Here are two essential books on the scourge of pornography. The review is by Stephen Story. Stephen is the executive pastor of Crawford Avenue Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia. He is married to Dottie, and they have three children.
In the 1990s, Friends taught us that pornography is a consequence-free pastime that pairs well with a laugh track. A generation later, porn is no joke, but rather a modern-day scourge that has consumed the lives of countless men, women, and even children, leaving only devastation in its wake.
There is a difference between the quantity of porn use among Christ-followers and everyone else, but it’s a problem in the church nonetheless. We need to bring our struggle with pornography out of the shadows and into the light of the gospel. We need to talk about it humbly and hopefully with an eye toward repentance, restoration, and gospel-powered holiness.
The gospel of Jesus Christ changes everything, and we need to understand how the gospel changes our view of porn. The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus—what does it mean for Christians who are secretly aware of the lust lurking just beneath the surface in their hearts? What does it mean for Christians who are addicted to porn and assume they always will be? What does it mean for women exploited and abused by photographers and advertisers and traffickers and website owners? How do we glorify God in a world where we can gorge on sexual perversion any time we want via the 5G portals in our pockets?
Two new books—Garrett Kell’s Pure in Heart: Sexual Sin and the Promises of God and Ray Ortlund’s The Death of Porn: Men of Integrity Building a World of Nobility—aim to guide the Christian, and the church, in unpacking what the gospel means for lust, sexual sin, and pornography. Both share a conviction that the answers can be found in the gospel. Both believe the church is a central part of the solution. Both will prove useful in the pursuit of holiness for the glory of God amid a culture looking for salvation in sex. The former contains insights for men and women alike, the latter is addressed specifically to men.