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See Me Naked: Stories Of Sexual Exile In American Christianity

by Paul Landerman
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Nov 15, 2011
See Me Naked: Stories Of Sexual Exile In American Christianity

When I approached this assignment to review Frykholm's remarkable book it was with almost impenetrable skepticism; how could anyone in contemporary America, after the countless news headlines of the way we have all, collectively, perhaps, been sodomized by and abused by the church- no special church but by the collective church- reconcile a personal faith after such abuse? And how, even more difficult for me to imagine, can my own personal sexual experience, both as a married heterosexual and now as a gay man with several past lovers, lead me to any kind of reconciliation with the church when in fact I had been cast out of the church because of sex?

"True, deep, real pleasure is an avenue to the Holy. Through discernment, wonder, and aliveness, we will know what real pleasure is. We will be able to determine- actively, bodily, and through our senses, true pleasure, and we will trust it,,,"

I am gratified to say that Frykholm truly surprised me; to acknowledge that we have both individually and collectively been damaged by the church over the topic of sex, and that there is a possibility of reconciliation at least with God not in spite of having a sexual life but actually using the sexual part of our lives to reconcile to God, was overwhelming. I am also delighted to report that I almost never recommend any book to friends, but this is one that is a necessary component for anyone in America who has been struggling with that very question. Where does my sexuality and the sexual component of my life fit in with my worship, my spirituality, and with my relationship to God? This is not a pretty book, nor is it a collection of cheap and easy recipes to cure the underlying damage to our national psyche caused by sexual issues. But it is an essential book, and will perhaps begin the national conversation that we deserve.

"See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity"
Amy Frykholm
Beacon Press
$24.95

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