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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.
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.
I’ve had a number of thoughtful responses on the Straight Up blog to my posts on sexual purity, a few of which question my interpretation of 1 Timothy 5:2. So I want to touch on this in a bit more detail. Ultimately, I believe my interpretation of this passage is correct, but in the end, my conclusion is not dependent on it. My interpretation of 1 Timothy 5:2 supports my conclusion, rather than serves as the basis for my conclusion. So leaving aside this contested verse, here’s another run at my basic point. See if my logic makes sense…
First, sexual relations are to be reserved for the marriage relationship. Second, there’s more to sexual relations than sexual intercourse. Third, any activity that is sexual in nature should be reserved for the marriage relationship. I think most of us agree up to this point.
But now a question looms… How do we determine if an activity is sexual, or merely physical? Identifying the sexual nature of certain activities is pretty easy. Oral sex, mutual masturbation, fondling, etc., are all clearly sexual activities. But what about kissing?
Logically, the easiest way to determine the sexual nature of an activity is to consider it against the backdrop of the family relationship. If I would refrain from doing a certain activity with a biological relative because it would be sexually inappropriate, then that activity is of a sexual nature and should be reserved for the marriage relationship.
But one reader responded, “With all due respect, in regards to the concept of ‘familial treatment,’ would you suggest I stop holding the hand of my girlfriend, or that I instead become OK with the thought of holding hands with my sister?”
An understandable question, but one that misses the point. The intent of viewing an activity against the backdrop of the biological family is not simply to ask “What activities do I avoid doing with my biological relatives?” but rather “What activities do I avoid doing with my biological relatives because those activities are sexual?” I’ve seen a father hold hands with his young daughter, and an older brother hold hands with his younger sister. This may not be common as we move into the adult world, but there is nothing sexual about holding hands. If holding hands was a sexual activity, we would not permit it between biological relatives at any stage in life. But if we saw a father giving his daughter a prolonged open-mouth kiss, we’d be calling DCFS. And we should. Some activities are physical/affectionate (holding hands, hugging, kissing on the cheek, a quick peck on the lips, etc.), while other activities are sexual and would be deemed completely inappropriate between blood relatives.
So reducing my logic to it’s simplest form, I assert the following…
1. Sexual relations should be reserved for marriage.
2. Sexual relations include more than sexual intercourse.
3. Some forms of kissing (e.g., open mouth, prolonged, French) move beyond affection and are sexual in nature.
thus I conclude,
4. Sexual forms of kissing should be reserved for marriage.
If you disagree with my conclusion (point 4) , I welcome your thoughts on where my logic breaks down in points 1-3.
Of course, it’s hard to make a such counter-culture point in a few short posts. The first chapter of my book lays out a theology of human sexuality, drawing on Christ’s relationship with the Church, which helps to provide a theological backdrop against which to understand this standard of sexual purity. And chapter two provides more extensive argumentation than I’ve provided here. If you’re interested, you can download for free the first first two chapters.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
First, I’ve added an additional layer to chapter two, particularly as it relates to the first-century cultural context regarding sexual purity. Along with this, I’ve introduced 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 as further support for my familial definition of sexual purity. Both of these changes, I believe, significantly strengthen the overall argument of the chapter.
Second, I’ve dropped the “Non-Approach” label used in chapter seven of the first edition, adopting instead the term “Dating Friendship.” I was never fully satisfied with the term “Non-Approach” but the publishing deadline for the first edition reached me before I could think of an alternative. While the substance of the chapter remains largely unchanged, the term “Dating Friendship” makes the concept more transferable, explainable, and thus livable. This change, I believe, corrects a significant weakness of the first edition.
And finally, I’ve updated chapter nine to include a discussion for parents on oversight of the internet, computers and cell-phones. At the time of the first edition, these issues were not on the parental radar like they are today.
A special thanks to the parents and singles at Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois, where I’ve had the good fortune of serving as an adult ministries pastor these past three plus years. The interaction and comments throughout numerous purity workshops have been invaluable in making this second edition a significant improvement over the first. May parents, pastors and children continue to be blessed as they seek to understand and live out the image of Christ and the church!
Hey everyone, I’m excited to launch this new website in conjunction with the release of a new and revised second edition for Raising Purity (now subtitled: Helping Parents Understand the Bible’s Perspective on Sex, Dating and Relationships). I trust you’ll find the new format informative and easy to use. If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at ghiestand [at]harvestbible.org.
In the future, I’ll be posting excerpts from the book here on the Raising Purity blog, as well as adding additional relevant commentary, and information regarding workshop dates, etc.
Thanks for stopping by – come again soon!
P. S. If you’re looking to hire a web developer, I certainly recommend 343 Design.