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Carmen Berry - 'The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and Church'

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The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and Church - Carmen Berry

The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and Church - Carmen Berry

The Bottom Line

Like it or not, in our world sex is a part of every day life. Companies selling everything from paper towels to tennis shoes use it and we're bombarded daily from radio and TV, getting everything from innuendo to scenes or lyrics that leave very little to the imagination. However, sex is one of those topics that many Christians feel extremely uncomfortable talking about. Carman Berry isn't squeamish though, and she takes us all the way from O.T. law to today to see how views on sex have changed.
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  • Carman Berry doesn't shy away from difficult issues
  • The book has a great deal of history
  • She doesn't limit her writing to one particular denomination


  • The title alone may turn some people off


  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Published: August 23, 2005
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc.

Guide Review - Carmen Berry - 'The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and Church'

When I first saw the title to this book, I thought, "Oh this should be rich!" I figured that it would either be 300+ pages of all of the reasons that sex is bad and nothing more than a wifely "duty" much like ironing the shirts (what I was taught as a young woman) or that it would be way out there, effectively making it a free-for-all. I was right - it was rich - but I was wrong, because Carman Berry didn't take either approach that I was expecting.

Instead she started me out on a crash course in O.T. law, back when women were property and men could have as many wives and concubines as they could financially support. She moved forward to Jesus, and how He challenged those laws by redefining the rules of marriage, successfully explaining to me why it appeared in some of Paul's writings that he was against marriage. She took me through the various rulings on celibacy that came from some of our early church fathers and into the Reformation.

Far from just historical, Carman Berry even went into many of the issues of today, such as abortion, abstinence and homosexuality and shared the views on those topics from several of the major denominations.

If right about now you're wondering just what type of woman would write a book like this, Carman Berry herself believes in "celibacy as a spiritual discipline" for all Christian singles, so she's not advocating loose morals.

Simply put, this was a fascinating book and I was amazed at how the view of sex has changed over the centuries.

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