Review: Touchy Subjects by Craig Gross and David

PLEASE NOTE: I received a review copy of this book from the ministry,

Touchy Subjects
By Craig Gross and David Dean

Touchy Subjects
is the latest release by XXXchurch co-founder Craig Gross, who now teams with comedian David Dean on tackling the pertinent and complex subject of parents’ conversations with their children about sex. The book is divided into two portions, the first offers principles for the ongoing dialogue and the second serves as something of a printed Q&A with the authors.

Overall the book is heavy on substance but lacking in presentation. I am on record as having an issue with the limitations of co-authored works. I always think the best choice is to have an editor come and tie the book together, making one new voice of the two individuals. But this book chose to delineate between Craig and David, which inevitably sets a strange expectations in the reader’s mind. I could not escape thinking, “Oh, I expect a joke now” or “I disagree with him on X, so I will skim his stuff on Y”(though I didn’t, for review purposes). Granted, these may be my faults as a reader, but they were the fact of my experience. At the very least, the book clearly shows when either author is writing, which is helpful; however, the constant shift in authors constantly interrupts the flow of the text.

Of course, this book almost seems primed for an interrupted experience. Broken into short, topical sections, Touchy Subject feels like far more of a reference volume than anything else, a sort of shorthand manual for when “this situation” or “that new question” arise. This is not to say that such an approach is bad. In fact, given the other items I’ve mentioned, perhaps this sort of format is almost preferable.Good but not great, Touchy Subjects will certainly serve those interested in the issue (which should be all parents or would-be parents). In some situations, I could see the book being a life-saver for those who sincerely need some counsel on how to approach these issues but do not know who to seek for it. Frankly, it may make for really good curriculum in a Sunday school class for parents of all ages and stages. The format, consistent nuggets of insight, and overall scope would benefit any church willing to enter the important discussion.

Touchy Subjects is now available at