Mohler is primarily interested in helping the reader understand the culture, how we have come this far, where we are going, and how the Christian is to think, stand, and respond. And that is perhaps what Mohler is best at. Like others of Mohler's books, this one is based on some of his blog posts and speeches he has written/given in the past.
Mohler begins by looking at a letter that "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy author JRR Tolkien wrote to his son about the issue of sex. The letter not only gives insight into the religious views of America's most prized fictional authors, it also shows how radically different things have changed in our culture. At the writing of this letter, this advice from father and son was good advice. Now, our culture would consider such advice bigoted, closed-minded, and from the pen of a religious nut.
I found this chapter to be one of the most interesting introductory chapters in most books I have read. As a Tolkien fan, I was drawn in by Mohler's analysis of the letter and of Tolkien himself. Mohler points out that what Tolkien tells his son is a summary of the Christian worldview on the subject. A good summary of what Tolkien tells his son comes from another letter from Tolkien to one of his best friends and fellow Christian, CS Lewis. Tolkien points out:
Christian marriage is not a prohibition of sexual intercourse, but the correct way of sexual temperance--in fact probably the best way of getting the most satisfying sexual pleasure
From there, Mohler begins to look at many other issues. Much of the book looks at the issue of homosexuality. In fact, it would seem that most of the book is dedicated to this subject. There were a couple of things that Mohler points out that I found helpful on this subject.
First, the argument for the normalcy of homosexuality has radically changed. Before, homosexuals pleaded for identity, now they argue for orientation. The difference is a matter of civil rights. If one is born gay (orientation), then homosexuality is no longer a matter of morality, but a matter of prejudice. Mohler shows how this shift in language has changed the debate and how Christians are to respond.
Another helpful insight was his discussion on what the rise of homosexuality in our culture has affected friendship. In this chapter shows how the issue of friendship has radically changed as a result of homosexuality. Two men cannot be as close as they used to be in an exclusive heterosexual society. It is interesting how it seems that the more our culture celebrates homosexuality, the more true friendship and affection in that friendship passes away. It seems we are taking the one at the cost of the other.
The chapter itself is a discussion on the controversial movie, "Brokeback Mountain," the "gay Wester" that released a few years ago. But in this chapter, Mohler returns to "The Lord of the Rings," again. He writes:
In "A Requiem for Friendship: Why Boys Will Not Be Boys and Other Consequences of the Sexual Revolution," published in the September 2005 issue of Touchstone magazine, Esolen begins by reminding readers of a scene from J. R. R. Tolkien's great work, The Lord of the Rings. Sam Gamgee, having followed his master Frodo into Mordor, the realm of death, finds him in a small filthy cell lying half-conscious. "Frodo! Mr. Frodo, my dear!" Sam cries. "It's Sam, I've come!" Frodo embraces his friend and Sam eventually cradles Frodo's head. As Esolen suggests, a reader or viewer of this scene is likely to jump to a rather perverse conclusion: "What, are they gay?"
Esolen suggests that this question is an "ignorant but inevitable response" to the context. He goes on to recall that Shakespeare and many other great authors spoke of non-sexual love between men in strongest terms. Similarly, when David is told of the death of his friend Jonathan, he cries: "Your love to me was finer than the love of women."
As Esolen understands, the corruption of language has contributed to this confusion. When words like love, friend, male, female, and partner are transformed in a new sexual context, what was once understood to be pure and undefiled is now subject to sniggering and disrespect.
A point well taken.
Mohler concludes looking at how we, as Christians, are to respond to the sexual issues we face everyday.
Overall, I found this book to be better than I thought it would be. I feared that it was rushed together at the last minute. I had no idea that he was writing a book on the issue of sex. I have read much of what he has written on the issue and listen to much of what he has said, and have always been impressed and in agreement with his thoughts.
I encourage everyone who is thinking about these issues, especially Christians, to pick up this book and give it a read. It will certainly stimulate your intellectual thinking, but at the same time, the issues at stake are too important to overlook. Mohler has an amazing ability to breakdown, critique, and expose the faulty arguments proposed by those shaping culture. He has a gift to arm Christians with Biblical answers for ungodly times. I recommend this book, and hope you enjoy it as much as I have.