What do I think of Beth Felker Jones’s book published by Zondervan? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
This book was recently for sale on Kindle and I decided to get it since as a married man, sex and theology are both great areas of interest for me. Jones’s book is short, but it is profound. There’s a lot of good material in here.
One thing she says at the start is that all of us should be theologians. In reality, we all are. The question is not if we will be theologians, but what kind of theologians will we be?
When she gets to the topic of sex, she asks what if it is not about us so much as it is about God and His intentions for creation. We don’t connect it with reality the way we should. As a married man, my having sex says something about the way I see God and reality. My friends who are single abstain (Or they should) which also shows how they view sex and reality.
Jones also says to imagine what if we said about food what we said about sex. “Eating has nothing to do with your health.” “Nothing you eat can hurt you.” “Food should always make you happy. Pleasure is the only purpose in eating.” It’s a wonderful analogy.
This also connects to the idea that sex matters to God because bodies matter and Christianity is a religion of the body. People will sometimes say what you do with your genitals is your business, but then change the rules when it comes to rape. If we say bodily actions matter from the get-go, we have no problem.
Sex in marriage is not a sin whatsoever, which some people in the Corinthian church would have thought. If anything, Paul says not only is it not a sin in marriage, it is a sin for couples to deprive one another of sex unless its by mutual consent and then only for a short time. Paul would not have had any patience for the idea of being married and purposefully abstaining from sex as if it’s the unforgivable sin.
Sex is really a gift. How many of us would like to be in the situation in the garden where the man and woman were both naked and felt no shame? Sex is a real gift from God and it is a good gift.
Part of the reason we see sex go wrong is because we don’t understand the body. Pornography is a symptom of this, but so also can many romance movies be. Porn can often give guys an unrealistic idea about how women should be, but romance movies and books can often give women an unrealistic idea of how men should behave.
Sex should be reserved for marriage and has the characteristics of fidelity, faithfulness, and an analogy of the relationship between God and His people. Sex properly understood in marriage is not for the self. It is for the other person seeking to please the other and express love to the other.
One line I really enjoyed in the book was about how sex is private, but there is something public as well. When you look around for instance, any person you see you know is there because of sex. (Barring some exceptions from IVF these days.) When we get married, part of what we say is “See this person up here? I’m having sex with them tonight.”
If there was something more I would like to see in this book, it would be more about sex itself. What is the symbolism in sex? A lot of the material is about ethics and the good of the body, but I would like future editions of this book to include more on the act itself. Overall though, I found this book quite helpful and encourage others to read it.