Reviewed by: John W. Mahaffy
God, You, and Sex: A Profound Mystery, by David White. New Growth Press, 2019. Paperback, 240 pages, $15.30. Reviewed by OP pastor John W. Mahaffy.
“Sex is about God,” writes David White on the first page of this book. “He invites us into a deeper understanding of who he is by creating us in his image as sexual beings.” This is why we need a “positive theology of sex. . . . The otherness of husband and wife, rooted in the proclamation that marriage is about Jesus and the church, is foundational to God’s design” (46).
White addresses this topic with an uncompromising commitment to the authority of Scripture, refreshing in a time when the stance of the church is too often shaped by the culture. Yet the voice of God is never presented harshly, but rather reflects his compassion. The Fall has affected all of us—and we, including God’s redeemed people, have to deal with our fallen sexuality. We all need redemption.
White points to the purpose for which God created us: fellowship and communion with him. That provides hope and strength for those who struggle. He addresses specific challenges faced by those whose marriages involve pain and loss (all marriages this side of Eden), those who struggle with singleness, those who wrestle with same-sex attraction, and survivors of abuse.
While the focus is on God and his Word, White appropriately describes his own struggles as he came to Christ, and as he dealt with the untimely death of his first wife and the challenges of being a single parent of young daughters. He understands the shallowness of pat answers, but knows the deep comfort of the Lord drawing us closer in suffering.
White reminds us: “We are called to be salt and light to people with radically contrary lives and worldviews so that the glory of Jesus is evident to a watching world” (200). I fully agree that cultural change requires something much deeper than political or judicial action. Yet, it would have been helpful if White had detailed some steps that Christians might take in the area of civil government.
Do not let this minor critique prevent you from reading the book. Members of the church and those who lead and teach will benefit from its very practical theology. A copy belongs in the church library. Parents, read the chapter, “Parenting Challenges and Opportunities,” and then discuss it with your older children.
White reminds us that we are God’s eschatological people: “What I mean is people who lose their life in this world because of the promise of eternal life, people who live as strangers and aliens because all their hope is placed in the world to come. This identity should inform all aspects of how we live our lives, especially our sexuality” (214–15).
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