exploitation of sex in the media and culture, this book does do a great job of setting the scene of just what sex is, how it relates to our spirituality, and how our spirituality relates to our sex.This book doesn t offer new information, but it does present old arguments to a new audience in a way that does seem simplistic nor over complex.I enjoyed his discussion on lust, and fighting lust It s not about getting rid of desire It s about giving ourselves to bigger andpowerful desires p 82 This totally opens the door to other books like Desiring God or Future Grace by John Piper.Also, the discussion on sex was really insightful for me But sex is not the search for something that s missing It s the expression of something that s been found It s designed to be the overflow, the culmination of something a man and a woman have found in each other It s a celebration of this living, breathing thing that s happening between the two of them p 123 Overall, I think this book is great I would hesitate in recommending Rob Bellgenerally because of some of his other works, but this is an insightful, scriptural, sound book as far as I can discern