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The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and Church

Overview

Is it possible to be a Christian and a sexual being? At times it seems like the Church pits sexuality and spirituality against one another. Yet the cost in creating such a dichotomy has resulted in harmful implications on spiritual growth, sexual intimacy, and moral credibility.

The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and the Church traces sexual attitudes and practices in Hebrew culture as presented in the Old Testament through the current issues that confront the church today. It ...

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The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and Church

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Overview

Is it possible to be a Christian and a sexual being? At times it seems like the Church pits sexuality and spirituality against one another. Yet the cost in creating such a dichotomy has resulted in harmful implications on spiritual growth, sexual intimacy, and moral credibility.

The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and the Church traces sexual attitudes and practices in Hebrew culture as presented in the Old Testament through the current issues that confront the church today. It addresses questions such as "How has the church become so notorious for sex scandals amongst its leadership?" "Why is the church unable to present a united front on sexual issues such as marriage/divorce, premarital sex, homosexuality, and abortion?" and "How can I make wise and informed choices about these important issues in light of my beliefs?"

Blending historical facts with practical wisdom, this lively exploration looks at how Christian views of sex have developed and changed based on doctrinal, cultural, medical, scriptural, and psychological understandings.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mention "sex and the church" and divisive issues such as abortion, homosexuality, sex outside of marriage and the response to child sex abuse scandals all pop to the forefront. Berry (The Unauthorized Guide to Choosing a Church) takes on these subjects and more, presenting many viewpoints from various strains of Christianity and then asking readers to "decide how [they] will decide." Berry marches through history, beginning with Jewish purity and property laws and moving on to Jesus' challenge of those laws, Paul's writings on sexual morality, the church fathers' 11th-century ruling on celibacy for the clergy and the Reformation's pro-marriage stance. She then contrasts early Christian worldviews with those we encounter in the church today, especially now that people are not considered "property" and attitudes toward sexuality are influenced by an understanding of psychology, biology and women's rights. Berry mostly provides analysis, but moves into adviser mode at times, such as when she promotes "celibacy as a spiritual discipline" for all Christian singles. This book is a fine introduction to issues of Christianity and sexuality for anyone unclear about where denominations stand on any particular sex issue or for those wanting more information about the church's historical attitudes on sexual morality. (Aug. 18) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780849945441
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/23/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 0.68 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 10.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Carmen Renee Berry is the author of seventeen books including girlfriends, on the New York Times best-seller list for fifty-two weeks, and her latest title, The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and the Church. She is a nationally-noted speaker, publishing consultant, and former psychotherapist. Carmen has several master's degrees-social work, social sciences, and history. Her first book was published in 1988 and she has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs such as Oprah and CNN.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : what does Jesus mean to my sex life? 1
1 Body ownership and dirty deeds in the Old Testament 17
2 Jesus defies convention 33
3 Was Paul purposely trying to confuse us? 47
4 Competition for control of the early church 65
5 The church fathers freak out about sex 73
6 Protestant property, purity, and practices 95
7 Is there a new body ethic in the new world? 105
8 Sex : is sexual purity a Christian oxymoron? 143
9 Nonmarital sexuality : can celibacy be a spiritual discipline? 153
10 Abortion : is this a body-ownership debate? 163
11 Same-sex sex : is homosexuality an abomination or an alternative lifestyle? 189
12 Rape 225
13 Sexual abuse of children 241
14 Sexual addiction 253
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