Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sex, Lies and Religion Book Review

The book I just finished is Sex, Lies and Religion by Randy Elrod. The acknowledgments at the end of the book made me weep with envy. The good kind. He has an astonishing group of friends supporting and surrounding him while he bravely proclaims a truth and uncovers lies. As I finished reading, I felt included; lifted by these witnesses.

Dr. Kevin Leman, who wrote Sheet Music, is the only other Christian author I've read, who pounces on the subject of our sexuality with playfulness, humor and an easy way of dialoguing. Both of these guys are unembarrassed. I stand with them. Unashamed and unembarrassed by the invitation to this wild banquet we've been asked to attend. This table is filled with wonderful things beyond our imagination - we don't have to starve. I can joyfully eat my fill. Crumbs and berry juice, butter and honey dripping from my chin.

For years, I've wondered if it is hard for men to comprehend the wonder of being 'the bride of Christ'. Being men, how could they? Men enter, they don't receive. I think every man can explore this metaphor and easily relate. Finally.

Is it pornography or art? The discussion here leaves no doubt where the dividing line is drawn. There is a wide, black demarkation line making a huge difference between these two opposites.

Long ago, someone was puzzled when I shared how beautiful I felt when Craig desired me, wanted me and pursued me. We had a different paradigm. My paradigm spiritually and sexually matches what Randy is sharing. I kept saying yes and yes as I read. Someone put into words, beautiful words, how I feel as a Bride and as a bride.

We invite Him into the sacredness of our bedroom, locked in, locked into a 3-way embrace. Randy is the first person who says it out loud. For this, I'm grateful. My little voice is shouting along with his big voice. Join in, we'll raise a ruckus and make the mountains rumble. Tumbling the lies to rubble.

Here are some quotes from the book:

"Our Creator alone earned the right to act as our ultimate authority and thus is worthy to receive the reciprocal gifts of intimacy and wild abandonment. He desires both our soul and body more than our religious minds can comprehend." 

"Could it be, as one writer puts it, that every knock at the door of a brothel is actually a knock at the heart of God?"

"Aquinas writes in his magnificent work....that three things are needed for beauty: harmony, wholeness and radiance." 

"When the elements of beauty mysteriously connect the artist with the viewer, there is a sense of satisfaction and revelation. The wholeness, harmony, and radiance provide the viewer, as Luigi Galvani calls it, 'an enchantment of the heart'. But this is vastly different from  the act of viewing pornography."

"These pornographers trivialize and exploit the naked body and sex act as merely selfish entertainment and choose to ignore the potential for sensual and spiritual intimacy and healthy love."  

"....engaging the power of mutual imagination in sexual intimacy should send us soaring in the heavenlies, wild and free."   

Since I don't want to spoil the rest of the book, this is my last quote and my favorite; the shivering, tingling favorite:

"Without imagination, there is no understanding. But with it, there is every possibility we can imagine and more. It is power. It is potential. It is transcendent. It is wonder. It is replete with unexpected gifts. Unless we use our imagination, we are not fully alive. Wendell Berry says it this way: 'The imagination is our way into the divine Imagination, permitting us to see wholly - as whole and holy-what we perceive to be scattered, as order what we perceive as random.' Imagine the possibilities if we expanded the power of our imagination to utilize sexual fantasy as a bridge to a deeper and exciting relationship with our lover and with God." 


  1. OK, now it's one for my reading list. :)

  2. It is surely on my reading list now. Thank you. Years ago I bought my in-laws Sheet Music and a vanilla scented candle. I've never seen my mother-in-law turn so red. I don't really want to know if they ever read it ... I just hope they did.

  3. Both of these books sound awesome, Kathleen. Very intriguing. I love that you are unashamed! Shouldn't we all celebrate this amazing gift?

    I just learned about this second blog from over at Glynn's so I just had to come by. So glad I did.

    And, since I just won that Kindle, these are going on the list to download!

  4. Enjoy your Kindle Laura. Thanks for never blushing Mama Hen. You're gonna love it Glynn. I'd like to read your review of same, mentor me. :)


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