Sex and the false gods of the marketplace

Peter Jensen has a wonderful review of Glynn Harrison’s new book A Better Story: God, Sex and Human Flourishing (Intervarsity, 2017). I haven’t read the book yet, but I want to point out two paragraphs from the review that are important. Jensen writes:

We frequently hear from Christians who sigh about our apparent obsession with sex and advise us simply to get on preaching the gospel. This superficially attractive advice is, in fact, untenable. The world we live in is sex-saturated. We can hardly avoid addressing the subject if we wish to apply the gospel, challenge people to live in a godly way, and protect the faithful. At a deeper level, when we consult the Scriptures themselves, we see that the whole business of sexual relations is very much connected to our humanness. At any period of human history, it would be right to give attention to this subject if we wish to understand who we are and how we are to please the Lord. Since there is a close biblical connection between the abuse of sexuality and idolatry, if we wish to analyse the false religions of humanity, we will need to talk about sex.

In particular, the advice to stop talking about sex and instead to just preach Jesus, would, if embraced, lead to a false gospel. For it would mean that one of the chief gods of this age would not be mentioned and therefore some of the chief sins of this age would not be labelled. In the end, a gospel without repentance would be the result and that is no gospel at all.

These words are so timely. There are many Christians today—both young and old, but especially young—who are being tempted to believe that questions of sexuality are matters of secondary importance. They believe that Christians ought to be able to agree to disagree about such things and that affirmation of gay marriage, for example, really shouldn’t divide us. Nothing could be further from the truth. The gravity of the error is more profound than that. To miss this can lead to a complete undoing of Christian faith—indeed to a false gospel. The stakes couldn’t be any higher.

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