Monday, May 06, 2013

Review: Sex and Money by Paul David Tripp

5 out of 5 Stars
Author: Paul David Tripp
Publisher: Crossway
Buy Sex and Money
Reading Level: Easy

Paul David Tripp writes with pastoral care and gospel richness. As I was reading Sex and Money, I felt as though he was personally preaching the gospel to me. I wish someone would have given me this book in college. He doesn’t overstate when he says, “Few areas of the human struggle reveal more powerfully the sad sinfulness of sin than the sex-and-money evils that are done thousands of times every day” (p. 11).

What I loved. Tripp rejoices in sex and money as good gifts given by God. So much of what passes for Christian “theology” on sex and money is nothing more than Greek gnosticism. The spirit is good; the body is bad. Therefore, sex and the material wealth we accumulate are base desires to be rejected outright. In contrast, Tripp says,
[B]ecause sex and money are the creations of God’s hand and exist under the control of his sovereignty, they should be approached by us with reverence and awe, not with embarrassment and timidity. Sex and money came from him, belong to him, and continue to exist through him; to him be the glory. . . . The gospel graces us with everything we need to celebrate and participate in both areas in a way that honors God and fully enjoys the good things he’s given us to enjoy. (pp. 18, 19 italics mine)

Second, Tripp drives us to the cross and admonishes us to repent (p. 82).
Here is your hope: when Christ unites him- self to you, he doesn’t leave his grace at the door. He brings to this union all of those provisions of grace that you and I need to be what we’re supposed to be and to do what we’re supposed to do in sex and in everything else. Your union with Christ welcomes you to be a sober celebrant. Sober, because you have grasped the seriousness of your union with Christ, and a celebrant, because you understand the hope and help this union provides that can be found no other way. (p. 93)
I found myself reading a few pages and stopping to pray. Reading more and repenting. Ending the chapter with praise and adoration for a gospel that’s big enough to cover even the darkest of our sins.
Be faithful to remind yourself again and again that to resist being ruled by what you’ve been welcomed to enjoy, you have been given forgiving, empowering, transforming, and delivering grace for the battle. Few things argue more strongly for your need of that grace than your struggle to keep God-given pleasures in their proper place. (p. 66)

Third, Tripps reminds us that sex is worship. “Your sexual life will always be an expression of what you truly worship. Sex is deeply religious” (p. 34) and “Sexual struggles have a much deeper beginning point than your eyes and your sexual organs” (p. 47). God created sex and he did an excellent job at it. However, sex isn’t an end in itself (see pp. 56, 75). Sex only points to God as worship of his creativity and glory (p. 59).

Reading Sex and Money is truly a practice in applying the gospel to oneself. These topics are common to us all. We all struggle or are impacted in some way by sex and money. We all need the gospel in these areas of life. Pastors must read Sex and Money as well. Not only because it will serve your heart but it will teach you how to minister to those under your care struggling with these issues.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Sex and Money free from the Crossway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you plan on purchasing Sex and Money, consider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.


Kevin Peterson said...

"sex is worship."
I'm not such I understand this point.
If I keep sex within marriage only, am I worshipping my wife or marriage?
I know that's not true, but not sure why "sex is worship."

Jay Mats Medenwaldt said...

The last line of the paragraph explains why. "Sex only points to God as worship of his creativity and glory (p. 59)."

Mathew Sims said...

Well having sex is worship bc we're enjoying a gift of God and thanking him for it. On flip side (as you mentioned) when God's removed from story you either worship a perversion of original purpose or a person (even a spouse).

Mathew Sims said...

Good catch!

Kevin Peterson said...

Ok. I think I get it. That helps.
Can this be said of other things?
For example,
"Work only points to God as worship of his mandate that work is good."
or, "Food only points to God as worship because he created food to be enjoyed for his glory."