Tim Chester, Captured by a better vision: Living porn-free, IVP, 2010, 169 pages. Reviewed by Kelvin Macharia:
When it comes to sexual purity, the struggle is real. All around us we find sexually suggestive material, from the TV adverts to magazines and billboards. And social media, though helpful in some ways, has only made things worse with its ever inviting sexually suggestive images. Perhaps the biggest threat of my generation has been mobile devices which are easily accessible today. And with fast affordable internet on these devices almost everywhere in the country, pornography is now only a click away.
No doubt pornography is damaging, and that is why Tim Chester has written this wonderful book – to help those that have been under the snares of pornography and its evil twin sister masturbation. Many have fallen victim to this monster, and sadly Christians have not been left out either. This book seeks to help the struggler understand the root of the matter. A friend I know puts it this way, “the heart of the matter is always a matter of the heart”, and surely pornography is a heart issue. To fix it, we need not simply start by installing anti-porn and accountability software, though of great importance no doubt. That is why Tim Chester has chosen to address the problem through this 5 step procedure;
- An abhorrence of porn – A hatred of porn not only because of the shame it brings but also for its ugliness. And this can be seen if you ‘look beyond the frame’ and see porn for what it truly is. It weakens our relationship with God, marriages are destroyed, children suffer as some are exposed to porn by unknowing parents, women are abused, reduced to lust objects and diminished, our view of sex is wrecked, our character is eroded, we become enslaved and we waste our time, energy and money. Look beyond the frame and you will hate porn.
- An adoration of God – God offers more than porn. Every reason that we can come up with to view porn is a twisted lie, and whatever satisfaction we hope to find in porn can only ultimately be found in God. Porn doesn’t satisfy, God does. Be freed by the beauty of God.
- Assurance of grace – We are justified in faith through grace. When God looks at us, he sees us clothed in Jesus’ righteousness. Focus on Christ who became sin so that we could become righteous. Self-righteousness is hopeless; be freed by the grace of God.
- Avoidance of temptation – Say ‘NO’ to temptation. Don’t feed it. Flee from temptation; be committed to do all in your power to avoid temptation. Read the word of God and replace the lies of porn with the Truths of God. Pray about it. Find an accountability partner. Fight the fight of faith!
- Choose to view sexuality, marriage, beauty, and singleness in biblical perspective – Everything is for the glory of God, be freed for the glory of God.
Tim Chester has a chapter on each of these five things in this order. A combination of these creates a strong enduring weapon against porn and masturbation. I found this book quite helpful. It combines Gospel truths with practical steps so that you not only fight porn but also embrace and delight in the truths of God.