Sam Allberry
Why does God care who I sleep with?
The Good Book Company in partnership with the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and the Zacharias Institute, UK, 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1784982775

Why does God Care Who I Sleep With Allberry 

 

"Simple enough for those just starting to consider the topic, yet deep enough for those who are looking for more, a great read on what is - and has always been - a key subject for humanity - our sexuality."

The Christian view on sexuality has been the subject of numerous books in recent years yet Sam Allberry's book remains a welcome addition with clear, accessible, and Biblically-based insights into what can be a fraught subject.

Allberry, an author and global speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, draws on the #MeToo movement as a launching point and then preceeds to examine what Jesus says on the subject of abuse and sex before widening the conversation out to take a broader look at the Biblical approach to the issue. He proceeds to construct a Biblical picture of sex, explaining its purpose in creating "one-ness" and how that purpose is key to why sex should be kept inside marriages alone. In particular, he shows how the Bible turns the idea of sex as something undertaken for self-satisfaction on its head with the focus of sex rather about giving in the context of giving one's whole self to one other.

Particularly interesting is a discussion about how the Biblical idea of sex is "profoundly counter-cultural", not just in today's society, but in the world of the early church as well. In fact, Allberry says, "Christian sexual ethics have been countercultural in every culture...It's easy to assume that Christian sexual ethics are old-fashioned. But that presumes some prior time in history when the Bible's teachings neatly matched our own sensibilities. But this has never been the case."

Among the Biblical stories Allberry examines is that of Jesus' encounter with the woman at the well in the town of Sychar, Samaria (a story recorded in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John), King David's adultery with Bathsheba (a story recorded in the Old Testament book of II Samuel 11) and Amnon's attack on his half-sister Tamar (recorded in II Samuel 13), all of which he employs to illustrate the destructive power of improper sexual relationships in our lives.

Yet, as Allberry is keen to point out, sexual brokenness is something that is common to us all - and our pursuit of sexual satisfaction above all else symptomatic of our ongoing desire to drink the "living water" that Christ offers us. And yet it's also something that God is gracious in helping us through.

Allberry doesn't deal at any length with the idea of same-sex attraction specifically - although it's implicitly present in arguments he makes that the Biblical view of sex is that should only take place between a man and a woman inside a marriage covenant (and it's a subject he covers at length in his 2013 book Is God anti-gay?). But he does note late in the book that as well as writing this book as a single man - "and therefore (as a Christian) sexually abstinent", he is also writing it as a man who has only ever felt romantic and sexual attractions towards other men.

"Many would assume that the Christian sexual ethic couldn't possibly work for someone in my situation, having to say no to these desires and being single long-term," he writes. "And yet so many of us, like and unlike me, have found the teachings of Jesus to be a better story to live by."

At just 130 or so pages, this is a quick read and, as well as being a great introduction to the topic for any interested in what the Christian faith has to say about sex, it's also one which could be a great book to go through in a small group setting. Simple enough for those just starting to consider the topic, yet deep enough for those who are looking to explore it more, a great read on what is - and has always been - a key subject for humanity at large: our sexuality.