I’ve just finished reading Rob Bell’s latest book, Sex God. It’s written in the same style as Velvet Elvis, with that mix of storytelling, exegesis, and one line statements and thoughts. One of the things I like about his books is that he writes pretty much as he speaks. If you hear his podcast, or watch a Nooma dvd or read his books, it’s the same style, and it’s a relaxed, informal yet informative style that I find draws me into his thinking and invites me to explore with him the topics he’s raising.
Sex God is his exploration of sexuality and spirituality. He argues that we are not to fall into an extreme idea of human identity with regards to sexuality, saying that these extremes are to think of ourselves either as angels (all spirit) or animals (only bodies), but that as embodied spiritual beings we are to exhibit the best of both of those. Sex, he says, is a spiritual act, that expresses the fulfilment of promise and commitment. He also claims that it is to be a foretaste of heaven. I encourage you to get a hold of the book, as I read I could see passages that would he helpful to some of the single people I know who are struggling with issues of not just loneliness (as hard as that is) but also sexual desire. There were sections that I think every married couple ought to read, and I imagine that it could be very difficult for some folks as they are challenged about the nature of their commitment to each other.
I’ve also just finished Michael Crichton’s novel State of Fear. It’s a polemic against the theory of global warming. I found it disingenuous and terribly written, which is a shame as I have enjoyed some of his other books where he has explored controversial ideas before.
Nigel Wright’s Free Church, Free State is heavier going but is helping me think through some issues around Baptist identity. I wonder to what extent new expressions of church that I might be involved in shaping will be distinctively Baptist, and how much of that will be intentional.
Today I took delivery of Robbers and Cowards the first CD by Cold War Kids. I heard it though once as I did some admin this morning, and loved it. I’m pretty sure the percussion included the clicking noise of someone backpeddling on a bike!
Last night was movie night and we watched A Night at the Roxbury (1998). Not only had I not seen it, I’d not even heard of it. And it was very funny, in an Anchorman way. It's from the Saturday Night Live stable, so, as one might expect it's a touch crude at times, but at other times very funny observational humour, as well as some slapstick and clever writing.
We also had a celebration of Hannah & Dift’s engagement. I love this group. Very caring of each other, able to have a lot of fun, and yet celebrate and mourn together too.
I realise, looking back over the blog, that I haven’t written more about Paul’s visit to Antioch, nor more about the Baptist Assembly. I’ll aim to do that this next week.