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Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  9,921 Ratings  ·  627 Reviews
From Rob Bell, the author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller Love Wins and a Christian pastor named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in 2011, comes Sex God, an enlightening exploration of sexuality and spirituality. With profound beauty and insight, Bell addresses the truism that we can’t talk about ourselves as sexual beings without asking w ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by HarperOne (first published January 1st 2007)
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Andrea Zukewycz
Oct 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book and it was amazing! The way Rob Bell put things into perspective was awesome! As I was reading, I was like "wow, I never thought of it like that". He has a ton of wisdom and insight and it's awesome reading what he shares with us. I just wanted to share one part of it that I extra highlighted :) This is mainly for the ladies, but good for the men too.

"You don't need a man by your side to validate you as a woman. You already are loved and valued. You're good enough exac
Jan 14, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm done. I'm so done. I went into reading 'Love Wins' excited, hoping for some cool ideas. I thought it was limp. Shallow. So what do I do? I decide to look into what he has to say about sex.

Oh for. GAH. I need to STOP doing this to myself, but I have one more aggravating book waiting for me at the library.

I wish for five seconds he would stop pretending to be all hip and trendy. He's like a freakin' conservative in sheep's clothing. 'OHHH, I'm gonna be all DARING and say the word SEX in the ti
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every Christian leaning human being
Shelves: spiritual
This is possibly the most refreshingly accurate piece of work on sexuality by a Christian author I have ever encountered. But then again, Rob Bell is an exceptional observer of humanity and its spiritual side. If you have not read his first book, Velvet Elvis, I really suggest you visit that text before you jump into this; especially if you come from a background where everything biblical is hyper-literal (if you are recovering from that sort of situation, I completely empathize with you) or if ...more
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a particularly "religious" person (and by that I mean not at all), but this book really got to me in terms of how sex and spirituality are more related than we ever would have thought. Bell does something refreshing in that he never says "sex before marriage is wrong" in fact, he doesn't feel that way at all. In this book he uses specific passages from scripture and key moments in his personal life to exemplify the ways in which sex is spiritual and should be respected as such. This does ...more
Jul 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ???People wanting to explore their sexuality???
Recommended to Brittany by: Saw it on a friend's book list
Before I get into the substance of the book, I would like to make a few notes about the composition.

One point I would like to make is that I now know why writers should not use one sentence paragraphs. They should not use one sentence paragraphs because it does not help with the flow of ideas or the point the author is trying to make (with my first paragraph of this review being an exception).

The other point or suggestion I would like to make is that the reader should make sure to read the auth
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rob Bell's communication style is--if nothing else--consistent.

He wants

to get

people to stop

and feel

every, little, detail

of what is being said.

And this is how he does that. For some, I know that this can almost feel manipulative and forced. If you are paying attention at all you know what he is trying to do to you. For me, I can both enjoy this and find it a bit annoying. I know many Christians are terribly offended and outraged by Rob Bell but I think that if they just stop screaming "heretic"
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
I'm not a big huge fan of Rob Bell, mainly because I never feel like he actually says much of anything. But this book looked like it would be about something that a lot of Christian books aren't: human sexuality. Oh don't get me wrong, there's tons of Christian books on sex: married sex, unmarried sex, gay sex, straight sex, what sex is, what sex isn't, bla bla bla. But there's very little about the fact that human beings, no matter which of those above categories they fall into, are [in general ...more
How can you not love Rob Bell? The man has been given an incredible gift of insight and communication. He explains things so profoundly, yet, so simply. It's a solid combination.

Turns out this book is more about God and His love than sex, but it will get you thinking. A lot. A lot about what you really want, what you expect from a relationship, what you're willing to give, and what is the point of it to begin with?

I'd say for anyone who isn;y a believer in Christ, and thinks Christians are prude
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody
Shelves: faith, restoryinglife
This book is simple and easy to read, but enthralling. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that, having read a borrowed copy, I'm going to buy it for myself (a much smarter approach than my usual, "buy it and sell it on Amazon if I don't want to keep it").

Moreover, contrary to the title, it's not just a book about sex and God, rather, it's a beautiful way to invite somebody who isn't all that familiar with the things of God to begin exploring how faith and life can connect, as it challenges many assum
Lori Watson
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this book did not impact me as much as Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, there were a few chapters that made this a four star read. Leather, Whips, and Fruit; She Ran Into the Girl's Bathroom; More Balloons, Please. These were worth the price of the book to me.

Leather, Whips, and Fruit:
"We’re addictive creatures. We try things, we experiment, we explore, and certain things hook us. They get their tentacles in us, and we can’t get away from them. What started out as
Oct 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Revised Review: 3/5

I think I have probably shifted my stance slightly with this book. As you might notice I took it down a notch to 3 stars instead of 4. And I also removed it from my 'recommended' shelf.

I would say it is because on further reflection, it is much more of a dangerous book than I would have originally thought. It is a little reductionist towards a Hebrew-centric view on marriage, and while the old testament was written by the Israelites, marriage was instituted for mankind and no
Feb 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone interested in reading a book with a pink cover
Recommended to Mark by: friend at work
A friend at work gave this to me to read. It is by an evangelical preacher and explores the connections between being human and sexuality. I suppose it is good in light of how our society exploits and degrades human sexuality and he does a good job in pointing out that we need more in a relationship than the physical. But I felt like he often jumped from one thought or story to another without much continuity or without reaching conclusions and I was often left thinking yea... and what's your po ...more
Oct 01, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rob Bell fans
For those of us who read Velvet Elvis, we may expect almost too much from Sex God. Velvet Elvis, while not without its shortcomings, was a wealth of ideas in wide variety. But again, Bell was exploring the whole of faith as opposed to a specific aspect of it.

In Sex God, Bell confronts human sexuality from a unique perspective - neither justifying sexual tendencies nor analyzing sexual appetites. Rather, he strives to help us see sexuality as an essential element to our humanity. The cornerstone
Mar 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I recently read Sex God by Rob Bell and was disappointed by the anticlimax.
I went in expecting a message that might offend me, shake me up a little, maybe even make me rethink my beliefs on some things. Sex God promised new thoughts on human sexuality in relation to God.
But there was so little actual thought posited that I came away with nothing.
Sex God claims that everything is about sex. And therefore it spent no time talking about sex and a lot of time talking about "everything".
Thanks Rob B
David Meldrum
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discipleship
Rob Bell. In the bizarre sub-culture of Christian media and church, there are few more polarising names. He's even been on the cover of Time magazine (US edition). To say you find his work valuable is equally likely to earn you opprobrium as it is welcome. It just depends on who you talk to. If this is new to you, just try googling his name.

'Sex God' was written before his fame was at the stratospheric, inflammatory levels it reached in 2011-2. It's his second book, but the one it's taken longes
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The tastelessly titled book, "Sex God", explores the relationship between sexuality and God. So vast a topic can not be fully covered in these short pages, but Bell gives a decent overview in a humourous and simple fashion.

I had been forewarned of Bell's informality as he writes to the laity. I enjoyed hearing the clever thoughts, especially the distinction between being fully human and being too much like an angel (which is bad) . His emphasis on finding a person with overflowing "agape" (or l
I suppose I should start by saying that this isn't even a book I purchased for myself, as religious non-fiction doesn't tend to be my genre of choice. I picked this up for my husband a few months ago, and after he finished it, twice over, he asked me to read it so that we could discuss it. I wasn't really sure what to expect from a book named "Sex God," but I figured it couldn't be bad - the author is Rob Bell, pastor at Mars Hill, which is the church I attend (irregularly). I enjoy his sermons, ...more
David Campton
I like Rob Bell's Nooma material and was impressed when I visited what was his Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, but there was a big part of me that wanted to hate this book from before I opened the first page the first time I read it. Why? Because so much time and effort has gone into the graphic design of the book that I feared it may be all style and no substance. And to a certain extent that is true. It is less substantial than it might be, indeed, if it had been printed as a normal book, it ...more
Theresa Leone Davidson
I'm not sure if I'm supposed to know who Rob Bell is but I don't, and I came to the book without preconceived notions. Insomuch as it relates to two of my favorite topics, God and sex, I enjoyed reading the book, although I must say there was nothing new nor particularly enlightening. He writes that God wants us to explore our sexuality but only with the person to whom we are married; I agree, IF you're married. I am much more God-centered now than I was all through my 20s and early 30s, before ...more
Aug 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I guess actual rating 1.5. I pulled this book off the shelf simply because I found the title and subtitle intriguing, and I bought it without even a look at the back. So I was a little disappointed when I found that this was purely a Christian perspective of the link between sexuality and spirituality. I was hoping for something more along the lines of an anthropological exploration of sexuality and spirituality across cultures, but alas, it was not to be. That being said, reading this from an a ...more
Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in a fresh take on relationships of all kinds
Shelves: christian
I read through this book quickly a few weeks ago, and now am going through it a chapter a week with my home group from church. Once I got used to the writing style, I was amazed by how insightful such simply-written thoughts could be. Bell is accessible while still being very much to-the-point. Much of the other Christian lit I've read gets painfully redundant, as if the author is just stretching out his one or two points to fill a few hundred pages. Not so with Sex God: each chapter tackles a d ...more
I read this book ages ago, when I had been a christian for a few years and hadn't yet really hit that "I'm a sexual being and that means stuff" kind of revelation. At the time, reading it was amazing - sex didn't get spoken of very much at the church I was going to, and Bell has a great way of explaining bits from the Bible: linking Old and New testaments, and explaining a few things that get lost in translation.

Reading it after... maybe 5 years(?) I have to rethink how I feel about this book. T
Stephen Gordons
This book had several good thoughts in it, but on the whole, was not as succesful as it could have been.

I must admit that two things struck me before I read this book. First, many people I know pooh-pooh Rob Bell's teaching. Secondly, I was fascinated by the fact that he wanted to explore the connections between sexuality and spirituality, a tradition that goes back to Hebrew writing, to medieval interpretations of "Song of Songs" and to Christian thinkers like John Donne.

Bell is not as sketchy
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a compelling exposition on sex and marriage and the place of sex in marriage and the place of marriage in the life of a believer.

Bell traces the biblical teaching on marriage and sex from Genesis to Revelation and shows how "this" is really about "that". Sex and marriage are not just an end in themselves but means to a greater end, union and communion with God.

The author shows how marriage is temporary (only for this life). He does even better, he shows us why this is so. We were made
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title, 'Sex God' seems to be a marketing ploy to try to get some shock value. Rob Bell is the founding pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church, and I absolutely loved this book. It talks about intimacy - and not just in the sexual sense - and how it relates to spirituality. He has a way of telling stories to brilliantly illustrate his point, and to also shed some new light on biblical verses. As a Latter-Day Saint, the last chapter is the only one that I didn't completely agree with. Basically at t ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what I think of this book. It felt disjointed and I was left trying to piece together Bell's points. I got his overall point about the connection between God, sex, relationships, and humanity, but I felt like it was a lot of unnecessary work to get to that.

I'm also not a big fan of the writing style or whatever it's called that Bell's books have in general. The structure, like the flow of the book, was disjointed. I often felt like I was reading a list of bullet points instead of a
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the audio book and the reader was Rob Bell himself. I liked that a lot because he would pause and add a few little tidbits that were not in the book.
My favorite part was when he talked about his son coming up to Rob's wife and asking what sexy means, she replied: "sexy is when you feel comfortable in your own skin". -love that!!
Jonathan Spangler
May 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Matthew Hart
Rob Bell does a pretty good job with this book. The title is somewhat not fitting in that he doesn't explore the "endless" connections. Just a few in my opinion. Chapters 1,3, and 7 were the most insightful for me. This book was an easy read that helps the eyes not get tired by spacin out lines and thoughts. I would recommend this book!
Kirsten Johanson
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking. It is slightly narrow--just focusing on male/female language in relationships.
Alisa Ediger
This book was not what I expected. It talked far less than I anticipated about sex (although it is in there) and more about relationships and intimacy in general. Overall, I thought the book was so-so, however I think there are two notable chapters.

I enjoyed the second chapter about "animal vs. angel." There is this tendency for Christians to warn against hypersexualization but then err on the side of repressing and demonizing sex and sexuality. Bell talks about the dangers of both and what it
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Rob Bell is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of the bestselling Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. A graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, Bell speaks to large crowds around the world and has appeared in a pioneering series of short ...more
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“What we do comes out of who we believe we are.” 331 likes
“Love is giving up control. It’s surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two—love and controlling power over the other person—are mutually exclusive. If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all the desires within us to manipulate the relationship.” 173 likes
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