If you are interested in responding to that contemporary maxim: “What is sex if not for pleasure?”, and desire a deeper understanding of God, sex, and the meaning of life, then Christopher West’s: Theology of the Body Explained is for you.
In our fourth installment of book reviews, we turn to the insights of Christopher West as he unpacks the wisdom of Pope John Paul II in Theology of the Body Explained. In this book, Christopher West makes Pope John Paul II’s important work: Men and Woman He created them: A Theology of the Body accessible and easier to understand.
In his Man and Women He Created Them: Theology of the Body, John Paul II lays down for us God’s original and most beautiful plan for love written into the very language of our body. In his deeply biblical and theological teaching, Pope John Paul II calls us to discover anew our eternal destiny in the light of our identity as male and female.
Many people have asked me: “Why would the Pope speak so much about sex?” “What does God have to do with sex anyway?” “Should we not just leave God out of the bedroom?” After reading Christopher West’s insightful commentary, we just might find ourselves saying things like “I wished the Pope spoke more about God and sex”; and “Based upon the Pope’s words, I now understand that God has everything to do with sex”; and “By keeping God in the bedroom, we learn from the author of love the full meaning of how our bodies express the language of God’s love.”
There is no question our world today is saturated with sex…yet we remain starving for love. Why? We have forgotten the full meaning of love. To love and be loved remains the deepest longing in our heart. What Non-Christians know intuitively, Christians have known for 2000 years: “We have been created in the image and likeness of Love (1 John 4:8),” because life only makes sense if we love as God calls us to love.
Those who are open to learning about Theology of the Body will be surprised to see that the Catholic Church, in spite of the supposedly ‘anti-sex’ sentiment, has a vision for sexual love that is far more glorious and beautiful than today’s pornographic culture that stampedes itself through marriages and relationships like a run-away freight train. No one wants fake love; we all desire total, perfect, and lasting love, because in the end, no one is satisfied with the “hook up” culture, or a one night stand. Only the ecstatic love of Christ has lasting power in our lives.
I encourage all to read this book—praying with its words and soaking in its truths. In doing so, you will discover the message of Christian love that is imbued in the sacramentality of our bodies; a message that has us looking anew at how we are called to glorify God in our masculinity and femininity.
If we desire the stuff of heaven in all we do, but always saw our sexuality as something removed from our faith—you have been missing out. Go and pull Christopher West’s Theology of the Body Explained off the book shelf, or head to your local Catholic bookstore to pick up this wonderful read that will have you pining for more.