Christians needn't be any more squeamish than the Bible itself is—and it contains many things that most Christians shy away from! In this carefully organized catalog of sexual, violent, and other blunt biblical passages, Joseph Smith develops a "Christian aesthetic" to help us process our culture's daily deluge of such material.
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Joseph W. Smith III has been a high school English teacher in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for over twenty years. Before that he worked at Simon & Schuster and has written over a thousand articles for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette (including hundreds of movie reviews). Joe has also written a comprehensive guide to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (McFarland, 2009) and plays trumpet in the Repasz Band.Review:
"All regular readers of the Bible have a vague grasp that there are references to sex and violence in the Bible, but they do not know how many references there are, nor how explicit the references are. This book serves the very useful purpose of showing us exactly how much sex and violence there is in the Bible, as well as the precise nature of the references to the human body. It is a work of painstaking research and scholarship. If the concentration of examples makes for uncomfortable reading, it is nonetheless important that we confront the subject. We need to know what kind of book the Bible is, and additionally we can assume that the references to sex and violence in the Bible tell us something that God wants us to know."
—Leland Ryken, Professor of English, Wheaton College
"At last, a book which deals soberly with the fact that the Bible addresses the earthy aspects of life but which does so in a way that honors not just the Bible's content but also the Bible's intentional modes of expression. This is a needed adult antidote to the crudity of the schoolboy culture which sadly seems to have gained the upperhand in church circles in recent years."
—Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary
"Brutally blunt, delicately discreet, strongly Scriptural. An excellent resource for the Christian who wants to understand the Bible's revelation of the more base aspects of human nature and sinful reality. Smith thoroughly catalogues and examines Biblical passages about sex and violence with an evenhanded fairness and respect for the Bible and his readers. This book should be a challenge to both Christian prudes and religious libertines."
—Brian Godawa, Author, Hollywood Worldviews, Chronicles of the Nephilim; Screenwriter, To End All Wars
"The Bible is not for the squeamish. It is full bodies, and with bodies come fluids and emissions, sex and seductions, battles and blood. Joseph W. Smith's Sex and Violence in the Bible is an unexpurgated reminder us that nothing human is alien to God's word. If you are a Victorian prude, read this book at your peril."
—Peter Leithart, Senior Fellow, Theology and Literature, Dean of Graduate Studies, New Saint Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho
"Some people have a rather rosy picture of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. They may think that the Bible is a collection of sayings that include only encouragements, promises, and high-sounding sentiments. Readers can only come to that conclusion if they haven t actually read the Bible, or have done so only selectively. Joseph W. Smith III wants us to come to terms with the Bible as it is—filled with stories and images of sex and violence. His purpose is to shock us, but not gratuitously. He wants to shock us into reckoning with the real Bible and the real God to which it points."
—Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College
"At first, looking only at the title, I was worried that this book would be mainly of prurient interest. To be sure, it is not for the faint of heart. But what the author manages to show convincingly is how very frank and honest the Bible is about subjects that are often avoided or handled gingerly by today's Christians. In a word, he convinces us that the Bible is not a prudish book. Smith's study provides a great resource on these two subjects, which indeed pervade the Scriptures. The take-home from this exhaustive examination of the relevant texts is that we would be well advised to share the Bible's realism, if we wish to share its message of truth."
—William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary
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