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Thursday
Sep292016

‘Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option – And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex’

by Kayce Stevens Hughlett

The last time Trish Collins and TLC Book Tours invited me to write a review for their book tour I had to decline because I couldn’t get through the book. (This was not TLC’s fault.) My hunch is that it was a great book and simply not my thing. Once again, I must admit that I haven’t quite made it all the way through the slated book, but I'm posting the review anyway. While I’m not sure as a monogamous, married woman of nearly 30 years that a book called Good Christian Sex (geared toward individuals considering new sexual relationships) is “my thing,” it felt important to use my voice and stay on the tour. Why?

Well... Before sitting down to write, my single, 24-year-old daughter and I opened up two beers and toasted our recent family vacation. She asked what I was up to now and I explained that I was writing a review of the book, Good Christian Sex. “Eww,” she said and wrinkled her face. “Sex and religion just don’t mix.” That, dear readers, is why I need to write this review. On many levels my daughter is correct. In my experience, books on the topic tend to lean one of two ways—either the zealous writer takes a Christian paradigm (often highly conservative) and tries to cram a shame-filled sexual agenda down unwitting readers’ throats or sex as a topic is virtually omitted or skimmed over.  Author, Bromleigh McCleneghan uses neither approach and for that I applaud her.

Good Christian Sex is a well-referenced, thoughtful, and highly readable book. It is one I would recommend to any Christian-leaning person trying to understand what it means to step into a sexual relationship whether for the first time or later. I say “Christian-leaning” principally because of the oft-referenced Biblical texts. In my opinion, the values McLeneghan uses could well be applied to any person who holds themselves and others in high esteem.  This book is for single and married, straight, gay, or transgendered people. Bromleigh McCleneghan stays away from judgment and crazed Christian stereotypes. Good Christian Sex is about mutual respect, self-awareness, and honor. The book is not shame-based or filled with shoulds and should nots. Rather, the author poses questions and offers texts— Biblical, psychological, and social—that the reader can further explore in order to make sense of this vast topic for his or herself.

“In Good Christian Sex, Bromleigh McCleneghan might surprise you. She might even offend you. But she will never pander, and she will never condescend. She’s like an uncommonly wise, witty, and faithful big sister, telling you just enough of her own story to help you figure out the contours of your own. I can’t imagine a more liberating invitation for Christians to receive the good and gracious gift of sexuality.” Katherine Willis Pershey, Associate Minister of First Congregational Church and author of Any Day a Beautiful Change and Very Married

The only thing I would change in the above praise would be to add “or anyone” into the invitation. Bromleigh McCleneghan takes a huge step toward healthy Christian and non-Christian sexuality in this new book. When I was speaking to a friend about writing this review he quipped, “How is good Christian sex different from good pagan sex?” Exactly! Anyone who’s followed my work for very long knows that I am not a fan of “good or bad” language. What a glorious world it would be if we could only drop judgments and distinctions like these from our vocabulary?!?

Curious about Good Christian Sex? I invite you to give it a read and decide for yourself. More reviews can be found here through TLC Book Tours.

 

About Bromleigh McCleneghan

Bromleigh McCleneghan is Associate Pastor at Union Church of Hinsdale in suburban Chicago. She is the co-author of Hopes and Fears: Everyday Theology for New Parents and Other Tired, Anxious People, and her essays and articles have been published in The Christian CenturyMinistry MattersFidelia’s SistersCircuit RiderCriterion, and the website of The United Methodist Church. More at www.bromleighm.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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