“Let’s talk about sex, baby”: A bibliography on sex, gender, marriage, masculinity and homosexuality

François Boucher, Heracles and Omphale (1735)

As an Evangelical youth in the Eighties, I remember the transgressive thrill of jamming out to Salt-N-Pepa’s  song, “Let’s Talk About Sex.” I’m grown up now and it still feels transgressive to talk about sex in our churches. Here are my picks for books that throw light on topics often hiding in the shadows of ignorance, judgment, temptation, guilt, shame, brokenness, and addiction. If I were to select only one from the bunch, I’d go with Lauren F. Winner’s outstanding book, Real Sex. Start with the titles in red. Leave a comment if you think there’s a title that belongs on the list.

General

  • Allen, Diogenes. Love: Christian Romance, Marriage, Friendship.
  • Colón, Christine & Bonnie Field. Singled Out: Why Celibacy Must be Reinvented in Today’s Church. 
  • Comiskey, Andrew. Strength in Weakness: Healing Sexual and Relationship Brokenness.
  • Kuehne, Dale S. Sex and the iWorld: Rethinking Relationships Beyond an Age of Individualism.
  • Rogers, Eugene F. (ed.). Theology and Sexuality: Classic and Contemporary Readings.
  • Paris, Jenell Williams. The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex Is Too Important to Define Who We Are.
  • Winner, Lauren F. Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity.

Sexual Ethics

  • Balswick, Judith K. & Jack O. Balswick. Authentic Human Sexuality: An Integrated Christian Approach.
  • Grenz, Stanley. Sexual Ethics: An Evangelical Perspective.
  • Hollinger, Dennis P. The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics & the Moral Life.
  • Smedes, Lewis B. Sex for Christians: The Limits and Liberties of Sexual Living.

Gender

  • VanLeeuwen, Mary Stewart. A Sword Between the Sexes? C. S. Lewis and the Gender Debates.
  • VanLeeuwen, Mary Stewart. Gender & Grace: Love, Work & Parenting in a Changing World.
  • Stackhouse, John G. Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender.
  • Williams, Neil H. The Maleness of Jesus: Is It Good News for Women?.

Marriage

  • Allender, Dan B. & Tremper Longman III. Intimate Allies: Rediscovering God’s Design for Marriage and Becoming Soul Mates for Life.
  • Balswick, Jack O. & Judith K. Balswick. A Model for Marriage: Covenant, Grace, Empowerment and Intimacy.
  • Kostenberger, Andreas J. God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation.
  • Thomas, Gary Thomas. Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More than to Make Us Happy.

Masculinity

  • Crabb, Larry. The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in an World of Chaos.
  • Hughes, R. Kent. Disciplines of a Godly Man.
  • VanLeeuwen, Mary Stewart. My Brother’s Keeper: What the Social Sciences Do (And Don’t) Tell Us About Masculinity.
  • Phillips, Richard D. The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men.

Homosexuality

  • Gagnon, Robert A. J. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. The definitive book from a traditionalist perspective.
  • Duff, Nancy J. “How to Discuss Moral Issues Surrounding Homosexuality When You Know You Are Right” in Homosexuality and Christian Community, edited by Choon-Leong Seow.
  • Hill, Wesley. Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality.
  • Johnson, William Stacy. A Time to Embrace: Same-Gender Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics. The definitive book from a revisionist perspective.
  • O’Donovan, Oliver. Church in Crisis: The Gay Controversy and the Anglican Communion.
  • Via, Dan O. & Robert A. J. Gagnon, Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views.
  • Yarhouse, Mark A. Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide to Parents, Pastors and Friends.
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4 thoughts on ““Let’s talk about sex, baby”: A bibliography on sex, gender, marriage, masculinity and homosexuality

  1. Three more:

    Peter Jones, The God of Sex (Victor). Good book linking sexuality and worship while connecting particular cultural trends to neo-paganism from the perspective of sexuality.

    Christopher Ash, Marriage: Sex in the Service of God (Regent). One of the best books on the ethics of sex and marriage that I’ve ever read.

    John Piper, This Momentary Marriage. One of the best pastoral books on marriage. We give lots of them away at Park Church. Starts with Bonhoeffer’s charge and moves from there. I think this is one of Piper’s best books.

  2. Good list so far! May I suggest the following for the ladies:
    Lillian Calles Barger, Eve’s Revenge: Women and a Spirituality of the Body
    Connally Gilliam, Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the life I didn’t Expect, especially chapters 8 and 9, Gettin’ it and Not Gettin’ it.

    • Adrianna: Thanks for adding titles from the lady’s point-of-view. While there may be some overlap, male sexuality and female sexuality are different.

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