Book Plunge: God On Sex

What do I think of Danny Akin’s book published by B&H books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Turn on the TV. What will you often see? Sex. Listen to the radio. What’s on the news? Sex. Look on Facebook or go to the water cooler. What’s being talked about? Sex. Go to church? What’s being talked about?

Anything but sex.

Which is a shame. We don’t impact the world if we don’t talk about what is being talked about. One great reason we should do so is because the Bible itself talks about sex and talks about it a lot. The Bible begins with the marriage of Adam and Eve and ends with the marriage of Christ and the church. Sex shows up many places in the middle. Most notably, it shows up in the Song of Songs. This is a poem in the Bible all about sex and marriage, one so blatant that many of the fathers felt a need to allegorize the book.

This is also Danny Akin’s favorite book. I find that quite pleasing to hear. We can often think about those in ministry as being caught in spiritual matters all day long so they don’t have time for such interests. This is a nonsense view. Sex is a spiritual interest because it is celebrated regularly in the Bible. It is the image of the love between Christ and the church. If you do not understand sex, you will not fully understand the love of God.

Akin’s book is a commentary on the book. He goes through and sees what the text has to say about sex and marriage. Throughout, he spices it up (No pun intended) with information from various sources on how marriage is done right and the importance of sex in marriage.

Sometimes, some of these can be a bit of a stretch. It can remind me of having the right message with the wrong text. I suppose it is understandable as many things need to be said in our day and age that weren’t specifically in mind when Solomon wrote his song.

Sometimes, I did want some texts looked at a bit more. There were a few portions that could be sped through. I also can’t say I entirely agree with how the chronology of the story is always played. I think Walter Kaiser in his book on the Song has the best chronology I’ve seen.

That being said, the positive material in here is indeed positive. It can be quite amusing and funny to talk about. What is in here can help a couple who is trying to rekindle the fire or help a young couple that is preparing for marriage. In our day and age, young men and women need to hear a whole lot more about what’s coming besides “Just wait until you’re married” and until then that sex is dirty.

You will also hear about problems of cohabitation and divorce and other such things. Marriage is something we need to have defended in our world today. One of the steps in defending it is living it well and good sex between husband and wife is highly important for that.

I encourage the reading of Akin’s book. It is very readable and easy to read. The language is good and simple for husbands and wives to read together or for fiances to read together.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Love By The Book

What do I think of Walter Kaiser’s book published by Weaver Book Company? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

There are some subjects that are often deemed too risque to talk about at church. One of those is sex. This is quite unusual since we have a whole book of the Bible dedicated to marriage and sex, which is, of course, the Song of Songs. Even in the past, it was considered something that you should be fully mature before you read the book. Some rabbis suggested waiting until you were thirty years old.

Kaiser thinks we need to look at this book again. We live in an age where the culture wants to redefine marriage and where sexual virtues are going out the window fast. The church needs to be living out what was meant by marriage. His contribution to this is to look at this beautiful love story in the Bible.

For many of us who read the Song of Songs, it can seem a bit disjointed. Who is saying what? What is going on? One of the first mistakes Kaiser wants us to move past is reading it as an allegory. Could we say in some ways it’s a story of the love of God and Israel or Christ and the church? Perhaps, but let’s not get so caught up in the allegory that we miss the non-allegorical reading, it’s a celebration of true marital love.

Kaiser also says the more historical interpretation has been to see it as a story. The story involves this beautiful little shepherd girl who Solomon sees one day as he’s touring his country and decides to take into his harem. He woos her with all the best that he has and the other ladies of the harem, the daughters of Jerusalem are all there. Everyone is stunned. This girl is not giving in to the king. Why? Because she is in love with her shepherd-boyfriend back home.

The story then becomes one of faithful devotion. The girl will turn down the allure of the king in order to be with the one that her heart truly desires. Nothing can destroy the passionate love that she feels for this man. In the end, Solomon decides to let her go. She is in essence “The one that got away.” He ends up writing this song, the greatest of songs, about this love of his who he failed to seize because she had sold her heart to a shepherd boy already.

Kaiser’s book is short. It could be read in an evening if one wanted to. It also is good for small groups as it has several discussion questions. The book is friendly enough that it could be read easily without causing much embarrassment. Each chapter has discussion questions that a group could discuss together. I think it would be optimal for a small group that consists of married couples to read this together and discuss the commitment that they have to their own marriage.

I have long been an advocate of the idea that if we are going to restore marriage truly to the church, we have to live it. A proper understanding of sex and marriage is something we really need for that. Kaiser’s book is something that is needed for such a time as this.

In Christ,
Nick Peters