This past fall John Piper hosted his national Desiring God conference with the theme, “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ.” A recently released book, with the same name, consists of the main sessions in written form, plus a bonus chapter on Martin Luther by Justin Taylor. Justin sent me an advanced copy of the book for review. Desiring God graciously provides the audio of the conference via mp3 download on their site. I didn’t make it to Minnesota in September, but I virtually attended through my mp3 player while walking a few months ago. I also burned the talks to CDs and placed them in our church library.
I mentioned the audio/ book in a discussion group and one of the more cynical participants noted that he would not be reading or listening to the content because he already knew exactly what evangelical Christians think about sex. He knew that the ground covered in this work would do nothing more than pound the pulpit of sex being inherently evil. He knew he would hear something along the lines of, “Living together is sin. Pornography is sin. Masterbation is sin. Premarital sex is sin. Adultery is sin. Homosexuality is sin. Sex is sinful, but God reluctantly allows it in the narrow confines of marriage only for the sake of procreation – as long as you don’t enjoy it too much.”
After reading the book and listening to the conference speakers, I safely can say that abstaining from sexual sin, while of course mentioned, didn’t serve as the main thrust of the book. Instead the authors presented a full orbed theology of sex for the glory of God. More than simply an avoidance ethic, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ celebrates the gift of sex as a God given gift that points to the ultimate joy of a all satisfying relationship with Christ.
Part 1. God and Sex
1. Sex and the Supremacy of Christ: Part One – John Piper
2. Sex and the Supremacy of Christ: Part Two – John Piper
3. The Goodness of Sex and the Glory of God – Ben Patterson
Part 2. Sin and Sex
4. Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken – David Powlison
5. Homosexual Marriage as a Challenge to the Church: Biblical and Cultural Reflections – R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Part 3. Men and Sex
6. Sex and the Single Man – Mark Dever, Michael Lawrence, Matt Schmucker, and Scott Croft
7. Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know – C. J. Mahaney
Part 4. Women and Sex
8. Sex and the Single Woman – Carolyn McCulley
9. Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Wife Needs to Know – Carolyn Mahaney
Part 5. History and Sex
10. Martin Luther’s Reform of Marriage – Justin Taylor
11. Christian Hedonists or Religious Prudes? The Puritans on Sex –