Revolutionary Sex: How the good news of Jesus changes everything
William Taylor, Revolutionary Sex
“Our culture has made an idol out of sexual intimacy and suggests that we cannot be truly fulfilled unless we express our sexual desires. The Bible teaches otherwise.”
I read this book in January after hearing a week of inspiring talks by William Taylor. Two things stood out for me in the way that Taylor preached. He was humble in admitting that he is a sinner just like everyone else. And he never shied away from preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, even when what he said was uncomfortable or in contrast to mainstream ideas promoted in society today. When it comes to the topic of sex, Christians are seen as being out of step with notions of sexual freedom and expression. It truly is a ‘revolutionary’ way of seeing sex that Taylor presents here. Because he goes back to what the Bible says and explains why listening to the inventor of sex will revolutionise the way that we see sex.
If you are even a little bit aware of history, you will have noticed that widely accepted notions of appropriate sexual behaviour have changed over the years. Taylor reminds us that the advent of the contraceptive pill in the 1960s was revolutionary, but that even before that, ideas of individual freedom promoted during the period known as the Enlightenment encouraged people to grow and mature and invent their own identities.
Taylor calls Christians to their own counter- revolution. He recognises that we have all failed in this area, and he reminds us that “Jesus loves to forgive, redeem and restore us.” He looks at sex in relation to creation, the gospel, same-gender sex, and finally singleness and marriage.
Revolutionary Sex and Creation
Taylor looks at Genesis 1 and 2 and shows that “we are created by God for the purpose of enjoying his eternal rest in relationship with him and in relationship with each other under his loving rule.” Christians are called to see sexuality differently from the way that the world does because our worldview is completely different. And this means that “we ought not to find our human identity primarily in our sexuality.” Taylor unpacks what it means to be male and female. He looks at the purpose of marriage. And he encourages Christians to not be deceived by the promise of freedom, and to be aware of the consequences and the damage that humans can do to one another.
Revolutionary Sex and the Gospel
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body” (1 Corinthians 19-20) Taylor now turns to the New Testament and shows that the apostle Paul affirms the sexual purity of the Old Testament. Taylor reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun, and that Christians in the first century struggled with sexual sin too. He says that sex matters, ideas matter and our bodies matter. The Christian view of sex is based on the fact that Jesus has washed us, sanctified us and justified us. We can be forgiven for our past actions and thoughts, and we are now to flee from sexual immorality.
Revolutionary Sex and Same-Gender Sex
I found this chapter helpful in clarifying what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality, and what a Christian response should be. Taylor again reiterates the points that everyone has experienced sexual temptation and sexual sin. And he admonishes the church for sometimes elevating some forms of sexual sin over others. But he does not shy away from clearly stating a biblical view on homosexuality. He reminds us that Paul didn’t expect everyone to live sexually pure lives. Paul’s argument is directed to the Christian. Taylor also states that the “Christian community needs to ensure that our churches are not homophobic.”
Singleness and Marriage and the Revolution
Taylor again turns to the book of 1 Corinthians to look at God’s plan for sex. He explains that marriage is for sex, marriage is for devotion, and marriage is for keeps. It is perhaps disappointing at this point that Taylor does not take more time to discuss leaving a marriage where there is ongoing violence or abuse. Obviously this situation warrants help and support from other people because there has been a breakdown in the marriage promises. There are many trained professionals and volunteers who are equipped to help in this situation.
Taylor’s observations on singleness are clearly explained. He critiques the pressure from our culture to find love and security with ‘the one’ other person. And he stresses that singleness isn’t treasured as it should be.
William Taylor presents a challenge to Christians to not be deceived but to live lives that reflect God’s good plan for sex.
Writer | Rachael Collins Rachael Collins is a Jane Austen fan who often finds it amusing that she is married to Mr Collins who is indeed a minister. Rachael enjoys gardening, drinking tea and moving house every two years. In between planting a new church and making chocolate fudge, she really hopes to read a lot of good books this year.