Cover Image: Chasing Love

Chasing Love

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Member Reviews

This was a fantastic book.

I am on the border between Gen X and Millenial depending on which dates are used. Either way, I can relate to the way that Sean McDowell was raised in the highly stressed purity culture found in the churches in the 1990s. I have often wondered how to approach many of these topics with my children in the next few years when they start reaching the age of sexual desires. As I took my time going through this book, and the very relevant content, I took copious notes on how to understand these topics on my own, and in hopes that I can use them to teach my children in the future.

This is an excellent, easy to approach book that is filled with love and truth. Sean McDowell does not hide truth in his love, but stays true to the Word of God and the truth that can be found within it, while providing the grace that is much needed in today's culture. 

I would highly recommend this book and will likely be purchasing my own hard copy for my children to go over with them in the next few years.
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Unfortunately, I will not be finishing this book. I do not want to spend my time reading a book that paints same-sex relationships negatively. the author tells rather than challenges. The portion of this book that I did read spouted his own opinions. 

When I requested this book, I assumed that it was solely about marital relationships. The author of this book does not exhibit what I feel is Christ-like behavior. Books like these, with messages like these, are why people of the Christian faith are viewed the way they are.

 I am a Christian. and have been for the majority of my life and was raised in a Catholic home as a child.  My relationship with God has never been stronger and my faith is a huge part of my life. I know what repentance is and I know what forgiveness is. I believe that it is God’s plan for all of us to know love and be loved. As this author states right there in his book, the greatest commandment we have been given is to love God and LOVE OTHERS. PERIOD. 

It doesn't say love others as long as they are exactly the same as you, as long as they believe exactly what you do and their lives look like a carbon copy of yours. 

Homosexuality is not a choice. It is an orientation. It is no different than eye-color or being right-handed or left-handed. Sexuality is a gift from God, love, and relationships are gifts from God.  

This book spouts what the author states as fact, his own opinions, and leaves no room for other opinions or thoughts. There are inherent dangers in referring to one's view of marriage as being the “Biblical” view.

The problem with people who use this argument against same-sex relationships is that they want to follow the Bible to the T and take everything within it literally when it is convenient to them when it aligns with their own personal beliefs and opinions. 

If this is the argument and we should be living out what it says in the Bible literally, then the following things would need to be done as well: 

 According to the Bible, marriage can only exist between people of the same faith. We all know that this is no longer the case and I don't think I have ever heard anyone make a fuss about interfaith marriages. 
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According to the Bible, a wife must not only be subordinate (Ephesians 5:22) but when she and her husband are married, she must prove her virginity or be taken out and stoned (Deuteronomy 22:20-21).I DON'T THINK THAT I NEED TO POINT OUT THAT THIS IS NO LONGER DONE, AND IS ALSO ILLEGAL. 

According to the Bible, if a woman’s husband dies without having a son, she must marry her husband’s brother and have intercourse with him until she bears a son (Mark 12: 18-27).YEP. I HAVE NEVER MET ANYONE WHO HAS DONE THIS AND I'VE KNOWN MANY WOMEN  (SEVERAL WITHIN MY OWN FAMILY) WHO HAVE BEEN WIDOWED. NO ONE IS INSISTING THAT THIS STILL BE FOLLOWED. 

Many men of the Bible, including Jacob, Esau, Gideon, David, and Solomon were polygamists.
Others such as Abraham, Caleb, and Solomon had concubines as well as wives. IF WE SHOULD BE TAKING EVERYTHING IN THE BIBLE LITERALLY AND LIVING IT OUT THEN POLYGAMY AND POLYAMORY SHOULD BE A COMMON AND ENCOURAGED PRACTICE. 

So, it is clear that marriage has evolved from Genesis to Revelation. Unfortunately, individuals still also use the Bible to try to prevent an inter-racial marriage, which is just a whole other topic. 

The Bible needs to be read in the context in which it was written. For us to read it literally makes a mockery of our faith and frankly turns so many away from knowing the true love of Christ.

Another example is that modern day Christians no longer adhere to the Levitical Code of the Old Testament. I have been listening to the Bible every morning in 2021 and recently listened to this portion and it blew my mind considering what our world would be like if we still followed these instructions. YET I DON'T SEE GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS CALLING FOR THESE TO BE FOLLOWED. 

We cannot use the Bible as a weapon to further our own political or social views and that is exactly what this author does with this book. And the fact that it is geared for teenagers and young adults breaks my heart. I cannot imagine the hurt, pain, and confusion that these words would cause someone of the Christian faith exploring or leaning into their sexual identity. 

Another interesting point to note is that in all of his teachings, Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. He did however admonish us to love one another. By admonishing the LGBT community you yourself are not adhering to Christ's teachings.

So many use the Bible to taut same-sex relationships as sin but are the same people who turn around and tell a lie in the same breath or have affairs or steal and cheat. Even if homosexuality was a sin, so are the lies you spout, so is taking the Lord's name in vain, so is not honoring your parents. SIN IS SIN IS SIN. PERIOD. WORRY ABOUT YOUR OWN BEFORE YOU CALL SOMEONE ELSE'S SEXUAL ORIENTATION A SIN. 

Books like these and comments like these do more harm than good to the Christian church. The world hears these messages of marginalization and the church and Christians are seen as being judgmental and intolerant of others. This is not the message Jesus came to bring. His message of love, forgiveness, acceptance, and grace is what we should be demonstrating to the world. 

If I could give this 0 stars I would..
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This book has a different audience in mind, it is written for teens and young adults. This book is touches on a wide variety of topics to do with relationships, sex, love, gender and so on. Whilst I understand why the author decided to do so, I think it has resulted in it actually being a bit of a weakness of the book. There is just so much material and different topics covered that I’m not sure that you can meaningfully dive into one. There are plenty of helpful things said in this book though. Each chapter is short (no more than about 5 pages) and each chapter end with a short paragraph on a relevant hot topic on sex and relationships for young people today.

This book is split into three parts; 
Part 1 deals with the foundations os McDowell’s view on love, sex and relationships. There is some really good, biblical content in here that is helpful. I think the challenge of this section is that McDowell doesn’t really argue why he believe what he does, but almost quotes the Bible and states his thinking. I agree with a lot of what he says, I just wonder if a teenager would need to see a bit more of the arguments underpinning his thoughts. 
Part 2 opens up the topics of sex, singleness and marriage. His main focus is that sex, which is to be enjoyed in the relationship between a husband and wife, is mostly for pro-creation. I get where he is coming from, but I think he maybe needed to unpack that a little bit more. 
Part three deals with more of the hot topics, such as; porn, cohabitation, homosexuality, divorce, transgenderism, sexual abuse and so on. There is some helpful stuff in here, but I’m not sure it equips teens massively for what they face every day in school, or even young adults in university and the work place.

My overall assessment would be that the book could be a helpful conversation starter, but I don’t think it it narrow enough in scope to speak definitively on certain issues or convince teens/young adults of the arguments for the conservative evangelical view on sex, love and relationships.
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When I requested this book via NetGalley, I didn't appreciate it was targeted towards the teenage/YA audience, as I was fascinated by the book's title and tagline. Initially, I was a little surprised by the emphasis on love in its purist form (ie, God's love for us and how He desires we love Him) and this constant reference to sex. I thought Mcdowell was confusing his topics.

However, having read a few reviews and identifying the book's target audience, I relaxed and happily read through the book. McDowell covers a lot of topics, perhaps too many, but it does provide a very good overview of a host of challenging topics relating to 'sex' and relationships which every teen/YA is bombarded with at present in our over-sexed world.

McDowell is very well read and references many good authors and publications which can serve as the first point of contact by readers wishing to explore a particular topic in more detail.

Each chapter is short, three to five pages and well written using stories, Biblical truth and other pertinent references to explain his perspectives. Each chapter ends with McDowall responding to a challenging question that I suspect he's likely to have been asked. 

I received an early ebook copy from the publisher via NetGalley with no expectation of a favourable review.
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I passed by this book many times until I heard the author speak on a podcast I listen to and realized this wasn’t your typical “wait until you get married” lecture. The author does a great job giving reasons why you should keep sexually pure beside “the Bible tells you so”. Which should be a good enough reason but why does the Bible tell us so? And that is where this book fills in the gap.

Not only would this book be great for teens and young adults, but parents should read this book so we can have real conversations with our kids.

Highly recommend this read.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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While I may disagree with some of Sean McDowell’s claims, “Chasing Love” is a must-read for both conservative and progressive Christians. Sean helps us think about many sides to the love, sex, and relationships conversation. Sean’s wisdom, compassion, poignant examples, truth seeking, and down-to-earth writing style makes this an informative and enjoyable read!
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As a father of 4 sons and married to the woman of my dreams for over 34 years, this book hits on many important topics that are directly relevant to married couples, singles, parents, teens, and college students. With the availability of 24/7 social media and the internet via laptop and cell phones, we have never had more direct access to pornography and messages related to sex than we are facing today. This book does an excellent job of not only pointing out the dangers of porn, but also discusses the harmful effects on those victimized by this harmful industry and does an excellent job of outlining God's design for sex and marriage. I am an accountability partner for many young men that have struggled with porn in middle school and high school and have continued their struggle over this battle through college and beyond and found this book to be spot on with the emotional and mental guilt that results from viewing porn. This is a widespread problem that Christians are not immune to and this book provides the rationale for why this issue is not solved by marriage and must be dealt with regardless of one's age.

The analogy between Neo in the movie Matrix choosing between the pleasures of an artificial world by taking a blue pill or committing to a life of truth despite the resultant cost and difficulty by taking a red pill and the choice we are afforded today to either choose a pleasure-centered life focused on fulfilling our own desires or choosing a life of self-sacrifice for a greater cause was also an excellent insight. Although the world teaches us to live for ourselves, Jesus lived and taught that humanity should die to themselves and love God and love people. Sean does an excellent job of weaving real-world examples around a diverse list of topics with scripture and there are many real gems throughout the book including answers to difficult questions on how we should live.

I especially enjoyed how Sean brought home the importance of treating everyone with respect when discussing sexual ethics and to speak truth in love while balancing truth with grace. These difficult cultural and biblically issues are important because of the impacts on people's lives and relationships. Sean summed it up best on page 41, "We don't speak truth to sound smart, win an argument, or silence people. Rather, we speak truth because truth is what brings freedom." As this book poignantly illustrates, the truly free person is the one who can say "no" to porn and sexual immorality and "yes" to loving God. Thus, freedom comes not from resisting refraining from certain sexual practices, but from submitting to the correct restraints in our sexually permeated culture.
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Dr. McDowell expresses the Biblical view of love and relationships, and sharing that view often comes with a cost in our morally relativistic American culture. His arguments are truthful, well-defended, and full of grace. This grace is what I think was most impressive about his book Chasing Love. There is a tender compassion that Dr. McDowell expresses throughout his book. He knows everyone has fallen short in various ways, and he demonstrates in his writing (and in his life) how God seeks us and restores us. He also knows that many people need hope and care in their current situation, whatever that situation may be, and he offers God's comfort and guidance. I look forward to reading it again.
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