In Rob Bell's new book, Sex God, the thing that initially struck me is how much much of it reminded me of Papa Benedict's encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love). Benedict mixes it up with eros and agape - how each kind of love informs the other.
Rob Bell's writing style is, well, different. He breaks up single thoughts into multiple paragraphs until the entire book takes on a kind of
What he is indeed going for with this kind of departure from the normal rules of written expression, I have no idea. He's never discussed it with me.
His writing style aside, there is one other thing that Rob does with this book that rubs me the wrong way. He talks about how sexuality is about connectivity, which I totally agree with, but then he veers off into reversing this understanding, somehow, into connectivity being all about sexuality. So that music is about sexuality and our relationship with God is about sexuality (and while our sexuality may have much to do with both, it's putting the proof before the horse - or something like that), and how some of the most sexual people he knows are celibate. All of which, again, may be true. But the ordering of it all seems off somehow.
Which brings me to my next point: This book is less about sex than I had hoped, er, expected from the title. The book is about relationships. And while he covers sexuality and marriage and how they are icons of our relationship with God, he ultimately is concerned less with sex and more with relationship.
It's all rather postmodern. Which I like and dislike simultaneously (you can do that in postmodernism). It abandons linearity for something more circuitous and, in my opinion, less cohesive.
But these are all minor beefs. The book is good. I give it four stars. (Out of how many I'll never tell.)
I'm thinking about actually writing through this book, a couple chapters at a time, beginning on Monday. I've never done that before, but keep thinking it could be loads of fun. Or would that just ruin the book for all of you? Here are the chapter titles:
- Introduction | This Is Really About That
- Chapter One | God Wears Lipstick
- Chapter Two | Sexy on the Inside
- Chapter Three | Angels and Animals
- Chapter Four | Leather, Whips, and Fruit
- Chapter Five | She Ran into the Girls' Bathroom
- Chapter Six | Worth Dying For
- Chapter Seven | Under the Chuppah
- Chapter Eight | Johnny and June
- Chapter Nine | Whoopee Forever
- Epilogue | More Balloons Please
Let me know what you think.