Book Review: “Porn-Again Christian” by Mark Driscoll (2009)

“A Frank Discussion on Pornography and Masturbation”

Image result for Porn-Again Christian" by Mark DriscollWhile I knew exactly why I needed and wanted to read this book, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when going in. After all, I don’t know a whole lot about Mark Driscoll, save for his little run-in with “security” at John MacArthur‘s Strange Fire conference back in 2013. The fight-picking-pastor personality isn’t really one of my favorites, so I’ve avoided Driscoll’s books in the past, but this particular title stuck out to me.

Porn is a pervasive problem, no matter where you go or what walls of protection you build. Of course, not all porn is of the hard-core variety. Ours kids are exposed to the soft-core stuff on billboards during any drive across town or on commercials amidst virtually any sports programming or—goodness!—in the raunchy reruns of Friends on Nickelodeon of all channels! What starts as “innocent pictures” in Sunday inserts or “silly conversations” with friends can very easily—for a thirteen-year-old boy or thirty-five-year-old man—turn into black pits of imagination that invite temptation, and this is where I find myself often…because I’m being honest with myself.

Driscoll takes his male readers who need to listen (and female readers who might be interested) through a strong series of biblical passages which warn against sexual sins and the power of their temptation, and he does so with a careful and considerate tone. It’s clear that he’s not only worked with men through stages of sin such as these, but that he’s also struggled with them himself. Were he to have implied otherwise, I would have dropped his book immediately.

Later, he offers advice about sexuality inside and outside marriage in a Q&A format that is as “frank” as any you’ll ever hear from a pastor. And I think it’s a fitting answer to the prudishness of most other evangelical pastors who are too shy to write or speak honestly about these very issues, leaving most believers to either remain curious or to find their answers from secular and otherwise immoral sources.

Finally he ends the book with a gritty overview of the sex-trade industry and what it has done and is doing to women around the world. From kidnappings to forced drug-addictions to full-blown rapes, he leaves no boulder un-turned as he surveys the moral devastation that lies behind the glittery surface of pornography and her soft-core sisters.

This is a challenging book that provides both biblical and real-world context to the temptations that surround us. Sometimes when contemplating the present and future, I fear for my own boy—just a child now, but one who is growing up in a world where every craving can be fed with the swipe of a finger—and yet I know that I could never protect him from the dangers around him, but rather only prepare him to discern and battle them manfully on his own. A book like this is an excellent source of training for myself both as a man and as a father. No matter Driscoll’s tendencies with which I likely can’t agree, I think he’s written a great resource that more believing men should read. I highly recommend it.

©2017 E.T.

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