Alive: Gospel Sexuality for Students gives teenagers and young adults a biblical, gospel-centered framework to understand sexual issues. In a changing culture where feelings about our identity inform our sexual choices, this ten-week small group resource by Cooper Pinson of Harvest USA, applies biblical truth in a compassionate way to sexual struggles.
Cooper Pinson, with years of experience working with students, aims to bring the theological truths of our union and communion with Christ into the world of sexuality. Students are met where they are and encouraged to talk about the issues that are part of their everyday world. At the same time, they are guided to learn robust, deep, and strengthening theological content that will help them follow Jesus in how they express their sexuality.
Out of this framework, topics addressed include God’s good design for sexuality, gender-related issues, singleness, dating, marriage, masturbation, pornography, and same-sex attraction, among others. Students are shepherded to understand their sexuality in the light of who Jesus is and to approach these issues with truth, faith, and compassion.
I received this book from the publisher via I Read With Audra for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
Sexuality is a hot topic anywhere except in the church. Christians don’t like to talk about this “taboo subject”, and because of that, many people, young adults and teens especially, don’t know how handle compromising situations regarding their sexuality or the sexuality of others. Because, to Christians, “sex is bad and gays are wrong”. No explanations given.
The goal of Alive is to inspire conversation, within a small group, regarding this topic and to give a Biblical foundation to why Christians believe what they believe.
New Adult fiction is a rapidly growing genre. More and more teens and young adults are presented with movies and books that grapple with questions and situations faced by these new adults, and as I’m sure you could guess, sexual orientation is at the top of the list. I am a very strong Christian, and sometimes the messages in these books (which are not Christian) can cause even me to take a step back and think, “Well they do have a point…” Young adults definitely NEED to be able to talk about their concerns, ask their questions, and even confess confusing feelings, and because most churches don’t allow that “type of talk”, they go to their friends, who may or may not steer them back to The Word.
Alive: Gospel Sexuality for Students is a resource for providing a place to talk. It’s not a study in which individuals read a lesson and discuss it later. The “lesson” alone IS the discussion and is intended to be guided by a leader. Each week you’re given a scenario (which are realistic and likely to happen to anyone), verses, and questions. They range from Christian scenarios, such as “what’s the point of dating if it’s nothing but sexual temptation anyways?”, to answering big questions, like “how would you define pornography?”, using scripture.
Because this is a RESOURCE, I wouldn’t recommend it to be read on one’s own, nor would I recommend it be used by a group leader who is not already knowledgeable on the topic. It is a book of questions, not a book of answers (though it does have a leader’s guide in the back of the book, it is only a guide however). I do recommend it for small groups though, especially those with students and young adults.
Because of the above, I give Alive: Gospel Sexuality for Students 4 out of 5 stars and I’m pleased to see such a good resource available for churches to empower students in their belief of sexuality.