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Book Plunge: Sex and the City of God

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  • Book Plunge: Sex and the City of God

    How do you think about sex in the city of God?

    Link

    --------

    What do I think of Carolyn Weber’s book published by IVP? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Carolyn Weber has written a memoir of sorts about her journey in learning about love and sex after she became a Christian. Throughout the story, she also shares her own thoughts on the topics and how Christianity and marriage are both covenant activities and the way sexuality plays a part in them. The book is also written on a popular level, but it has an academic air to it as Weber is very proficient with great English literature.

    The story does move around a lot as it starts with her getting a phone call about her Dad and his being taken to a hospital. From there, we go to a story about her being at home and her ex-fiance comes to the door. She had broken up with him after coming to faith in Christ and realizing that a marriage between someone who has a very negative view of God and someone who has a very positive view of Him would be problematic to say the least.

    She agrees to a car ride with him thinking nothing of it and as can be expected, this leads to her being in a compromising situation. She also doesn’t hold back at these points as while nothing explicit is said, she does still tell the story with someone wondering “What’s going to happen next? Will she fall into sin or will she somehow escape temptation?” I think looking back Weber realizes she put herself in compromising situations way too often.

    Much of the book also reflects on her interactions with a man she doesn’t want to marry but is attracted to and is very theological that she simply refers to throughout most of the book as TDH, for Tall, Dark, and Handsome. She talks to her personal mentors about him as well. Many times in the book, her mentors, being good mentors, in good friendship give her mental slaps across the face at times on how she’s living.

    Ultimately, we discover the story here of a girl coming up in her faith and learning about sex and love from that different perspective. We see her interacting with friends and especially with guys. We hear about her going on dates and what disasters that they often were. We see her love of English literature show up, her relationship with her father being worked out, and, of course, hear her thoughts about sex.

    So here are some positives overall.

    First, Weber is a talented writer and she does know how to draw you into the story. I found myself listening and wondering what was going to happen next. You could say that was when she was talking about guys and sex, but no. It was also at other times. She’s quite good at painting a picture of what was happening.

    Second, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. She admits her mistakes that she made and she doesn’t come out looking perfect in every single encounter. In this, she is an entirely relatable character. For a humorous example of relatability, when she talks to one of her mentors about what she would want in a future husband, good in bed shows up as a desire, to which there is some laughter on that end.

    Third, her thoughts on sex and marriage and covenants are excellent. She relates the matter very well to Christian thought and how Christianity requires that you think about relationships differently. She had never thought about relationships on this level before becoming a Christian.

    So some areas I would improve.

    First, I was curious to hear the story about how a girl goes to Oxford and becomes a Christian. Many of us would think the opposite would happen. I would like to have heard at least briefly how it was that she came to faith.

    Second, while she is a good writer, at times the story does seem to bounce around a bit. For the most part, this doesn’t happen and everything does come back together in the end, but sometimes I was wondering why she dropped this story and then moved somewhere else.

    Yet those are the only areas I would really change. Other than that, this is a great book to read and consider. I think even a non-Christian would get a lot out of reading it and exploring her viewpoint. The insights on relationships could be very helpful.

    If you are interested in learning about sex and marriage from a Christian view, as I am, add this one to your list. It’s worth it.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)

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