The Sexual Reformation

Restoring the Dignity and Personhood of Man and Woman

by Aimee Byrd

On Sale: 2022-03-08

Book Summary

Aimee Byrd explores the theological meaning behind our sexes, helping Christians to understand our sexuality as gift and to grasp the story our bodies tell of Christ’s love for his church. She calls the church to the recovery of God’s true design of man and woman that unfolds through Scripture--indeed to a sexual reformation.

About the Book

Since the Reformation, Protestants have confessed that the church is reformed and always reforming. But do we really believe this? Why, then, are we so shocked to hear that the church itself needs a sexual reformation? That the church has been fighting to uphold biblical distinction between the sexes against a culture that is rapidly and aggressively challenging this, is certainly one reason. But in trying to be faithful to the beauty of God's design for man and woman, the church has instead latched onto a pagan, Aristotelian concept of man and woman--that woman is by nature inferior to man--which robs us of the dignity of personhood as man and woman created in the image of God.

Much of the evangelical teaching on the sexes is based on cultural stereotypes and an unbiblical ontology of male authority and female subordination. While some try to correct this, they often flatten the meaningful distinctions in the feminine and masculine gift. We end up missing the beautiful message that our bodies, and our whole selves as men and women, tell: the story of the great joy in which Christ received his gift of his bride, the church. Having taken on flesh, he is bringing her to the holy of holies, ushering her behind the veil, and securing communion with his bridal people in sacred space. He gave himself as the ultimate Gift and he loves us to the end. We see this highlighted in the book placed right in the middle of our Bibles. The Song of Songs enfleshes our hope as it poetically sings the metanarrative of Scripture.

In this book, Aimee Byrd invites you to enter into the Song's treasures as its lyrics reveal a typology in God's design of man and woman, one that unfolds throughout the canon of Scripture. The meaning of man and woman extends beyond biology, nature, and culture to give us a glimpse of what is to come. Our bodies are theological. They are visible signs that tell us something about our God. This often-ignored biblical book has much to teach us about Christ, his church, man, and woman. It teaches us the whole point of it all. And what it teaches us is not a list of roles and hierarchy, but a love song. We are ripe for a sexual reformation in the church, and recovering a good theological anthropology is imperative to it. We desperately need to peel away the Aristotelian mindset of man and woman that still pervades much of the teaching on gender and sexuality in the church today.?The Holy Spirit is speaking to us in his Word to bring about a sexual reformation. He invites us to sing an eschatological song. In doing so, we find ourselves in it. We participate in it. We find beauty in it. We persevere by it. It changes us.

Reviews

'Aimee Byrd, in The Sexual Reformation, beautifully shows us the need for nothing less than a reformation in how the church understands and discusses sexuality that more fully resonates with the biblical vision. Byrd powerfully calls us to discover a deeper song whereby our embodiment as male and female resonates with the great marriage of heaven and earth made possible through the incarnation and the marriage supper of the lamb.'

'This is a book that will grow your soul. In the midst of albeit important debates about the meaning of masculinity, femininity, authority, and submission, Aimee invites us to rise above and listen--listen to Jesus singing over us, pointing us to redemptive sexuality centered on himself. Instead of viewing each other as rivals for power, let's join in the song--the Song of Songs--and embrace each other as gifts. May that song of the sexual reformation lead to our dance of celebration.'

'Viva la reformacion! Aimee Byrd calls us back to Scripture, and to the Song of Songs specifically, as a way of reorienting our fallen views of personhood, sexuality, and Christ's love for his bride. The book is a rich exercise in the Christian imagination, birthed by Scripture, rooted in tradition, and enkindled by the Holy Spirit. Take up and sing!'

'Beyond revolution, we need a reformation, and Byrd perfectly explains why as she implores readers to question hierarchal roles baked into evangelicalism. Through the oft-overlooked book of Song of Songs, she beckons the church to consider a richer, more robust understanding of the sexes and honor the inherent dignity and embodied personhood of men and women. Her insights will untangle your beliefs about sexuality and reform them for the flourishing of all.'

'This isn't your grandfather's talk on sex and gender in the Bible! Aimee Byrd delivers what every Christian needs to consider: the rich tapestry of sexuality interlaced throughout Scripture via the Song of Songs! Byrd's commitment to Scripture as the primary voice on sex liberates her to make unique insights not merely reactive to gender discussions that we've become so used to. Sex (in every sense of the word) matters, but in ways we've often failed to consider. Byrd offers us an easy-to-read and biblically honed theological foray through which we can check ourselves lest we continue to wreck ourselves. Consequently, Scripture's world of thinking springs to life, and our currently muddled conversations about sex clarify.'

'Byrd contends that we are in need of a more robust theology of sexuality--what does it mean to be man? Woman? Humans in relationship with one another? So much that is written in this category is combative, overly simplistic, or individualistic. Byrd turns to Scripture, specifically the Song of Songs, to ponder these matters anew. She finds there a love canticle that showcases the beauty of unity, individual uniqueness and gifting, and desire at its best. Throughout, Byrd points to the example of the love of God made flesh in Jesus Christ. This book is a great starting place to move beyond old battles stuck in stalemate or tired of fighting.'

'Where liberal scholarship diminishes Christ in the Song of Songs, Aimee Byrd exalts him according to classical exegesis. In conversation with great expositors from Nyssa and Augustine to Spurgeon and Jenson, Byrd challenges captive cultural interpretations, perverse gender discussions, and fallen power dynamics between men and women. Such profound biblical insights demonstrate why the Bride must again honor the lay prophets God empowers with his Spirit to turn our desire toward the Bridegroom's glory.'

Product Details

  • Imprint: Zondervan
  • On Sale: 2022-03-08
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2022-03-08
  • Trim Size: 139.000mm x 216.000mm x 21.000mm
  • Weight: 203.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Christian Theology / Anthropology
  • Category 2 : RELIGION / Christian Life / Social Issues
  • Category 3 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Discipleship
  • Category 4 : RELIGION / Sexuality & Gender Studies