by Glenn Miles and Christa Foster-Crawford, Tanis DoCarmo, and Gundelina Velzco, editors
Wipf & Stock
—Reviewed by Michael Herbert, pastor, Fellowship Bible Church, New York; instructor, New York School of the Bible, New York City
Dan Allender states that:
Sex is meant by God to give us a profound taste of the goodness of God’s character—a portrayal of God’s delight in intimacy, pleasure and joy……sexual joy is meant to draw us into a stance of wonder and gratitude that calls us to delight in and celebrate God for his goodness……Sex is designed to be a gift given and received, and returned endless between a man and a woman who pledge an oath of exclusive loyalty as God has done for us. (p. 51)
This is a grand picture of what God intended for sex. Yet the fact that this book has been written and that there is by many estimates over a 100 million adults and children worldwide enslaved by sexual exploitation and trafficking, tells us that God’s intent for sex has not been realized. The magnitude of the problem demands the Church to respond.
Stopping the Traffick: A Christian Response to Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking is a timely and practical book to help the Church respond appropriately to this often ignored or misunderstood crisis. Through an extensive and impressive array of contributors, several critical matters are addressed. For example, What can be done about this problem of sexual exploitation and trafficking? How we can make sense of it? How we can respond to the demand for exploitation and trafficking? How we can better work with boys, men, and transgendered people? and How can different communities collaborate to address sexual exploitation?
Often, Christian books are the opinions or perspective of one or two writers giving theological or practical insight into a topic. In this book, it is refreshing to hear how the Church can address both the theological and practical aspects through a wide diversity of contributors who help us to think critically about our biases, lack of engagement, inadequate information, and training for this task. The authors also give us the chance to see that no matter the size or extent of our resources, every Christian or church can do something.
In particular, I appreciate the insight given about the disparity of treatment and ministry for boys, men, and transgender individuals affected by sexual exploitation and trafficking. All too often, as a pastor and teacher my focus has been almost exclusively on female adults and children as the victims. It is true most victims of sexual exploitation are female, but we cannot exclude the large number of male and transgender individual who have been victimized. Thankfully, the book gives us hope in how to begin working with men in partnership with organizations that have been doing this well for some time.
I question only the viability of working with organizations from other faith communities. This could create unnecessary tension for workers and donors not grounded in their Christian faith.
EMQ, Vol. 51, No. 2 pp. 238-239. Copyright © 2015 Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMQ editors.