Times have changed. People are still the same, but my, how the times have changed. When I was a teenager in the early ’eighties, pornography was acquired only through determined effort. The availability was limited, and there was a stigma attached to it. Men had to expose themselves to the embarrassment of purchasing it in face-to-face transactions at the drugstore or other public establishment, or sneak away, looking over their shoulders in fear for their reputations, to “adult” bookstores. Boys had to take the risk of shoplifting it, or if lucky, find their older brother’s or father’s stash of dirty magazines. A decade later, little had changed for boys like Tim Challies. Tim is the author of a little book I read early this morning called Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn. Beyond that, he requires little introduction here.
Add another decade, and all that has changed. Anyone can, free of charge and in total privacy, consume all the porn he wants—with no effort beyond a few clicks of the mouse, and no risk of public embarrassment. This has created the perfect environment for a virtual pandemic of sexual perversion. This corruption, and its cure, is the burden of Sexual Detox. Here’s a sample:
If you are like most young men, you have already started to give in to temptation. Perhaps you have only just begun to look at pornography, or perhaps you’ve been doing it for many years. Perhaps you struggle with masturbation. You don’t want to indulge yourself, but somehow it’s a whole lot tougher to quit than you would have thought. Perhaps you’re finding that, more than ever, sex is filling your mind and affecting your heart.
. . . You will never stop until you see the monstrous nature of the sin you are committing. You will never stop until the sin is more horrifying to you than the commission of the sin is enjoyable. You will need to hate that sin before you can find freedom from it. That means you need more grace. You need to cry out to be changed so you do see the monstrous nature of this sin, and then you need to act, in faith that God will meet you with grace as you seek to cut off pornography and begin the reset.
. . . The first message of this book, then, is that you must see what porn is doing to your heart. You must recognize that the corruption of pornography is real and, despite the convenient and self-indulgent lies we can tell ourselves, that corruption is only going to get worse. The sin underlying the consumption of pornography will not stop escalating until it cripples your marriage, or until you die, or until you get too old and weak to care about sex. The only difference for single guys? The sin won’t stop escalating until it destroys any hope you will ever get married.
—Tim Challies, Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn (Cruciform Press, 2010), 15, 17–18, 21.
Sexual Detox is not a book of moralistic “do better” or therapeutic “live happier.” It offers straight talk about sin and death, grace and redemption.
Sexual Detox makes a thoroughly biblical theological attack on the poison that is pornography. In doing so, it strikes at the root of the problem: the sinful human heart. It reiterates the truism spoken by Albert Mohler that we do not have an alien problem in need of an inner solution, but an inner problem in need of an alien solution. The problem is our sin; the solution is Christ.
Sexual Detox takes in the big picture, offering, in addition to specific help with porn and the sin it breeds, a general theology of sex. So, while it is addressed to men, I believe it will be tremendously helpful to women, as well. This book will take women a long way towards an understanding of biblical sexuality, and I think I can say—without hyperbole—that this might be the last book about sex that any man needs to read, ever, and all in 108 small-format pages, readable in one sitting.
Buy this book. Buy extra copies. Get it into the hands of as many young men as you can. Learn it and live it.
Sexual Detox is the first book published by Cruciform Press. Cruciform Press publishes one new book each month, and offers subscriptions in print or ebook formats for a very reasonable price. Books may also be purchased individually. For more information, visit www.cruciformpress.com.