The LORD will be awesome against them; for he will famish all the gods of the earth, and to him shall bow down, each in its place, all the lands of the nations. (Zephaniah 2:11)In the Lord’s war to dethrone idols and capture the heart of his bride there are few idols that are more alluring in our culture than sinful sex and pornography. In fact pornography/adultery/lust is so ensnaring and so deadly that whole chapters of Proverbs are dedicated to it. The typical advice isn’t “gird up yourself and fight this thing” it is usually “run away” (run towards Jesus).
To help us wage war in this battle the Lord has seen fit to provide the church with two recent books. These books are both excellent and will assist believers to do battle against porn.
Wired for Intimacy By William Struthers
Of the two books this one is more technical and more detailed. It is also more scientific than it is biblical (not to say that it is non-biblical). Struthers’ main thesis in this book is that pornography literally hi-jacks the brain. When men view pornography it creates a connection in their brain. This connection robs them of their own identity and it also objectifies women that are created in the image of God.
This book helps men to see that they are not only dealing with the present temptation to view pornography but they are dealing with an entrenched pattern in their brain. At a certain point you probably cannot simply say “no”. Your brain needs to be rewired. You need to start thinking of women differently.
As I read through, Wired for Intimacy, it helped me to understand things about my own journey and battle in this area. This is an area in my life that the Lord delivered me from years ago. But this book helps me to see that there is more to the battle than simply “don’t look at porn”. There is a rewiring of the brain that has to take place and a relearning of how to view members of the opposite sex. This book not only aims at convincing people that pornography is dangerous it also helps to identify the battle.
One area where I found this book somewhat weak is in the area of healing. There is a chapter dedicated to rewiring and sanctification. That chapter is helpful but in my opinion it is not complete. You almost need an entire book on rewiring. Or to put it another way you need a book on sexual detox…
Sexual Detox by Tim Challies
Tim Challies has written this book not to convince you that pornography is wrong but to “move you to believe biblical truth about sexuality and have these beliefs determine your decisions”. It is written to guys that are doing battle with pornography, hate it, and want to stop. It’s written for guys that want sexual detox and the healing that Struthers points to in his book.
Challies’ book is short and succinct, and that is one of it’s greatest perks. Guys need a resource that they can easily digest. They need something that they will remember and something that will be a part of them as they wage war. This book will help you do battle in those saner moments when you are not being bombarded with the temptation to lust. In fact this book will probably be used by the Lord to rewire your heart and brain in such a way that those bombardments are perhaps less violent.
The book has six short chapters that each have questions at the end. Thus making this book perfect for a small group of guys to go through or even one on one settings. It is an invaluable resource to the church. Challies does a tremendous job of being honest about the struggle and at the same time truthful in applying the Scriptures. He not only dethrones the idol of pornography but he also exalts the God-given gift of marital sex.
If you only have the change to buy one of these books get Challies. It is such a tremendous resource. Pastors should order about ten copies of the book and keep them for counseling sessions. It is immensely helpful.
Buy Wired for Intimacy
Buy Sexual Detox
UPDATE: There is a new book out by Heath Lambert, Finally Free, which looks really good. I have not yet read it in full--so I cannot review. But I would suggest buying that book as well.
Buy Finally Free