Sex, Sushi, and Salvation: Thoughts on Intimacy, Community, and Eternity [NOOK Book]

Overview


There's more to life than computerized slippers and sexy ring tones.
The world revolves around something greater than ourselves, and we all burn for intimacy, crave community, and struggle for eternity.

This is a book about sex, sushi, and salvation-a book of snapshots-the ups and downs, the failures and fortunes.

If you hunger for a raw faith that satisfies the soul, read ...

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Sex, Sushi, and Salvation: Thoughts on Intimacy, Community, and Eternity

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Overview


There's more to life than computerized slippers and sexy ring tones.
The world revolves around something greater than ourselves, and we all burn for intimacy, crave community, and struggle for eternity.

This is a book about sex, sushi, and salvation-a book of snapshots-the ups and downs, the failures and fortunes.

If you hunger for a raw faith that satisfies the soul, read on.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802479662
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


CHRISTIAN GEORGE (M.A. Beeson Divinity School) is a writer, speaker,
and author of five books: Godology; Sex, Sushi, and Salvation; Sacred Travels:
Recovering the Ancient Practice of Pilgrimage; Jonathan Edwards: America's Genius
;
and Charles Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers. He and his wife, Rebecca, are currently living in Scotland where he is working on a Ph.D. in theology at the University of St. Andrews. You can visit him online at christiangeorge.org.
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Read an Excerpt

sex sushi & salvation thoughts on intimacy, community, & eternity
By CHRISTIAN GEORGE moody publishers Copyright © 2008 Christian George
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-8254-9


Chapter One russian sex and wedding vows

ANYTHING was possible before God created the cosmos. Stars could have burned green instead of white. Planets could have grown like grass in the galaxy. Oceans could have oozed of Milk Duds and caramel. The whole world, in fact, could have been a trampoline, bouncing creatures across the continents.

But God had other plans. He created a universe that was hospitable for humanity-warm sunshine, fresh oxygen, flowing water. He spoke birds and beasts into being. He invented dragonflies, crocodiles, and water lilies. But something was missing. The lions didn't look like God. The tigers didn't talk like God.

"Let us make man in our image," God said (Genesis 1:26 NIV). "All in favor, raise your hand." Since God is one in-three and three-in-one, a single hand streaked the sky, signaling a unanimous yes. Then God reached into the blackness of time, grabbed hold of nothing, decided it should become something, and altered just about everything so that one day He could bless it with anything. And He named it Adam, and gave him Eve.

I met my Eve on a Sunday. For many it was a day of rest, but for me, activity was in the air. The girl of my dreams was twelve feet away, and my work was certainly cut out for me. We were in the college cafeteria. The smell of burgers filled the air, but I was too nervous to notice. The rest of my life depended on this moment. I had to make it count.

My mission was simple but serious, and with great suaveness, I surveyed the scene. Every time she brought that sandwich to her mouth, I envied the turkey on her lips. What's a guy to do? Sure, I had dated before, but never a specimen like this. She was way out of my league. The brunettes of my past were brushed aside; the redheads were washed away. All the proms, dances, and dates dissolved in my mind, and there I was, captivated by this blonde before me.

"So, tell me your life story," I said, sitting down at her table. It was a risky move but a sexy one.

She looked at me with neutral eyes. But then she smiled. It was a smile to replace the millions I'd seen before, a smile that dulled the sting of yesterday's D on an English quiz.

"My name's Rebecca," she said, twisting a strand of hair around her finger. "What's yours?"

I paused as the amnesia set in. Ever since my infancy I've known my name. I've said it and spelled it a thousand times. But as I watched her caress those locks, my brain was void of thought.

"Uh, Christian," I remembered. Of course, I could have been a Brandon, Steve, or Jason if I thought it would help.

"Christian," she mused, "I like that."

It was a perfect moment, a moment carved forever in my mind. It was a moment that split my B.C. from my A.D., and over the following weeks, Rebecca took my life in a new and exciting direction. She told me about her childhood, when ice cream trucks and swimming pools occupied her hours. She told me about her greatest fear: dangling her feet over a shark-infested sea. She told me about her faith-a stubborn, risky, rugged faith that was bold enough to tell God what she thought of Him. We talked philosophy and theology, history and science. And as I turned the pages of her life, I knew she was a book worth wrapping my mind around, and hopefully one day my arms.

EMBRACE, ENGAGE, AND SURRENDER

According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. God told the prophet Jeremiah, "Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you" (Jeremiah 1:5). Interestingly enough, in this sense, the Hebrew word for "know" means more than cerebral awareness; it can mean sex. In Genesis 4:1, Adam knew his wife and she conceived a baby named Cain. To know God is to be intimate with Him. A first-base relationship is not enough. A faith that flirts cannot satisfy a God who loves. We must embrace Him, engage Him, and surrender to His will.

Salvation is like a sneeze-we can't resist it for long. Oh sure, we can delay it, swallow it, or maybe pretend that it doesn't exist. But when Christ looks across the lunch table and asks us our story, it's only a matter of time before we realize He's been tickling our nose the whole time. And He's already written an ending with us in His arms.

Spending time in the presence of Christ should not be a boring date filled with awkward pauses and early curfews; rather, it should be an exciting event, climaxing with sparks flying and passions peaking. The Creator of the universe seeks intimacy with His creation, and if the Westminster Shorter Catechism is correct and God is our chief desire, intimacy with the Eternal will be established.

A RUSSIAN REQUEST

A prostitute tried to have sex with me once. Her name was Nadia, and she lived in Russia. I was on a team of about twenty, some less experienced with mission trips than others, but all of us were committed to the project we were working on. We had come to minister to the orphans, the lowest of the low. There were hundreds of kids, most between the ages of four and fifteen. All of them had been abandoned by their parents and many abused. We had organized a summer camp where they could swim, play soccer, and learn about God. After weeks of planning and months of praying, we stepped off the bus in Vladimir, a small town near Moscow, and prepared to give these children the best summer of their lives.

Their faces were twisted with pain and rejection. Most of the girls would become prostitutes in years to come. Some would be kidnapped and trafficked to European cities for sex. Most of the boys would either serve in the military or end up in prison. And yet, as the camp progressed, so did their smiles. They began to laugh and play, and when we taught them Bible stories their eyes lit up with wild excitement. They wanted to know what happened to Joseph after he was sold into slavery. They held their breath and pretended to be Jonah, sinking beneath the surface of the sea. Some of them even did cartwheels, like the stone that rolled away from Christ's tomb.

As we were working in the camp, Nadia and I came to know one another. She worked at the camp, and her English was broken and thick. At first, it was frustrating to talk to her, like doing a Sudoku puzzle in the dark, but eventually we communicated. I told her about Alabama, how the hot summer days last from April to October. I told her of God and His grace, forgiveness, and goodness. I told her things broken people need to hear. But she also had something to say.

"Do you want to have sex with me?"

I paused.

"Do you want to have sex?" she asked again, flicking her jet-black hair away from her face.

A thousand thoughts raced through my mind. When I was in Sunday school I learned about how Joseph ran away from Potiphar's wife when she propositioned him. He didn't even stay to collect his clothes. That seemed like a good idea, and I calculated the energy it would take to hightail it out of there. But my legs did not like that option, and welded to the ground. Perhaps if I stayed, I could talk her out of it. Women like to talk, and it shouldn't be hard to turn the conversation in another direction. Even the great Titanic was steered by a single rudder. But then, for a brief second in time, I thought the unthinkable. It was a dark and dangerous second, but it nonetheless ticked. What if? Who would know? Why not?

* * *

My first girlfriend's name was Cindy. Sure, we were in preschool, but she had skills. Really good skills. She could finger paint until the cows came home, and it was too much for me to take. I fell madly in love with her, and during naptime she consumed my little dreams. At recess we chased each other around the playground, and in class we learned to spell our names together. Cindy's mother took us out on our first "date," and it ended with chocolate ice cream all over the car.

But the relationship would have never worked out. You see, Cindy picked her nose. Granted, her fingers were exceptionally talented, but when she swirled them around in her mouth, I knew the relationship was not going to last. Besides, we were four years old. And to further complicate the situation, I was moving on to bigger and better things-kindergarten.

When I was in fifth grade, I remember sitting in a sex-education class that explained the ins and outs (quite literally) of God's great gift to humanity. Since I was the second guy in my class to grow hair on my legs, everyone looked at me to see how I would react to the naughty pictures in the textbook. Victoria's Secret wasn't a secret to me anymore, and I sat in the corner of the class and giggled. I felt like Curious George, exploring the terrain of a new and unfamiliar landscape. It was a landscape filled with colorful charts, enlightening drawings, and memorable diagrams. One page even had a pop up chart, which gave me no small laugh. Of course, the idea of kissing a girl was foreign to me; the idea of sex, unfathomable.

Those days did change. In middle school, I all but roped the moon to snag a hug from a girl. I wrote girls letters, sent them pictures, and flirted with them in class. I laughed at their jokes, wooed them with winks, and even offered to edit their papers. Every once in a while, my squeaky, high-pitched voice gave way to a masculine man be neath, and I asked one of them out on a date. It didn't work very well, and most of the time they just whispered about me in the bathroom. It was an awkward age to be a boy, an age when girls were angels to me-never sinning, never breathing, and never going to the bathroom. They lived in heaven, pillow fighting in their pajamas while I was stuck on earth, struggling with puberty.

High school could not have come sooner. My hormones took an Alka-Seltzer, my sense of humor, a steroid, and my fast, red Acura landed me more dates than I had weekends to enjoy them. Oh, I had read I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and Joshua Harris's arguments were admirable, but never did I have the guts to go through with them. The only things I kissed good-bye were the girls I took to dinner. I was a dating machine, or so I thought. The local florist knew my name, I stocked up on Tic Tacs, and I could have bought another red car with all the money I spent on movies, candy, and popcorn. Dating was the drug of choice, and I wrote myself a new prescription every week.

RUSSIAN REDEMPTION

But Nadia was a pill I could not pop.

"No," I told her. "I can't have sex with you."

She burst into tears and ran back to her cabin, embarrassed, abandoned, and shocked. She had offered herself to me, and I had rejected her-the Russian cookie had crumbled, and I spent most of the night praying for her and praising God for helping me make that decision.

The next morning was an awkward one. I found Nadia eating breakfast, and she avoided me at first. But over the next few days, we became genuine friends. We continued talking about the Christian faith, and I told her about how it had changed my life. Several days later, she told me that I was the only man who had ever said no to her for sex, and before our team left for America, I gave her my Bible.

Leaving the Russian camp was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. The orphans had attached themselves to us. They viewed us as friends and caretakers who, like their parents, were now abandoning them. I wanted to adopt every one of them and bring them back to America. Theirs would be the finest health care available, the best school systems around, and the freedom to worship Christ in a church where everyone knew their names. Theirs would have been heaven, but I had to leave them in hell. And to this day I can still feel their arms, grabbing and clawing at me to stay as I boarded the bus.

I brooded the whole way to the airport. I thought about my upbringing, being born in America with two amazing parents, a sister, and an ugly but cheerful dog named Snowball. I didn't deserve those things. I didn't deserve the Christmas presents and the birthday cakes. I didn't deserve the pleasant childhood memories. I was never abandoned, and my sister wasn't trafficked for sex. And I couldn't help but pray for Nadia and the orphans in Russia as our plane taxied to the runway.

SATAN'S PROSTITUTES

God created us in His image to be His mirror. When He looked down at us, He saw Himself. He saw the creativity, the ability to communicate, the immortality, and the intimacy. But after Adam and Eve sinned, the mirror cracked. No longer were we perfect representations of God. We were shattered glass, broken bottles, flawed and fractured mirrors that distorted God's holy face. We exchanged our first love for another, and with legs wide open we prostituted ourselves to the serpent. We pimped our passions to the Devil like unholy whores. Beauty became the beast, and we could not even look at God. Moses tried, but his face burned so brightly that he had to wear a sack over his head to protect the people from the rays (see Exodus 34:35). When once we walked in the cool of the garden, our sin led us into the wilderness, and we wandered around, looking for another Eden.

God in His grace, however, didn't let us wander by ourselves. He came down to our level in the person of Jesus Christ and restored communion with creation. The apostle Paul tells us that "God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). In other words, God beat His little boy with the belt reserved for us, and we agree with Isaiah: "Through his bruises we get healed" (Isaiah 53:5). On the roller coaster of redemption, Jesus Christ sank from the heights of heaven to the very depths of hell.

But hell was not the ending. On the third day, He arose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now reigns as King with His Father. Through intimacy with Jesus Christ the mirror is restored, and when God looks down at us He does not see shattered souls deserving punishment but rather a polished image of His glory and grace.

* * *

They say when you meet your soul mate everyone else in the world disappears. A crowd of two hundred becomes a crowd of two, and all that matters is the moment, the perfect moment when God has creation accomplish His will. For three wonderful years Rebecca and I became best friends. We talked until the wee hours of the morning, ate most of our meals together, and drove around the city just for driving's sake. Because we didn't want to jeopardize our relationship, we limited our physical attention. We drafted an "Ode to the Sustaining of Friendship in a Relationship." It was a puppy dog love with an electric fence around it, and our friendship survived the years.

Rebecca and I grew together spiritually too. The days of high school were in the past. No more selfish dating and "living-for-the-moment" mentalities. The fast, red Acura rarely broke the speed limit, and I began to love Rebecca's love for the Lord. I also started reading my Bible in the mornings and digging through those Old Testament books that nobody preaches on anymore, like Nahum and Obadiah. During church, Rebecca and I wrote notes to each other. Her questions about God enthused me to know more, read more, and learn more, and though I didn't always have the right answer, our quest for spiritual enlightenment brought us together.

I told her about my adventures and pilgrimages around the world-adventures through Europe, Great Britain, Asia, and Russia. I told her stories about mossy castles and foreign foods. I told her about my cravings for sushi and my passion for writing. We shared deep secrets-secrets that I had never told anyone before. But there was one secret I kept to myself. It was a secret too sacred to say, even to Rebecca, my best friend. At night, I took my secret from its case and admired its sparkly edges. They say "secrets" like these last forever, and I had emptied my savings account to afford it.

In many ways, falling in love with Christ was like falling in love with Rebecca. The more time I spent with God, the more I loved Him. God gives us the desire for intimacy so He can satisfy it. We often sing the words, "Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace," but so often our hearts are tuned to every frequency but the Father's. We listen to secularism but avoid the God who calls us to be pilgrims in this land. We listen to materialism but ignore the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Only when we tune to God by prayer, worship, and intimate studying of the Scripture can we finish the hymn, "Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from sex sushi & salvation by CHRISTIAN GEORGE Copyright © 2008 by Christian George. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


CONTENTS

Introduction: Fasten
Your Seat Belts / 11

1. Russian Sex and Wedding Vows /
17

2. Naked with God / 31

3. Who's Your Daddy?
/ 45

4. Selling Your Soul on eBay / 59

5. From
Milk to Meat / 71

6. Hollow Places / 85


7. Sushi Faith / 97

8. Blue Enough / 111


9. A Gory Gospel / 125

10. Good Hamster Fluff / 141

11.
Grappling with God / 151

12. Back to the Future / 169


Epilogue: Leap of Faith / 181
Acknowledgments
/ 185
Notes / 186

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2008

    Rob Bell Meets Jesus

    One only has to read the cover of Christian George's book to realize it is worth investing in. Through Sex, Sushi, & Salvation, George takes readers on a engaging journey. A journey where the realities of life meet the supernatural, unexplainable Jesus Christ in a simple but reachable way. George bridges the great divide between faith and everyday life. He uses his personal journey (bumps and potholes not excluded) as the means to communicate the message. George's writing and creativity make not only the book readable but the ideas found within attainable. Sex, Sushi, & Salvation is a pleasure to read. Creativity meets theology in a challenging but engaging fashion. I recommend George's work to any who have doubt or questions and even to those who believe.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2008

    Awesome Book!

    A friend approached me the other day and recommended that I give Christian George's book a shot. 'What is it called again?' I asked, blushing at the title. I'm not much of a reader, but was assured that this book would meet my cravings for a captivating story, complete with asian flare and down-to-earth experiences about world travel. Little did I know, Christian would talk about hunting vampires, resisting the urge to have sex with a Russian prostitute, and recount the time in Japan when he lost his sushi virginity. It reads like Donald Miller's 'Blue Like Jazz,' only on theological steroids! Being a martial artist, I am always on the look out for things on a deep level. Striving to master and maintain the body, a Christian is no different from a practitioner of any other art. Christian also trained in aikido, and relates those principles to the Christian experience. His book takes you back to your center of your substance by explaining that you exist to glorify God in all things. The distractions of this world bring only temporary happiness and cannot satisfy the soul. Christian strikes the pressure points of the soul by reminding us that time spent with God is really where we find fulfillment in life. I'm going to buy five copies and give them to my closest friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2008

    A reviewer

    As a former colleague and confidant, Christian George is not only one who exemplifies holy character, but one who is endowed with the ability to meet the needs of his audience with wisdom filled instruction. Christian George is composed of a unique blend. Like his mother, Christian writes with a prophetic tone that not only disrupt contemporary secularism, but also shapes Christian living. Like his father, a superb historical theologian, Christian listens to the church of the centuries as he confronts the issues of today. Christian George has inherited from his parents the ability to present lofty notions, bold ideas, and strange perspectives in a tactful and easy to understand way. I highly recommend Christian George's book 'Sex, Sushi, and Salvation.' It is not only a book for this generation but for the generations to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2008

    powerful imagery, strong message

    Christian George writes from the heart! His message challenges and inspires, while at the same time relates in a down-to-earth, real life, 'come sit and talk over a cup of coffee' way. Really engaging! I also highly recommend his 'Sacred Travels.' I learned SO much from his descriptions of ancient pilgrimage sites. And you'll laugh out loud over the toilet paper episode in the first chapter! Whether you are searching for truth or looking for an entertaining read, you will find treasure in these books. And you'll be refreshed by them!--I know I have!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2008

    A reviewer

    Christian George is a brilliant writer who gives us a beautiful portrayal of Jesus Christ. He gives us, the reader, the challenge to truly know what it looks like to know Jesus for eternity (John 17:3). His book, 'Sex, Sushi, and Salvation' is not a book that will just teach you about who Jesus Christ is, but it will bring you immediately to the Scriptures because we see that Jesus Christ alone satisfies our every craving. You will find yourself desiring more of God, and being a follower of Christ who will seek His face (Psalm 27:8). This book is not just for a certain age group like a lot of 'trendy' books have been lately, but it is for EVERYONE because of the essential teachings that we see in the Bible from Christian's book. I know you will be blessed by this read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2008

    Donald Miller on Theological Steroids

    A friend approached me the other day and recommended that I give Christian George's book a shot. 'What is it called again?' I asked, blushing at the title. I'm not much of a reader, but was assured that this book would meet my cravings for a captivating story, complete with asian flare and down-to-earth experiences about world travel. Little did I know, Christian would talk about hunting vampires, resisting the urge to have sex with a Russian prostitute, and recount the time in Japan when he lost his sushi virginity. It reads like Donald Miller's 'Blue Like Jazz,' only on theological steroids!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

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