God’s Big Blog: More Thoughts from/to/about Lauren Winner


For a book about chastity, a sexy cover

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I can’t say that I go along with the idea that one must be 100 percent sexually chaste before marriage. But I do think that the evangelical Christian culture that holds to this principle has a lot to teach the rest of us.

My Spiritual Writing group at the Glen Workshop in Santa Fe last week included several evangelical Christians — young ones – for whom, I suspect, chastity before marriage is a hot topic.

A  line from a book by our workshop leader, Lauren Winner –  Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity — sums up just one of the helpful thoughts that I (as the ”liberal-Christian-who-finds-truth-in-Buddhism-Islam-and-heaven-knows-what-else” in the room) gleaned from my close encounter with the evangelical point of view last week.

Lauren writes that chastity and singleness “tell us, for starters, of a radical dependence on God. In marriage, it is tempting to look to one’s spouse to meet all one’s needs. But those who live alone,without the companionship and rigor of marriage and sex, are offered an opportunity to realize that it is God who sustains them.”

Mudhouse Sabbath, an invitation to spiritual discipline

Mudhouse Sabbath, an invitation to spiritual discipline

Hmmmm. A refreshing thought in our happily-ever-after culture of “Sleepless in Seattle” meets “Notting Hill.”  Thinking of marriage as marriage, rather than as the answer to all our troubles, takes a heck of a lot of pressure off the arrangement.

Lauren has written another book, Mudhouse Sabbath, which I’m looking forward to reading. I love Lauren’s precise mind, even when it goes places that my (foggier) mind does not readily take me. So I am going to put her Mudhouse book on my bedside table, alongside works by some authors that Lauren recommended to our group, namely Vivian Gornick and Patricia Hampl.

P.S. Another thing that I learned at the Glen about current trends in evangelical Christian sex is – it’s sexy. Note, for one thing, the voluptuously unfolding magnolia on the cover of Lauren’s Real Sex book.

© 2009 Barbara Falconer Newhall

Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity, by Lauren F. Winner, Brazos Press, 2005.

Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline, by Lauren F. Winner, Paraclete, 2003.


Subscribe To Site:
This entry was posted in Book Openers, God Is Big and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

© 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Barbara Falconer Newhall. and www.GodsBigBlog.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog's author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided that full and clear credit is given to Barbara Falconer Newhall and www.GodBigBlog.com with appropriate and specifc direction to the original content. Bible texts are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA. The Psalms are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979. Material originally published and copyrighted by the Oakland Tribune is posted here by permission. WordPress theme adapted from Thematic Theme Framework