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Making Sense of Sex
Modern Church Series
by Adrian Thatcher
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
This is a very good little book. It sets out and discusses with an absolute economy of words some of the key issues that concern us with regard to sex, sexuality and gender. One of the points the author makes is that all discussion of sex takes place within a particular strand of Christian tradition. This stands in that of liberal theology and is helpful in both showing how to draw on that tradition and also what some of the results might be when applied to contemporary issues.
The author, an Anglican who teaches in the United States and is also a visiting professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at Exeter University, is the editor of Modern Believing. He is rooted in a parish church – Christ Church, Estover, Plymouth – where he leads the choir, and this no doubt is a factor in his producing a book that is scholarly but quite accessible to non-scholars in ordinary congregations.
For anyone that has to preach or teach about sexual ethics or how the Church should respond to matters of sex and gender, this is a very useful book to acquire and use as an aid to reflection. It begins by explaining the difference between liberal and more conservative approaches and how liberal theology and ethics go about their work. There follows short chapters discussing major themes – sexual desire, the body, sexual differences, homosexuality, marriage and spirituality. Dr Thatcher ends by looking towards that day 'when a robust faith in Christ and a joyful sex life are integrated together for all of God's children who seek them irrespective of their status, sex or orientation.'
Reviewer: Alan Billings (24/08/12)