Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality - eBook
Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality - eBook  -     By: Debra Hirsch
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InterVarsity Press / 2015 / ePub
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Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality - eBook

InterVarsity Press / 2015 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN-13: 9780830898107

Publisher's Description

  • Missio Alliance Essential Reading List of 2015
  • 2015 Readers' Choice Award Winner
  • One of Seedbed's 10 Notable Books from 2015
Nothing has exposed the gap between the church and the broader society quite like the cultural argument over sexuality. Relationships, identities, orientations and even seemingly straightforward concepts such as gender have cut battle lines between the church and the world. In the fog of war and the cloud of conflict, it's increasingly hard to see our way clearly. There is hope, however. Debra Hirsch has seen it firsthand—in meaningful lifelong relationships with LGBT friends and neighbors, in Christian fellowships and in movements that have held a concern for people created in God's image and a high view of the Bible's teaching on sexuality in constructive tension. When you consider the world from the perspective of God's kingdom mission, it turns out the smoke clears and a redemptive imagination takes root. Discover a holistic, biblical vision of sex and gender that honors God and offers good news to the world.

Author Bio

Deb Hirsch is a speaker, church leader and writer who has led churches in both Australia and Los Angeles. She is one of the founders of Forge Mission Training Network and is a member of the Forge America national team. She also serves as a board member for Missio Alliance and was part of the leadership team of Christian Associates, a church planting movement in Europe, North & South America. She is the co-author (with Alan Hirsch) of and her new book reflects her own journey and attempts to bring new conversations about sexuality into the context of the church. Deb has been involved in social work, community development and as a trained counselor has worked in the field of sexuality for over twenty-five years. She and her husband live in community with others in Los Angeles.

Editorial Reviews

"Deb Hirsch has given us a real gift in this book. She has brought biblical clarity to one of the most misunderstood and controversial topics of the day. Many have either sensationalized or minimized our sexuality, leaving us confused, embarrassed or ashamed about the sexual nature of our humanity. But Deb has taken in this beautiful gift of God and woven it together with a Jesus-centered vision of how sexuality can glorify God and lead us to flourish. A much-needed and redemptive book."
"This book demonstrates an unwavering Christ-like love for all humanity, and carves out a space for open conversation about sexuality. It flies in the face of the escalating culture wars of our day and invites us to imagine a Church of the future that is shaped by the Gospel virtues of love and unity."
"If you are willing to invest the time to listen—really listen—to what Deb Hirsch is saying about the vexing and complex nature of human sexuality, you won't fail to be moved by her allegiance to radical grace, her trust in the potency of genuine hospitality and her unyielding confidence in the power of God to reconcile, repair and renew us all."
"The value of this work is found in Hirsch's unique way of forcing the reader to think through and question long-held assumptions—some which may well need to be abandoned, while there are others that should be maintained but worked out in a more loving way."
"I'm so grateful to Deb Hirsch for writing the best book on this conversation I have read. It speaks to the heart of our identity in Christ. It addresses complex and sensitive realities and tensions with grace, love, compassion, truth, justice and mercy. It is prophetic, profound, candid, transparent and should be read by every Christian. It will challenge you to the core, but we can no longer stick our heads in the sand and ignore the fact that people are hurting and need real answers to real issues. I am giving a copy of this book to everyone I know. It's that important."
"Discover a holistic, biblical vision of sex and gender that honours God and offers good news to the world."
"[Hirsch] is a delightful storyteller who addresses the touchy subject of sexuality from a variety of perspectives; however, she stays completely on track biblically even when it would be tempting to want to go to more comfortable places. . . . With lots of personal stories and real-life conversations from folks at every walk of life, her words demand attention not only because she writes compellingly but also because Christians need to be re-educated on all things sexual."
"Hirsch blends research, Scripture, theology and her own varied experience of sexuality and ministry into what she calls 'a testimony and a challenge to the church.' She brings admirable honesty and vulnerability to this mix, and the way she tells her own story models the humility and dignity to which she calls others. Hirsch speaks from within the evangelical community and primarily to the evangelical community—defined in the broadest possible sense. . . . [T]his book is important for the whole church."
"This book hails from a leading missional church leader who has lived it, redeemed it, and is now burdened by the challenge to help the church understand that at our core, we are all sexual beings, and our sexuality is nothing to blush about. In a post-Obergefell era, the church can no longer approach this issue haphazardly or without the insight of LGBT Christians."
" Redeeming Sex is a book that will transform the conversations in the evangelical world and beyond about sexuality and how we can embrace and love one another wherever we are on our journey toward redemption. Seriously—This book is a game changer, and I love it."
"Rarely have I anticipated the publication of a book as much as I have with Deb Hirsch's Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality. After waiting for more than two years, I can say without hesitation that it was well worth the wait. In Redeeming Sex, Deb provides a thoughtful, holistic, biblical vision of sex and gender issues that not only honors the ways of Jesus, but also offers a much-needed and helpful approach to thinking well about one of the most misunderstood and controversial topics of the day. . . . I believe this is going to be one of the most important books for the church to grapple with for years to come. It really is one of those books that every Christian should read."
"In Redeeming Sex, Deb Hirsch helps the church catch a vision of relationship that can lead to love and life where now there is often confusion and pain. She tears down the barriers and fears that have long been in place to protect us from the 'dangers' of true intimacy. I appreciate her openness and honesty as hard questions around gender and sexuality are explored from a place of love and a desire for holy intimacy."
"With lived experience, direct frankness and a pastoral heart, Deb Hirsch addresses the church on sexuality. In so doing, Redeeming Sex prepares the way for the places the church must go to be 'among' today's confused and strife-ridden world of sexuality. It is a vulnerable gift that moves us beyond faulty stereotypes and pre-set notions. I cannot think of a better book to start the conversation."
"Finally. A thoughtful, biblical, yet paradigm-busting discussion on the hottest topic in the church and culture today. Redeeming Sex pulls no punches yet graciously guides us toward the heart of God in our human sexuality."
"I can't think of a person I'd rather listen to give us biblical, Jesus-lens insight—out of the mixture of opinions, confusion, joy, difficulties, grittiness, honesty, hurts, healing, reality, questions, wonder and beauty of this topic—than my friend Deb Hirsch. I believe this is going to totally connect with the hearts of so many needing to move beyond the usual explanations or ways this discussion normally happens as we rethink, rediscover and redeem sexuality."
"Join the conversation about Redeeming Sex. Deb takes a challenging conversation and brings humility, authenticity and truth to help us all talk more openly and honestly about this important topic. Thank you, Deb Hirsch!"
"Debra Hirsch's own story—and what she learned about sex before and after meeting Jesus—is both convincing and convicting. But the book is more than testimony. Debra makes intelligent, faithful use of Scripture and of authors who have engaged with this topic. She also untangles key differences between sexuality and cultural roles. Noting the Bible's extensive 'sexual language and imagery,' Debra affirms that 'our sexuality lies close to our spirituality.' Her book can lead Christians to an integration of sex and sanctity that enriches both—and makes us more faithful and redemptive disciples of Jesus Christ."
"The beautiful heart of Redeeming Sex is an exploration of the claim that Jesus is the embodiment of sexuality and spirituality, and in him, we find our model for right living and right loving. With powerful personal narrative, witty and earthy language, and sincere scriptural study, Debra Hirsch encourages readers to connect all of their lives—even the sexual dimension of life—with the life of Christ. The book provides a clear and thoughtful example of how to maintain a traditional Christian sexual ethic and at the same time treat both gay and straight persons equally. Traditionalists seeking this balance will learn much from her stories and advice."
"Debra Hirsch's wise pastoral perspective places Jesus firmly in the center of our sexuality and our relationships."
"This book challenges us to love God and people through the lens of our sexuality. Deb pushes us to see sexuality not as something to be done secretly in closets and dark rooms but as the beauty of God. This book challenges—for sure—but it's a must read."

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  1. Dr. David Crews
    Pensacola, FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Male
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Disappointed
    March 24, 2016
    Dr. David Crews
    Pensacola, FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Hirsch, a former lesbian-turned-heterosexual-married-self-describing-Christian, exemplifies the need and ability to discern false teaching presented as biblical. Many of her arguments are based on false premises, which lead to false conclusions.

    Most disturbing is her approach that distorts and negates the person and work of Jesus Christ.

    By suggesting Jesus as a "sex symbol" she writes he "would have been deeply attractive to both men and women" and it was likely that "genital sexual advances were made towards him." Did Hirsch not read Isaiah 53? Isaiah prophesied that peoples' redemption would come from one man who "had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him." Jesus was ordinary looking. And the pain and death he suffered, separation from his father, was more than enough to heal every person's brokenness, including sexual sin.

    Her reasoning regarding Jesus and celibacy is equally problematic. Regarding celibacy and comparing Jesus Christ to Roman Catholic priests Hirsch exposes her ignorance about common misperceptions related to institutionalized celibacy. More important, however, is that Jesus, as both fully God and fully man who was without sin, would not have thought romantically about women. His human nature was perfect and incomparable to the rest of a sinful human nature. Hirsch mentions nothing about obedience to God as a reason for celibacyfor all unmarried believersone of only two sexual relationships Paul consistently and clearly admonishes that honor God.

    Jesus was not celibate because he did not want to spare a wife or child from "the pain of the cross," as Hirsch suggests. Jesus's sole purpose was soteriological: to die a death he did not deserve for those who did deserve deathincluding everyone struggling with sexual sinin order to redeem them from that sin, not to willfully continue it.

    This is why through Christ's love, grace and mercy, combined with a humble, contrite, repentant heart, and healing through the Holy Spirit, no practicing homosexual can claim to know and love Jesus Christ. To love Jesus is to follow him, to trust and obey himno matter the cost. (McKnight brilliantly communicates this by citing testimonies from people struggling with sexual sin who claim nothing they have given up compares to the joy of knowing Jesus Christ.)

    Furthermore, by defining sexuality and gender by man-made (not biblical) terms, Hirsch wrongly surmises the prostitute falling at Jesus's feet (Luke 7:36-50) evidences what she defines as "social sexuality" and "genital sexuality." Nothing could be further from biblical truth.

    She interprets this text as "Jesus blurs the lines, suggesting it is possible to love intensely outside of a marriage relationship." This is an arrogant and absurdly false statement. The prostitute worshipped Jesus. She did not love him in a romantic, socially sexual, or genitally sexual way.

    The prostitute fell at Jesus's feet because she loved him as her Lord and Savior. Worshiping Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with a person's emotional, asexual, or sexual feelings. Authentically worshiping Jesus for who he is as Lord does not even remotely imply that non-married women and men (the prostitute and Jesus) can love each other deeply. If anything, Jesus loved her as a father loves a child.

    Hirsch's doublespeak astounds. She asserts Jesus is "calling us to be in the 'right' loving relationship with God and with people. to love God is to walk in his ways." Yet she also maintains "there is no room for self-righteousness and exclusion based on disputed interpretations on nonessential issues of the Bible." If sex, gender, and same-sex marriage is a nonessential issue of the Bible, then why write a book about it?

    Further still, she justifies "God is ok with gay," monogamous same-sex relationships provide "no incompatibility with following Jesus," and "no ministry or church has the right to impose any change on an individual, let alone one so intrinsic as a sexual orientation."

    Perhaps this explains why only verses that appear to support her assertions, taken out of context, are used as pull quotes instead of every verse if explained in their context would clearly refute them?

    For anyone to argue the Bible "does not understand a modern day understanding of homosexuality" either reflects intellectually dishonesty, deception, or ignorance about sexual norms and practices during the Apostle Paul's day. In fact, McKnight's book paints an astonishing picture of that time, to which today's standards pale in comparison. Again, if the Bible's view of sex and gender is nonessential, why write a book about it?

    One endorser claims Hirsch expresses a "Jesus-centered vision of how sexuality can glorify God and lead us to flourish." Another, she offers "biblical, Jesus-lens insight." Neither is truth.

    By using the Kinsey Scale as a plumb line Hirsch presupposes that human feelings, rationale, or psychology provide the basis for "trying to understand or define homosexuality," which she claims, "is no easy task." Homosexuality is easily understood when one first understands who God is. The gospel, not the Kinsey Scale, is what is needed to completely surrender to Jesus's love, a love that surpasses all selfish and self-seeking choices to love and be loved by human standards.

    Biblical love exposes sin and articulates that only through God's grace, with or without the help of Christians, God restores broken people to himself. Hirsch and others who condone the behavior and mindset of "practicing homosexual Christians" are not loving, but harming them. Worse still they make Jesus's death worthless.

    Hirsch's misrepresentation of scripture is irresponsibly misleading. Sadly, she is not alone. Hirsch like Rob Bell who "came out for same-sex marriage," Rick Warren who held hands with and joked about kissing Elton John, the Progressive Christian Alliance, the Gay Christian Network, and many at RNS who unashamedly cite human knowledge and feelings above biblical wisdom.

    Paul, who Jesus exclusively tutored for seven years, wrote more about sex and marriage and male and female relationships than anyone else. Wouldn't reading what he wrote in its entirety be the logical starting point? Yet few Christians read the Bible.

    Those who "walk in the spirit," those who love God with their whole heart, soul, and mind, those who seek to renew their minds and "pick up their crosses," would not choose to "walk in the lusts of the flesh." They would not want to disobey Jesus because their love for him is so great.

    Sinning, for believers, leads to repentance, not repetition of sin. Those who know and choose to follow and obey Jesus grasp the reality that their lives are not their own; their purpose extends beyond themselves. Human sexuality (and intellect, ingenuity, athleticism, or physical or psychological traits) is only rightly understood once God's will, communicated in scripture, is understood.

    The real issue is whether or not Jesus is who he says he is, and if so, is he worthy of following at any cost.
  2. Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Tough Topic
    March 15, 2016
    Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Well, Hirsch is certainly tackling the hot issue of our day. While she addresses the big perspective of sex in all our lives, she ultimately writes to confront how Christians and churches interact with the LGBT community. Having been deeply involved in the LGBT lifestyle herself, she writes as a believer now. While some of her insights were profound, I felt she often gave away the farm in an effort to plant the seeds of reaching them.

    She did well when she explained that in many such things we are attempting in a flawed way to reach the God we desperately need. When she talked of the brokenness in many lives before and during their LGBT days, she was spot on. When she explained that we have been failing as Christians to reach that group, she often pegged our failures clearly.

    The problem with the book is the solutions she presents. I felt that being a celibate gay was enough for her. I dont know how that position could be maintained biblically, and she made little attempts to do so. She pointed out that we view a man leaving his wife for another woman differently than for another man as if to prove we are unfair. What she fails to see is that there is a possible holy relationship between a man and a woman that could never be true of a man and a man. Suggesting that cultural factors might weaken the force of what she admits are all negative biblical passages is a poor argument too.

    She at least seemed sincere and caring as she wrote, but she did not, in my view, strike the right balance between holding to truth and not being overly judgmental. Some will love it, but I cannot give a high recommendation to it.

    I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part
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