I am honored to be asked by TLC Book Tours to review another book, Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option. This book is by Bromleigh McCleneghan, an associate pastor from Chicago. While I am honored, I feel a little cheated, because the subtitle continues beyond what I wrote above to say, “And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex.” Naturally, being the nerdy “bibliologist” that I am, I thought the book would exegete some scripture and show me why it’s okay after all to have sex outside of marriage. It doesn’t. A verse of scripture is referred to here and there, but the outcome is not scholarly exposition.
I guess I am not really surprised. There is no way the book can use scripture to prove that “Chasity isn’t the Only Option.” Scripture is pretty clear on the subject. From the ancient Jews to the 1st century Jews, sex was for procreating and enjoying in whatever constituted a legal relationship at that time. Yes, that relationship might be one of master and slave or of husband and any number of wives. But there is no context within scripture where sex between committed, loving adults outside whatever legal relationship the Jewish culture required was okay.
So basically McClenegahn rewrites “the rules” we have all come to know often using her romantic relationships as examples. I am not saying she isn’t inspired. I am not saying she isn’t right. I am just saying she isn’t too worried about “things the Bible says about sex.”
Yet, she opens up the door for questioning the old ways. For re-imagining sexual mores for those seeking justice and holiness in romantic relationships in the modern world.
Is that wrong?
Well, let’s remember those old legal relationships that scripture relied on are now considered very VERY wrong in modern society. For instance, good Christians don’t have sex with slaves any more. Good Christians don’t take multiple wives. So it makes sense that maybe “Good Christian Sex” needs re-thinking too.
I think this book opens a door to a very important conversation!
Check out April’s Books, Disorderly Bible Studies, for group and individual study.