Sex, Sushi and Salvation

sex-sushi-salvationbook.jpgI recently received a free (one of my favourite words) copy of Sex, Sushi and Salvation on the condition that I wrote some sort of review. I’m a much more voracious reader than writer which has delayed any reflection BUT in addition I found it hard to compose a review in my head (which is what I tend to do) as there was one part of the book I struggled with.
Christian George is clearly an interesting guy and it would be fun to spend time with him I think. The book is an energetic serving of metaphor, reflection, Biblical exposition, honesty and challenge. At times it feels like a cross between a stream-of-consciousness and an impromptu sermon, but overall it reads as a story-fuelled, well woven together, call to Christ-centred living. I found this a fun book to read and liked the Coupland-esque layout with indented quotes and a related quote at the start of each chapter. The energy, passion and messiness (in a good sense) also drew me in. It’s pitched at the kind of level that older adolescents would also enjoy engage with I think.
I did struggle however with Christian’s criticism (and in my opinion mis-representation) of Brian McLaren and the Emerging Church. This to me was not in keeping with the tenure of the book and rankled in my mind with the book’s pursuit of a living, questioning, engaging and real faith.
On the whole though, a good book and an engaging piece of communication for those who have ever considered the existential themes of sex, sushi or salvation, I’m glad I read it.

7 Replies to “Sex, Sushi and Salvation”

  1. Interesting… I quite like the sound of the book on the whole… just wondering what was the “critique” of McLaren and t’emerging church… and in what way do you consider it to be a mis-representation?

  2. As ever mark, a good question. The quote to which I refer is:
    “While postmodernism attacks the church, it has also married into it. The emerging church as championed by Brian McLaren and others, flirts dangerously with postmodern ideology, thinking that the christian faith must be deconstructed and then reconstructed to fit a generation that resists propositional truth”
    I’m struggling with the idea that the emerging church flirts (dangerously) with post-modernity. I struggle the most though with the charge that E.C is deconstructing the christian faith and reconstructing it, I believe there is a healthy deconstructing and examination of **our understanding** of the christian faith which is a very different statement.
    I’m concerned that theological exploration is being cast as un-Biblical and charged with uncritically embracing post-modernity. The important distinction for me being that lots of the culture and values of modernity were uncritically embraced by the church (somehow this is fine?) and does need re-examination.

  3. Thanks Ian,
    I think I agree with you… It seems there is often an assumption that modernity=good and post-modernity=bad when it comes to Christianity… To me this just makes no sense at all in the first place! So I agree we need to deconstruct “Christianity”, the trouble is modern Christianity sees itself as the evolutionary pinnacle of Christianity, particularly modern evangelical Christianity… And many seem to think that the Reformation was the final and ultimate answer/understanding of the faith… Whereas it has been reframing and reforming since it’s “birth”… And one could say since the very beginning i.e. If we truly see ourselves connected to the OT not just the NT… That it was Judaism that took a turn from God’s story not Christianity.
    In some ways I agree with his statement, modernity reconstructed the Christian faith to fit a rationalistic, individualistic, propositional “generation”… I’ve no problem with that, the problem I have is they have become sacralised.. So modernism can ONLY understand truth as propositional, it can only understand salvation as individual and theology as rational and systematic… There is much within the rich history and tradition of the Christian faith that is experiential, mystical, apophatic etc. etc.
    … oh and when has the Christian faith not been a dangerous pursuit??? oh yes in the “christian west” and what an insipid, domesticated, consumer, self-centered, ineffectual faith that produced! Give me danger and risk any day over the Christianity I grew up with!

  4. I am about to publish my review. I thought the book didn’t have much of a point… other than to attack emergent and music and muse about his travels.
    Beyond the first chapter… I didn’t like it at all.

  5. Would agree totally with the comments about deconstructing, because deconstructing can sometimes take away the rubbish, and in christianity’s case take away the tradition which has been taken on as part of the faith. So would agree that deconstructing can help as a process for our own faith, and ensuring that we stay close to God, and not rely upon traditions that have been taken on board by the Christian Church in the west as fundamentals to the christian faith. If deconstructing the Christian faith removes traditions, and brings me closer to God, then I have no issue with that at all.
    Always good to have a pure relaitonship I have found, rather than one based upon ohter people’s traditions.

  6. I may be missing something, but it sounds like this is postmodern Christian book attacking postmodern Christianity. Am I wrong?

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