Sunday, August 30, 2020

Recommended Resources for Overcoming Pornography/Maturing in Sexual Purity

Black, Jeffrey. Sexual Sin: Combatting the Drifting and Cheating

Black tells us that people never leap into extreme forms of sin; they “drift” into them. How do we end the cheating and drifting? Because sexuality is spiritual, not purely biological, the solution is to hide God’s Word in our hearts. Here Black shows us how the Bible reaches to the roots of sexual sin.

Black, Nicholas. What’s Wrong with a Little Porn When You’re Single?

“I know porn is wrong for a married person, but I’m single. What can it hurt?” The accessibility of pornography through the Internet means that more singles are asking themselves if porn use really matters. Black explains how porn isolates singles from healthy relationships, sabotages their future marriages, and leads to sexual addiction. Black calls singles to turn from porn and grow healthy, rich relationships with God and others. Using seven practical steps, he equips singles to recognize what underlies their temptation to use porn, fight for obedience with hope, and rely on God for cleansing and a new start.

Cleveland, Mike. Pure Freedom: Breaking the Addiction to Pornography

A 60-day study course designed for men and women who seek to be free from pornography and other forms of sexual impurity.

Lane, Tim. Temptation: Fighting the Urge

How many times have you tried to change a behavior only to find yourself doing the same thing again? Do these phrases sound familiar? “There I go again!” “I’ve had this struggle for years, and I just can’t seem to win.” “I do okay for a while, but then I get caught in the same old sin.” It’s easy to be discouraged when we fall into the same old sins, but God, in the Bible, offers hope to repeat offenders. In Temptation, Lane helps you fight the daily, small battles with temptation by looking at the desires that underlie your behaviors, the different stages of temptation, and how going to Christ in repentance and faith will change your desire life. You will learn that your sin is no match for God’s goodness, power, and grace.

Powlison, David. Coming Clean: Breaking Pornography’s Hold on You 

Is it really possible to come clean once pornography has gained control of your life? David Powlison invites you to learn from a man who experienced Christ’s deliverance from pornography after more than 25 years. In this interview, this man explains how God helped him to recognize his sin and repent from it, enabling him to now consistently experience the joy of choosing purity. Walking through his journey and practical steps toward freedom—including repentance, prayer, counsel, and accountability—his story provides a face of hope for all who are fighting to come clean.

Powlison, David. Pornography: Slaying the Dragon

As explicit sexual images proliferate in films and magazines, on television, and over the Internet, the temptations increase and the bondage seems unbreakable. Christians can find their lives have become a push-pull struggle between indulging in fantasy and resisting it.

Powlison, David. Sexual Addition: Freedom from Compulsive Behavior

If you’re struggling with a sexual addiction of any sort, you understand that feeling of being trapped, out of control, and afraid of being found out. No matter what you try, it seems impossible to break free from the lure of illicit sexual thoughts and practices. In Sexual Addiction, David Powlison encourages those who want to overcome their compulsive sexual behavior to remember that lasting change comes in degrees and is often a slow progressive process. Addiction sufferers will discover powerful action steps to take and introspective heart questions to ask as they seek to conquer this harmful sin issue. 

Reju, Deepak. Pornography: Fighting for Purity 

Is there any hope for men and women trapped in the snare of pornography addiction? Deepak Reju shows that this worship problem can be fought only with a greater love for Christ. This month-long devotional, with reflection questions and practical suggestions for action, gives readers the resources they need to fight the war being waged for their soul.

Smith, Winston. It’s All About Me: The Problem with Masturbation

It’s normal. “Everyone does it.” “Nobody gets hurt.” These are some commonly held beliefs about sexual fantasy and masturbation, but are they really true? Are sexual fantasies and masturbation harmless ways of dealing with sexual frustration? In It’s All About Me, Winston Smith uses his counseling experience and biblical knowledge to show how these seemingly “harmless” pursuits negatively impact you and your ability to have healthy relationships with the people in your real life. Then he shares how you can build a new inner world founded on Christ’s love, instead of your imaginary fantasies. As you do so, your life will grow richer in real relationships and your fantasy life will pale by comparison.

Challies, Tim. Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn                      

A huge percentage of men need a porn detox—a moral and psychological reset. Pornography corrupts our thinking, weakens our conscience, warps our sense of right and wrong, and twists our understanding and expectations of sexuality. We need a reset by the One who created sex. Tim Challies seeks to help men reorient their understanding of sex, both in the big picture and in the act itself, according to God’s plan for this great gift.

Chester, Tim. Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free

Tim Chester’s offering on the topic of living porn free is a much-needed resource that balances the principles of God’s grace and the gospel with other resources that stress external precautions related to pornography. Chester does an excellent job connecting our motivation to be porn-free with the greater themes of God’s glory and beauty.

Daniels, Robert. The War Within: Gaining Victory in the Battle for Sexual Purity 

Sexual sins are some of the most difficult to conquer. They’re also some of the most destructive—leaving individuals, marriages, families, and churches devastated. Can men today possibly win the war for sexual purity? This courageous book offers a resounding “Yes!” It also provides a battle strategy based on the promises and power of God—and on the author’s experiences in breaking a 25-year struggle with sexual sin. Newly revised and expanded, this book will lead you to a new level of purity and will encourage you that in this terribly private struggle, you are never alone.

Dykas, Ellen. Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing from Sexual and Relational Brokenness 

Sexual Sanity for Women guides participants through the process of understanding why they struggle with destructive relational and sexual patterns and how the gospel brings change. Twenty lessons guide participants to understand God’s good design for sexuality, the underlying reasons they struggle with sexual brokenness, and how the grace and truth of Jesus Christ can be applied to their struggles.

Freeman, John. Hide or Seek: When Men Get Real with God About Sex

You’re not powerless in the fight against pornography and lust. Hide or Seek won’t ask you to jump through hoops; it will suggest one clear step forward. One step to reorient your heart toward God’s love for you. One step to take the energy out of the vicious cycle that keeps you from being the man God has called you to be, the man you want to be.

Lambert, Heath. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace

In Finally Free, Heath Lambert lays out eight gospel-centered strategies for overcoming the deceitful lure of pornography. Each chapter demonstrates how the gospel applies to this particular battle and how Jesus can move readers from a life of struggle to a life of purity.

Piper, John, Editor. Sex and the Supremacy of Christ

The Bible has a way of shocking us. If Americans could still blush, we might blush at the words, “Rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love” (Prov. 5:18-19). But, of course, sin always tries to trash God’s gifts. So we can’t just celebrate sex for what God made it to be; we have to fight what sin turned it into. The contributors to this unique volume encourage you to do both: celebrate and struggle. 

Powlison, David. Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken

Sexuality was a part of God’s good creation from the beginning. But with sin came a world filled with sexual brokenness. But God is always in the business of restoration. Making All Things New offers hope for both the sexually immoral and the sexually victimized, pointing us to the grace of Christ, who mercifully intervenes each moment in our lifelong journey toward renewal. David Powlison casts a vision for the key to deep transformation, better than anything the world has to offer—not just fresh resolve, not just flimsy forgiveness, not just simple formulas, but true, lasting mercy from God, who is making all things new.

Street, John. Passions of the Heart: Biblical Counsel for Stubborn Sexual Sins

John Street takes a hard look at the heart idolatries that lead even Christians to commit egregious sexual sin . . . showing how to bring lasting change by identifying the underlying motivations of the heart. Here there is hope: any sin can be forgiven, and Christ gives men and women the grace to mortify fleshly desires and to humbly live for Him. 

Tripp, Paul. Sex and Money: Pleasures That Leave You Empty and Grace That Satisfies 

Pleasure. We live in a world obsessed with finding it, passionate to enjoy it, and desperate to maintain it. Chief among such pleasures are sex and money—two pleasures unrivaled in their power to captivate our attention, demand our worship, and drive us to hide or to despair. Paul Tripp pulls back the curtain on the lies that surround us and on the distortions we often overlook. As Tripp thoughtfully exposes the insanity of our culture, he also wisely speaks to our own tendencies to fall prey to sexual and financial idolatry. Sex and Money ultimately directs us to God’s Word and the liberating power of the gospel.

White, David. God, You, & Sex: A Profound Mystery

David White helps readers develop a Scripture-based perspective on human sexuality that goes beyond just wait until you’re married. God, You, & Sex doesn’t sidestep the sexual revolution that has come to bitter fruition in teen and young adult hookup culture. In the face of these messages and the pervasiveness of sexual temptation, White helps Christian men and women find compelling reasons to obey God with their sexuality. By establishing a positive theology of sex from Christian Scripture, White ultimately points to Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom and sheds light on broken sexuality, pornography, same-sex marriage, sex outside of marriage, and other relevant topics for young Christians. 

White, David. Sexual Sanity for Men: Re-creating Your Mind in a Crazy Culture 

Men, you can make sexually sane choices! Written for Christian men struggling with any form of sexual brokenness, Sexual Sanity for Men helps men understand that sexual sin starts in their minds and hearts. It shows them how knowing Christ breaks their chains, builds spiritual brotherhood, and helps them take practical steps to re-create their minds in a God-focused direction. The Sexual Sanity for Men workbook is ideal for one-on-one mentoring, college age discipleship groups, and men’s small group study. 

Pornography and Marriage (4 Resources) 

Black, Nicholas. What’s Wrong with a Little Porn When You’re Married

You feel emotionally isolated and sexually disengaged from your spouse. Could it be that the fantasy world of pornography has intruded upon your real-life marriage? Nicholas Black identifies four key ways that pornography negatively impacts marriages and encourages all who struggle to look to God for help. Black’s three practical, biblical steps toward freedom help those who struggle to find lasting joy in loving God and their real-life spouse rather than the temporary satisfaction of pornography use. A growing relationship with Jesus will grow your relationship with your spouse and bring lasting change.

Coyle, Rachel. Help! She’s Struggling with Pornography

Pornography is a taboo topic among many Christians today—especially women. But women can and do become enslaved to it. Impure images, steamy novels, even television dramas captivate many minds and hearts. This mini-book redefines pornography in biblical terms and explores its dangers, including those of the socially acceptable forms particularly alluring to women. Learn how the Bible exposes the heart of the problem and provides abundant hope for freedom.

Croft, Brian. Help! He’s Struggling with Pornography

Sexually explicit material is more readily available now than ever before, and a struggle with pornography is often the greatest snare for a Christian man today. Though Christians have been transformed by faith in Jesus, we are harmed by our sex-saturated culture. How can a Christian man find victory over pornography? This mini-book presents the only true solution: God’s power working through the gospel within the context of the local church.

Tiede, Vicki. Your Husband Is Addicted to Porn: Healing After Betrayal

Betrayed. Broken. Angry. Devastated. Chances are, you’ve felt one or all of these since discovering your husband’s interest in porn. How can you possibly trust him again? How do you rebuild your broken heart and fractured marriage? Vicki Tiede understands personally what a difficult struggle lies ahead and offers the comfort and wisdom she received from God in the wake of such betrayal. Offering helpful, practical resources, she guides you through the process of understanding the problem, finding hope in Christ, and seeking help.


Friday, June 12, 2020

Recommended Books on Race and Racial Reconciliation

One New Man: The Cross and Racial Reconciliation in Pauline Theology by J. Daniel Hays

The Gospel for Life: Racial Reconciliation by Russell Moore and Andrew Walker

A Biblical Answer for Racial Unity by H.B. Charles, Danny Akin et al

Thursday, June 4, 2020

When Men Die in a Perfect Storm of Sin

[This article appeared in the June 2020 issue of the WACMM newsletter -]
 "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."  - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
George Floyd Mentored a Generation of Young Men
in Houston's Third Ward

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." 
Psalm 90:12

Behind all the problems in the world is sin (Genesis 3:15). Things are not the way they are supposed to be. We sense the world is a good thing gone bad.

Sin curses and corrupts God's natural creation and every human being made in God's image. Viruses turn against us and attack us. Cells turn cancerous and metastasize. The gentle breezes of Eden's garden turn into deadly hurricanes. Arteries clog and become "widow makers." Cain murders his brother Abel and other fallen men likewise slay in thought and deed. Through the ages people denigrate and enslave one another (Romans 1). Racism, nihilism, narcissism, genderism, tribalism and every "ism" mock God and destroy God's image bearers. The Bible says that which is not of faith in Christ is sin; its payoff is death (Rom 6:23).

Sin is at root is a bad news story. BUT ultimately it has One Remedy to the curse, delivered to us by One Man, Jesus Christ, who is the Good News. As we yearn for and seek justice let's remember that no one gets away with injustice or anything else that mocks God. All scores will be settled because there is a Sovereign King who is the Righteous Judge of the living and dead.  

The shadow of death, despair and rebellion has fallen heavily on 2020. Covid-19 has taken hundreds of thousands of lives across the globe and robbed families of grieving their loved one. Racism has slain men in the streets. Cancer wages its deadly peril respects no age, stage or race. Depression drives many to take their own lives. Death comes in many forms. Yet in the end, we all die in one of two ways: in faith or in sin. 

Below we highlight four men who've died recently in various circumstances so as to remind us life is hard, fragile and fleeting. They had faces, real lives, unique personal histories and legacies, and have grieving families and friends.

GEORGE FLOYD (photo above) was slain on a street of Minneapolis by a man sworn to uphold the law and do justice but who corrupted that oath. Thousands mourn Floyd's death and protest how and why his life was tragically snuffed out. Seemingly millions know his name but few know anything about George Floyd ("Big Floyd") the man and his community work. Learn something Here

DAVE PATRICK UNDERWOOD, a native of Richmond, took an oath  as a federal protective Service Officer to protect people and property. He was an African American man murdered on a street in Oakland CA while defending a federal court house from a rioting mob. Seemingly very few know his name; even fewer know anything about David Patrick Underwood ("Pat") the man. Learn something Here 

DARRIN PATRICK was a St. Louis megachurch pastor and evangelical  "celebrity", who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound last month. He had been dismissed from the St. Louis church he founded and went through a multi-year restoration process. I had worked with Darrin; he spoke at a 2014 WACMM conference. Many knew him and benefited from his ministry yet few knew of his inner battle. Learn something about him Here

RAVI ZACHARIAS, one of the world's foremost Christian  apologists, died last month after being ravaged by a rare form of cancer. Having worked with Ravi several times, I found him to be in all his brilliance one of the most humble and kindest men I've ever known. Millions around the world knew of Ravi and were impacted by his gospel ministry. Learn Here  Here
"Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

What is a Christian Response to Injustice? 
>Do justice & righteousness (Jer 22:3)
>Comfort the oppressed (Eccles. 4:1)
>Groan with grief (Rom. 8:22)
>Lament before God (Ps. 13, 77)
>Pray desperately (2 Chron. 20:12)
>Be angry without sinning (Eph. 4:26)
>Weep with the hurting (Rom. 12:15)
>Rescue the oppressed (Prov. 31:9)
>Pray for oppressors (Mt. 5:44)
>Rebuke oppressors (Is. 1:17)
>Speak against injustice (Eph. 5:11)
>Repent your own injustices (Rm 2:1-4)
>Do justice (Mic. 6:8)
>Trust vengeance to God (Rm. 12:17-21)
>Hope in Jesus' return and the Day when evil and tears shall be no more  (Rev. 21:4). 

Join WACMM in prayer with our friends United We Pray Here    

by Dave Brown, Director and Pastor, Washington Area Coalition of Men's Ministries (WACMM)