Friday, June 04, 2010

"Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions" book.. and the pastoral role in opposite sex relationships

It is a book about which Spencer Burke says:

"too controversial/dangerous for the Christian community,
and not controversial/sexy enough for the secular community"
(see video linked here:

So how could I not strongly
recommend it....

even though I haven't read it yet!? (:

I will surely posted a longer review once I read it (just got my Viral Bloggers copy today, and you can read the reviews of other bloggers here), but here's a promo/plug for it already...

simply because this topic has not been dealt with in a Christian book
(or better yet..a book by a Christian. since Christian books...and music..don't exist) other than a reductionistic "Don't ever do it!"

  • So buy the book!
  • Show the video in church!
  • Subvert the dominant pair of dimes!
  • At least get people talking about it...cross-sexually, even!

It is:

"Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions: Engaging the Mystery of Friendship Between Men and Women."

I will be reading the book in tandem with these two books below as I am forming a book chapter/class on the role of the relational pastor (I know that phrase sounds like either a tautologocal or oxymororonic, but that's precisely why it's a key issue) in our current juncture in church history (postmodern culture, if you will).

1)Valerie McIntyre's amazing
"Sheep in Wolves' Clothing: How Unseen Need Destroys Friendship and Community and What to Do about It,"

which I
mentioned here. McIntyre deals with transference and the inevitable emotional complexity of relationships. It is not specifically about cross-gender relationships, but does deal with the author's own exeperience with same-gender (but not homosexual) attachments/transference. And to top it off, it is very familiar with one of the best books ever written, but you've never heard of:
Frank Lake's masterwork: see "Centerfolds in Big Green Theology Books"

2) "The Evangelist of Desire: John Wesley and the Methodists" by Henry Aberlove.
Quite the provocative book, to say the least..but ever since the day many years ago when I realized that the woman I was counseling in my pastor's study
(without the door cracked so the secretary could see is conventional wisdom for evangelical all about that in Brenan's book)
would do anything I suggested
(and I wasn't think sexually, though that is the question to be addressed...I was thinking just that she attributed so much power and divinity to the pastoral office that I knew any advice I gave her, she would carry out...Scary!),
a book I have
A full-blown review of this book is long overdue, but I blogged quite a bit on it in 2006 here below. It all started with the woman in the thrift store:

I am also intrigued by Otto's statement in "Personality Type and Religious Leadership" :

this need not be viewed as negative. Sexual energy is often the gasoline that drives the engines at church."

"Why do some men and women spend long hours in church meetings? For many reasons, to be sure, but one unconscious motivation may be sexual energy generated. When, however, people begin acting out their sexual fantasies this energy gets dissipated. Possibly that is one reason for sexual taboos in religious systems. We want this sexual energy to be working for the Kingdom, not being disippated intercourse. The spiritual discipie of tantric yoga works with sexual energy, raising it from..genitals to..heart...In church systems, we beed to learn more about using and managing sexual energy without being explosive or abusive. (130)

Of course, this is the prayer-process that the rabbis (and Bono) call "elevation."
We need to do church. church

....across the church...

Across the board, across the sexes.

"Our sexuality,Rob Bell offers, "is all the ways we strive to reconnect with our world, with each other, and with God."

And since male and female IS the image of God,
we might as well get started imagining, and sharpening the image.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!