This is part of a book blogging project for Scot McKnight‘s book, One.Life. In this blogging project, various contributors will be looking at each chapter of the book as McKnight unfolds his answer to the question, “What is a Christian?” I believe that what McKnight has to say will challenge each of us in different ways on how we view what it means to follow Jesus and how we help children and families understand that. Please interact with what is written here in the comments section below. Also, I encourage you to pick up One.Life and read along with us adding your thoughts and impressions as well.
The review for chapter 10 is submitted by Henry Zonio. Henry has 20 years’ experience in children’s ministry as a volunteer and a full time Children’s Pastor in the USA and Canada. Henry is the founder of Elemental CM, which exists to move ministry to children and families forward through coaching, consulting, and conversation on the blog. Henry has served in children’s ministry leadership roles in multiple denominations and has led children’s ministry workshops and breakouts at various conferences. Having lived in warmer climates like California and more frigid ones like Thunder Bay, Ontario, Henry has taken his love of watersports to new levels from swimming and wakeboarding to sitting in a sauna followed by rolling in the snow.
Chapter 10: Sex.Life
When it comes to issues surrounding sex, much of the children’s ministry community is pretty silent. A little while back, Kenny Conley addressed this in a series over at Children’s Ministry Online. We live in an over-sexualized culture of hooking up, no commitment needed, friends with benefits sex glamorized in movies and TV shows. With parents looking to us for guidance on how to pass on faith to their children, we cannot continue to be mute when it comes to sex. And we cannot simply offer a moralistic approach of rules and regulations that we squeeze out of the Bible. When the number four search term for children under 7 is “porn” and for tweens age 8-12 is sex, we need to do more.
Scot McKnight in the chapter “Sex.Life” of his book One.Life states,
“It’s too easy to pull the heavy hammer out on [sex] and pound away with expressions like ‘it’s wrong’ or ‘purity matters’ or ‘sex is for marriage’—all of which Jesus would have inherited from his parents and read in his Torah and absorbed in his culture. but evidence shows that the ‘it’s wrong’ strategy is not working, and so we want to go deeper and ask if words like kingdom and justice and love and righteousness and wisdom address these ervasice sexual behaviors today” (p. 126).
McKnight then rounds off that statement with this question:
“What kind of sexual relationships do you want in the One.Life you’ve got?”
I’ve never heard sex put within the context of kingdom in my 35 years of growing up in church! I’ve heard all the verses and all the rationales for waiting until marriage, but never have I even thought to think of sex in the terms that McKnight proposed throughout this chapter.
While I was one of those good kids who did wait, I know that I am in the minority. I look at the statistics and am sobered by them. The deck is stacked against even my own children staying sexually pure until marriage, and that scares me. Why aren’t we able to do a better job of making purity something feasible and realistic? I think McKnight hit one of the nails on the head:
“The one thing Jesus learned in the Jewish world was that the body isn’t a container for the spirit but that the body is fully integrated with spirit. For Jesus, there is complete integration of body and spirit. So, it can be put this way: The reason Jesus and his Jewish world talked about sex and bodies so much was because the body was so important. Your body matters and what you do with your body is your spirituality!” (p. 130, emphasis mine)
McKnight goes on for the rest of the chapter helping us realign our views sex by reconnecting real love (the kind that is other centered) and “rugged, realistic commitment” with sex. If we can help the children and parents we work reshape their views of commitment, relationship, marriage, love, and sex through the lens of the kingdom dream of Jesus then sex becomes more than something pat of a moral code—sex becomes sacred and enveloped in God’s kingdom mission here on earth.
Be sure to check out the rest of this book blogging project:
- March 28 – Chapter 1: One.Life – Doug Olson
- March 29 – Chapter 2: Kingdom.Life – Eli Suddarth
- March 30 – Chapter 3: Imagined.Life – Dan Scott
- March 31 – Chapter 4: Love.Life – Emily Mullens
- April 1 – Chapter 5: Justice.Life – Noel Walker
- April 2 – Chapter 6: Peace.Life – Jesse Smith
- April 3 – Chapter 7: Wisdom.Life – Jared Massey
- April 4 – Chapter 8: Church.Life – Tim Shiels
- April 5 – Chpater 9: Committed.Life – Chris Lema
- April 6 – Chapter 10: Sex.Life – Henry Zonio
- April 7 – Chpater 11: Vocation.Life – Helen Lee
- April 8 – Chapter 12: Eternity.Life – Christiaan VandenHuevel
- April 9 – Chapter 13: God.Is.Love.Life – Henry Zonio
- April 10 – Chapter 14: Cross.Life.Ressurection.Life – Barbara Graves