A few days later, I told her that I hadn't really gotten into the book (to which she was, of course, referring in the aforementioned question). I knew it would be good, because I'd heard/read so many people raving about it. When there's so much hype, though, my "expectation bubble" gets a little deflated ... it can't be that good, can it? I've read many books advising young people about sexuality; what could Lauren Winner have to add to this discussion?
Granted, I'm only on page 37, but I have to confess that it has surpassed my expectations.
What has surprised me is that (so far) it's very different than I had expected; she does have something genuinely new to add to the discussion, besides being very frank about sexuality. Here are two things that have impressed me, things that most books promoting chastity lack:
- A strong use of biblical theology. By this I mean that she grounds her doctrine of man, particularly in terms of our corporeality, in a robust tour of Scripture that embraces creation, the fall, redemption and consummation. At WTS, we used the phrase "creation-fall-redemption" so frequently that it's abbreviated in my notes as CFR. Anybody who uses the whole counsel of God in order to discuss sexuality, rather than a bare "just don't do it" "theology" has my attention.
- I also have a soft spot in my heart (thanks to my first mentor at Peacemakers) for anybody who has a high doctrine of and a passion for the church. Lauren Winner considers the body of Christ to be a key element in teaching and developing chastity amongst its members. It is a vital - though often neglected - element in our spiritual lives, no matter what aspect we are discussing.