"I thank God for Gerald Hiestand and his passion to help families raise kids committed to sexual purity. The goal is lofty, but the benefits are immense and Raising Purity shows us how!" - Dr. James MacDonald
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Jay and I recently did an interview with Debbie Chavez on her show about our new book, Sex, Dating and Relationships: A Fresh Approach.
You can check it out below:
Jay Thomas (SAET First Fellowship) and I are in the editing stage of a new book, Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach (Crossway, forthcoming). The book is a follow-up to my first book, Raising Purity: Helping Parents Understand the Bible’s Perspective Sex, Dating, and Relationships (Iustificare Press, 2009), and is targeted toward singles between the ages 18-35. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it in the days to come, but for now, here’s the publisher’s description:
Answering prevalent questions like “How far is too far?” the authors articulate a biblical theology of sexuality and marriage aimed at persuading a new generation of Christians to get serious about honoring Christ with their sexuality.
Considering the pervasive immorality and high divorce rate of our contemporary Christian culture, we evidently need a biblically based, theologically compelling, practical understanding of sex, dating, and relationships. Pastors Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas counteract this problem with their paradigm-shifting view of purity and relationships—a view that challenges even the basic assumptions of evangelical subculture.
Unlike most books on dating, this one cuts straight to the heart of dating relationships, asserting with confidence that the line must be drawn at “no sexual activity” whatever. Few have dared to define and apply the Bible’s understanding of purity in premarital relationships to this degree, but Hiestand and Thomas have done it. Furthermore, both authors are vocational pastors who communicate regularly with the target audience and have a proven ability to express biblical truth in a winsome and compelling manner. Sex, Dating, and Relationships adds a new, almost provocative voice to the conversation that, with straightforward theological insight, pleads with Christians to get serious about honoring Christ with their sexuality.
I’m frequently asked if I have written, or would be willing to write, a single/young adult version of Raising Purity. I’ve always agreed it would be a good idea, but it’s just seemed like I’ve had too many other projects on the burner. But earlier this year I contacted my buddy Jay Thomas–college pastor at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois–and asked him what he thought about partnering with me on the project. Happily he agreed, and even more happily, Crossway Publishers has agreed to publish the book. The working title at present is Pure Relationships: The Bible’s Perspective on Sex, Dating, and Relationships. (I’m sure the team at Crossway will come up with a better title.) The manuscript is due to Crossway November 1, and how long the process takes after that, I don’t know. I’ll update this site with release dates as information becomes available.
Those who can’t wait till next year–or perhaps can’t read (huh?)–can hear our thought on this topic by downloading the audio from a workshop I gave to single adults at my home church, Harvest Bible Chapel.
I’ll be conducting two “Raising Purity” workshops in the Chicago land area in May. The workshops are a three hour distillation of the major themes of my book. If you live in the area, and are interested, below is the relevant information and the blurb from the registration website.
Do they know? Do you? Many young people today are confused about the Bible’s perspective on sex, dating and relationships. Should they give dating a chance or kiss it goodbye? What exactly is sexual purity, and how far is too far, anyway? Perhaps our children don’t know the answers to these questions because we as parents are uncertain ourselves. In this ground-breaking workshop, Gerald Hiestand provides objective, biblical answers to these vital questions, and unfolds a paradigm-shifting view of relationships and purity that challenges the basic assumptions of our Christian sub-culture. Touching on a wide range of subjects, this workshop is sure to help parents and children think clearly, biblically and practically about the God-ordained purpose of human sexuality.
Gerald Hiestand has conducted numerous purity workshops and is the author of Raising Purity: Helping Parents Understand the Bible’s Perspective on Sex, Dating, and Relationships. Gerald is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and serves here at Harvest as an Adult Ministries Pastor; he also oversees Harvest’s Adult Christian Education program.
Date: May 8, 2010
Place: Harvest Bible Chapel, Elgin, IL
Cost: $12 per person, $15 per couple (includes a copy of Raising Purity)
Registration: Online at harvestelgin.org/raisingpurity
Rolling Meadows Workshop
Date: May 15, 2010
Place: Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, IL
Cost: $12 per person, $15 per couple (includes a copy of Raising Purity)
Registration: Online at harvestrollingmeadows.org/purity
Childcare is available for both workshops. A recording of the workshop will be posted here for those who can’t make it but are interested. Hope to see you there – bring a friend!.
Hey everyone, many of you have asked if I’ve done anything for single adults. I haven’t written anything yet (yet!), but I have done a number of workshops for singles. Below is a link to the audio file.
This workshop was given at my home church, Harvest Bible Chapel, to an audience of around 170 single adults, ranging in age 16-60. The workshop seeks to do three things: 1) to develop a theology of sexuality and marriage, 2) to provide a definitive, biblical answer to the question, “How far is too far?” and 3) to critique contemporary dating relationships in light of the biblical ideal.
To stream the file, just click on it and you’re all set. To download the file, right click and choose “save target/link as.”
Here are a few snippets from a couple of reviews on the Raising Purity Amazon page. Both reviewers gave the book 5 stars:
“I’d recommend this book to anyone who has children regardless of their age because teaching of this subject begins early on. This would also be a recommended read for those still searching for a marriage partner.” Court
“A superior and unparalleled approach to sexual ethics; lucid; persuasive; gospel-centered….This is the most important book I have ever read on dating, sexuality, marriage, and anything else having to do with sexual purity.” Bradley Cochran
You can read the entirety of both review here.
(This post was originally published on the Straight Up blog. )
I’ve been thinking about sanctification lately, and the ways in which we often make provision for the flesh.
Sanctification can be tricky sometimes. What’s our part? What’s God’s part? While it’s certainly true we don’t sanctify ourselves (we are, after all, his workmanship — Ephesians 2:10), it’s also true we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). However one parses out this relationship, it’s clear that when it comes to sanctification, there’s a certain level of cooperation that must take place between our will and God’s. And part of that cooperation includes “making no provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14). In other words, we need to make a conscious effort to get rid of the things in our lives that regularly provoke us to sin.
Like the young mom who keeps praying for patience, but what she really needs is not more patience but to learn how to train her kids so they’re not constantly doing the sort of things that would exasperate any sane woman. Or the guy who keeps praying for purity but has every movie channel, no filter on his computer, and stays up long after his wife has gone to be. Or the husband who is praying for less conflict in his marriage but who isn’t willing to give up his crazy work schedule. Or the… you get the idea. “God, don’t let me get burned,” we pray. And then off we go with our matches and our can of gasoline.
Relying upon Christ for our sanctification doesn’t mean we get to live sloven lives and then ask Christ to pick up the pieces. It means “making no provision for the flesh.” It means getting rid of the things in our lives that constantly tempt us to respond in fleshly ways. So if you’re not willing to find a new set of friends, then all your prayers to God about helping you stay strong in the face of peer-pressure are probably just a waste of time.
Of course, if your flesh is anything like mine, you’ve long ago realized that your flesh supplies all its own provision; it’s a self-contained sin unit. Just removing the stumbling blocks in your life won’t make you inwardly holy. An interior, transforming work of grace is needed for that. But things get worse — much worse — when we help our flesh along by constantly putting things in front of it that entice us toward ungodliness.
Let’s take a long look at our lives. Are there areas where we are constantly getting tripped up? If so, perhaps we’re trying to have our cake and eat it too. Perhaps it’s time to stop making provision for the flesh.
Awhile back I gave away a number of free copies of my book to any blogger who was willing to read it and write a review. I’m still waiting on many of the reviews, but here are snippets from the first four that came back, as well as links to the full review. The first three are very positive; the last is mixed.
“Insightful and gospel-centered…If only I had known about Gerald Hiestand’s book [before].” Jill Utech, Pastor’s Wife
“A wonderful book…This little volume has completely changed the way I think about relationships outside of marriage…” Rick Wadholm, Pastor
“One of the best resources for parents that I have ever seen for dealing with the issues of sex, dating, and relationships from a Biblical perspective.” Tony Pagliarullo, Youth Pastor
“Although I disagree with Hiestand’s proposed methodology for living a life of purity, I agree with the spirit of his message….Raising Purity did a fantastic job in having me examine my own values and conclusions as to what my expectations were in a presumed dating relationship.” Thomas Yang, Young Single Guy
The offer still stands. If you’re a regular blogger and are willing to review Raising Purity within one month of receiving the book, please send your mailing address to ghiestand [at] harvestbible.org. I’m happy to mail you a complimentary copy (while supplies last!).
One of the advantages of small print-runs is the ability to update and modify a project without having to wait a year and a day. Since the release of the revised edition last year, I’ve had a number of great conversations with singles and parents that have really helped to fine-tune the main argument of chapter two. I’ve just about sold out the initial print-run of the revised edition, so I took the opportunity to update the second chapter in light of these conversations. The Third Edition is at the printer’s. Should be available in 6-8 weeks.
You can check out the intro and first two chapters for free here.
No other subject tends to breed legalism more than sexual purity. So often I see people try to achieve sexual purity mainly by avoiding tempting circumstances. Traveling with a companion of the same sex when on business, asking the hotel staff to block the cable to your room, and refusing to go into stores that prominently display inappropriate material are all wise measures. Why place ourselves in the way of temptation?
But if such actions are the only way we are able to avoid sexual impurity, we have not yet embraced all that God offers us. The hope of the gospel is that God will not only forgive us our sins but actually deliver us from them as well. Our goal for our children should be for them to become the kind of people who will choose purity even when presented with the opportunity to sin. But if the only way we train them to avoid sin is by avoiding its opportunity, this goal will never become a reality. As Paul readily acknowledges, abstinence from evil can never secure holiness. Holiness is more than just the absence of evil; it is the presence of a love for God, which comes only by the Spirit.
Like the Old Testament Law, our rules cannot “impart life.” We can develop an extensive list of prohibitions and commands, but in the end, if our children have not grown into the maturity afforded by the Spirit, our rules have availed nothing. Rules for our children are necessary, just as the Law was necessary for the children of God during the Old Testament age. But relying on an external list of rules can be only temporary. Our real goal as parents is to introduce our children to the transforming power of God’s grace. And it is through their deepening union with Christ that this grace becomes a reality in the lives of our children.