frgavin on June 19th, 2011


NAKED SURRENDER

Coming home to our true sexuality
By Andrew Comiskey
IVP. 219 pages. £8.99
ISBN 978 1 844 744 923

Recently one of my Christian friends in his 40s shared with me his lifelong struggles with bisexual feeling — I was the first man he had every spoken to about it.

Another friend told me that he had daily battles with his sexual feelings for children and a Christian employer I know had to sack a Christian employee for using porn at work on the office network, latterly on a daily basis.

There is so much sexual pain in the church, let alone outside it, and this book speaks very powerfully into it. There are several reasons for this, but the most important is that it is soaked in Scripture. The first words of chapter one are those of Jesus: ‘Today salvation has come to this house. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost’, and there are continual references to the biblical text, and God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit on virtually every page. The author, a pastor in the US, refers at one point to his habit of committing Scripture to memory and this certainly shows.

The second reason is that the author practises what he preaches. With disarming candour he recounts many stories of his own journey of sexual healing, together with that of six friends who accompany him on a mission trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In his hotel room on the first night of their arrival, in the face of temptation, he recalls the Scriptures, phones a friend and shares the problem, they prayer together and see the Lord’s victory. How many readers of this review have the depth of fellowship both with Christ and other believers to be able to share the deep temptations they face so honestly?

Though it covers all the usual topics — sexual identity, loneliness, celibacy, pornography, masturbation, marriage, communication and particularly homosexualities (in the plural), it does so by both scriptural exposition and its application to the stories of the author and the mission team members as well as others Cominskey has counselled in his many years of ministry.

The book is easily readable — indeed, arrestingly so — thoroughly orthodox in its interpretation of the biblical teaching, yet warmly compassionate in applying it to the real needs of hurting and often abused and broken Christians in their struggles to live holy lives. I recommended it to some of my counselling contacts this week and I wholeheartedly recommend it to EN readers who struggle with sexual strains in a fallen world, and I suspect that is the majority of us.

Dr. Trevor Stammers,
a GP for 27 years and a member of Morden Baptist Church, Surrey

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