I interviewed William Taylor to ask him some questions about his new book ‘Revolutionary Sex.'
Why do we need another book on the topic of sex and marriage?
I think when an issue like this comes along and really tests the church, it forces us to think much more deeply about the issue. Ironically, all the negative things that have come as a result of the church having false teaching within it have forced us to get much clearer on God's purpose for sex, marriage and relationships; that's what I think this book is seeking to address.
Why does it matter that we as Christians get our thinking clear on this topic?
First it matters theologically. Marriage is such a huge theological theme and category in the Bible. We only understand God more deeply as we understand his purpose for marriage more deeply. We understand Jesus more profoundly and his love for us (which is a public, permanent, intimate commitment to us) as we understand God's purpose in marriage. So on a theological level coming to grips with what it means to be made male and female in the image of God and then what it means to be brought together in marriage (male and female, publicly, permanently and intimately committed to each other) has profound implications for the way we think about God, the church, Christ, and his commitment to us.
Second it matters practically and personally. Whilst our culture says it values sex very highly the reality is that it treats sex as a disposable commodity. If we are right in our understanding that sex is something that impacts the very core of our being (as Paul says it is) then as Christians if we treat sex as a disposable commodity we are damaging both ourselves and the church and the culture in which we live.
If however we get it right the opportunities for witness and evangelism in our culture, as we hold out godly models of the rule of Christ, are profound.
What are some of the ways our culture gets it wrong?
I think as a western liberal culture we have bought the oldest three lies in the book. First, that God is a spoilsport. Second, that there will be no consequences to our ignoring his rule and third, that we will achieve adulthood and maturity as we break free from God. As we buy those lies we find precisely the reverse to be the case.
What comfort is there for those who feel they have particularly messed up in this area?
I think that is an immensely important question because, living in the culture in which we currently live, I cannot imagine anybody who in one way or another does not feel that they've messed up. As I say in the book I'm writing as someone who is personally deeply aware of failures and aware of many people who I've spoken to over decades about this topic. Ultimately it is the gospel, the glorious truth (of which marriage is a model) of a God who is permanently, selflessly, sacrificially committed to us, which is of profound comfort and real lasting practical benefit as I see sins forgiven and conscience cleansed.