Over the last seven years or so I have been part of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of conversations about Christianity and sexuality. These have been with strangers and friends; they have taken place at the General Synod of the Church of England and in marquees in rainswept fields; many have resulted in profound disagreement, others in unexpected unity. I praise God for everyone that has been up for the conversation, and for the grace they have nearly always shown me.
But if I could magically rewind life to the beginning of all them, there is one simple question that I would have posed more often, ‘What is sexuality for?’ In too many of the conversations we got lost in competing interpretations, contrasting experiences, and puzzling pastoral conundrums without taking the necessary step back to ask why God has given his image-bearers sexual feelings and experiences in the first place. It has too often been a classic case of not seeing the wood for the trees.
I’ve written Purposeful Sexuality: A Short Christian Introduction to share the Bible’s wonderful answers to this one simple question.
But slowly learning to ask and answer the crucial question ‘What is sexuality for?’ has brought clarity to my traditional interpretation of Scripture, has helped me make sense of my sexual experiences, and enabled me to solve numerous pastoral conundrums in life-changing ways. It has also accounted for the fundamental differences I have discovered with many Christians who are more ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ than me: they’ve either had very different answers to this question or not been able to answer it at all.
I’ve written Purposeful Sexuality: A Short Christian Introduction to share the Bible’s wonderful answers to this one simple question, as well as to demonstrate the positive difference this has made to my own life, and the difference it could make to all of those continuing conversations about Christianity and sexuality.
Purposeful Sexuality is out now. Buy your copy here.