Chapter Three: Angels and Animals
This chapter is an interesting chapter on living within the tension between our physicality and our spirituality (which is a tension that needs to be understood in more than simply the context of sexuality). We are not mere spirit (angels), sexuality is an important part of who we were created to be. On the other hand, we are not mere body (animals), sexuality is not all we were created to be, but should be mastered.
Now while Rob talks about the good of mastering our desires he doesn't give us any methods of doing so (the book isn't a book of methodology so much as meditation). The furthest he goes here is by saying that, yeah, lots of us struggle with being pure. Or the way I like to put it, "Good luck, suckah."
A good chapter, however, if only for us to be continually reminded that we are human not animal, not angel.
Chapter Four: Leather, Whips, and Fruit
This chapter deals with the issue of lust and its failure to deliver what it promises. A lot of Edenic references here. So if indulging our lusts doesn't satisfy, then, Rob contends, we must find our passion and let it.
Chapter Five: She Ran into the Girls' Bathroom
Rob gives this illustration from his own life of being 14 and crossing the empty dance floor to ask a girl to dance with him. In response ... the chapter's title. Now, what I want to know in the rest of this chapter, and what Rob never says, is how the hell do you get over something like that? I'd need serious counseling. Anyway, I don't even know what the rest of this chapter is about, I'm so shaken. Something to do with the riskiness of love - even for God.
Chapter Six: Worth Dying For
A good chapter on submission. And apparently it's not just for women either. (That's a joke at the ladies' expense. My apologies.)
Chapter Seven: Under the Chuppah
There is some good criticism by Scot McKnight about this book today. Some of which (concerning Rob's use of Rabbinic literature) I just am not qualified to give. And most of that scholarly criticism concerns this chapter.
Now I enjoyed this chapter, even taking into consideration Scot's criticism of it. While perhaps Rob should not have used the Rabbinic literature as he did, the point he makes is obviously valid. The chapter discusses what must take place under this controversial(?) prayer shawl (HOO-pah) and how it is a picture of our relationship with God. God and us, bridegroom and bride - that's the basic image here and will be more powerful for some and less for others depending on where we are on our faith journeys and what we're looking for in Bell's book.
I'm going to finish writing through Sex God tomorrow. In the meantime, this book is Rob. Some people won't get it, perhaps, but this is him and his heart is evident in it. It is a poetic meditation on agape more than eros, after all is said and done. And I enjoyed it.