Top 10 Books On Fighting Porn

As I’m often asked for book recommendations on various subjects, I decided to put together an online list of my top ten books in various categories. Basically, if I was only allowed 10 books in my library on that subject, these are the ten I would choose. Other posts include:

Today I’m listing the Top 10 Books on Fighting Porn. I wish there didn’t have to be so many books on the subject, especially for Christians, but that’s where we’re at. You can also check out this list of Top 60 Online Resources for Battling Porn.

After this list you’ll find a poll where you can cast three votes for your favorite books and help others choose the best books on the subject. Click on “View Results” to see what books are most popular.

You can also add any book not on the list by writing the title in “Other” or in the Comments  I’ll add these to the end of the post under “Reader Suggestions.”

1. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity With The Power of Grace by Heath Lambert.

This is biblical counseling at its best: full of sympathy for sinners, courageous confrontation of sin, accessible biblical truth, the power of Christ’s grace, and radical dependence upon the Holy Spirit. It offers eight grace-based strategies to needy sinners. Finally Free will liberate many lives and revitalize many marriages.

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

Sexual Detox and Finally Free are the two books I always give to anyone struggling with lust and porn. Sexual Detox is shorter, easier to read, and provides more emergency actions. Finally Free is deeper, more long-term. Both are gospel-based and grace-driven. Both manage to walk the fine line between R-Rated and Disney.

3. Building a Pure Life: A Workbook for Counselors and Small Groups by Dave Coats

This book was forged in the battlefield of personal sanctification as Pastor and Biblical Counselor, Dave Coats, fought for purity in this muddy world. Also, having worked with people in this area of spiritual struggle for many years, he concluded that the best way to help people who already lacked personal discipline and self-control was to provide a structured workbook format that “forced” them to study the Word of God daily.

4. Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn-Free by Tim Chester.

Good combination of the theological and the practical. Its strength is the way it rips porn of its allure and demonstrates its vile ugliness. Chester wants you to be revolted by porn and ravished by God

5. Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain by William Struthers.

This book is different to all the others on this list. It was written by a Christian neuroscientist and researcher who explains how porn actually changes the brain, but also what we can do about it. Unique and insightful combination of the scientific, the theological, and the practical.

6. Undefiled: Redemption from Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships by Harry Schaumburg.

Harry Schaumburg has devoted his life to delivering people from sexual sin. Gives hope to the most hopeless. Not just about breaking a porn habit or addiction, but about “redemption.” A powerful book for the powerless.

7. Sex and The Supremacy of Christ by John Piper, Justin Taylor, and others.

A “positive” book about God’s view of sex for both men and women. Aims to show the beauty and wisdom of God in His definition, design, and provision of sex.

8. Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World by Josh Harris.

Previously titled Not Even a Hint, Harris’s aim is to separate lust (bad) from sex and sexuality (good). Maybe too many personal anecdotes and perhaps too candid in parts. It does address the problem of female lust and returns to the cross of Christ repeatedly for pardon and power.

9. The Purity Principle: God’s Safeguards for Life’s Dangerous Trails by Randy Alcorn

Short, accessible, to the point, for men and women. Not as Gospel-centered as other books on the list.

10. The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin by Kris Lundgaard

This summarized and modernized version of John Owen’s Indwelling Sin and The Mortification of Sin, is about fighting indwelling sin in general rather than porn in particular. Not a book for a porn-emergency; more for long-term and deep work in the heart that attacks the roots of sin.

For a very quick read you could try these short booklets of sixty pages or so. Help! He’s Struggling With Pornography by Brian Croft, and  Help! She’s Struggling With Pornography by Rachel Coyle.

And here are a couple of free eBooks from Covenant Eyes: Porn Free Church and Your Brain on Porn.

Now you decide, what are your favorites? You can cast three votes and add a book if it’s not in the list.

Reader Suggestions

Sexual Sanity for Men by Dave White.

False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction by Harry Schaumburg.

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Clean Slates and New Habits

Gretchen Rubin, author of the bestselling Happiness Project, is writing a new book about habits called Before and After. In her latest blog post on the subject, she writes about how a clean slate can provoke, promote, and sustain major habit change. As she puts it: 

The fresh start, the do-over, or the new year is a crucial time, because it offers tremendous opportunity for forming new habits -

Some of the slate-cleaning events she mentions are:

  • A change in personal relationships: marriage, divorce, a new baby, a new puppy, a break-up, a new friend, a death.
  • A change in surroundings: a new apartment, a new city, even rearranged furniture.
  • Major changes: a new job, a new school, a new doctor.
  • Minor changes: taking a different route to work, or watching TV in a different room.

Well, if such clean slate/fresh start events can produce new and better habits, how much more the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ and being adopted into the family of God? What cleaner slate, what fresher start could possibly be imagined! What a do-over! What a change and what a power to change!

Last summer I was playing soccer at our church camp. My team was losing 4-0 and also losing heart. When the supper bell rang, somebody on the other side shouted out, “Right, next goal’s the winner!” Well, you should have seen the energy course through my team again. Given a clean sheet to start over, hope was renewed, tiredness disappeared, heads were up and legs were pumping again.

That’s why we need daily cleansing of our consciences with Christ’s blood. It gives us a fresh start, a clean sheet, re-energizing and re-motivating us to serve again. You don’t guilt someone into change; you grace them into it.

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Astronomical Grace

IndescribableWhat do you get when you put together astronomy and grace? Yes, that’s right, you get astronomical grace. And that’s exactly what you get in Louie Giglio and Matt Redman’s book, Indescribable (now available for only $2.24 on the Kindle).

Giglio and Redman’s shared passion for astronomy and grace led them to co-author this book, which follows a two-step pattern in most of its chapters.

1. Star-struck: Scientific facts and figures about the size and speed of the stars, planets, galaxies, etc., that magnify and exalt their Creator’s power, wisdom, beauty, etc.
2. Grace-struck: Who am I, that such a God should love, me, care for me, send His Son to die for me, and save me?

As it’s one of the most powerful presentations of the Gospel I’ve come across in a long time, let me gather together some of the stats and then some of the applications and see if it leaves you as star-struck and grace-struck as I was.

When it comes to looking at the stars, you and I live in a privileged age. A few hundred years ago, astronomers believed there to be only around six thousand stars out there in the universe…Astronomers now believe there to be more stars in the visible universe (what we know to be there) than there are grains of sand on all of the world’s beaches and deserts.

The newest evidence suggests that there are somewhere between one hundred and two hundred billion galaxies in the universe, each of them containing hundreds of billions of stars. And as most scientists agree, there still seems to be no end in sight.

The biggest and brightest known star in our own galaxy is Eta Carinae. If the sun and Eta Carinae were at the same distance from the earth, Eta Carinae would be 4 million times as bright as the sun.

At the peak of it’s luminosity Supernova 1987A was thought to be shining over one hundred million times brighter than the Sun!

If our Sun were only eighteen inches high, then in comparison the star IRS 65 would stand as tall as Mount Everest.

VY Canis Majoris is so monstrous you could fit seven quadrillion Earths inside it.

“The universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine” (James Jeans, physicist and astronomer).

In reason’s ear, they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice,
forever singing as they shine:
“The hand that made us is divine!”
(Joseph Addison)

“The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder” (Ralph W. Sockman).

I can’t help but believe that a Creator responsible for countless wonders must take delight as we find out more and more of what’s out there and how nature unfolds.

Our discoveries tell us something about the nature of God as we see evidence of patience, beauty, incredible magnitude, and a flourishing of life—at least on one planet!

“Earth is beautiful beyond description. God must love us dearly to provide a planet so perfectly tuned for life in what appears to be an otherwise empty universe. As I enjoy the view and the comfort of His loving presence, I am convinced we serve an incredibly loving heavenly Father” (former astronaut, Joe Tanner).

As it turns out, we’re even smaller than we thought we were. And our Creator God is far mightier than we ever imagined Him to be.

These figures are completely off the charts, once again filling us with reverence and awe for our indescribable Maker. He simply spoke … and there they were.

In the book of Isaiah, for example, God keeps pointing us to the cosmos as a reminder of His great and unmatchable strength: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens. (44:24) My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts. (45:12).

For love Jesus chose to come to this “mote of dust,” embodying God’s indelible proclamation: “I love you.” How amazing that, on this tiny cosmic speck, His incomprehensible death provided a covering for our fallenness, His resurrection life bridging the way back to the arms of our Maker. Looking back across time at this little sphere that we call home, I cannot escape the feeling that comes over me. Yet, looking at the wonder of the cross of Christ, I can’t help but see God’s irrepressible stamp of significance on tiny, insignificant people like you and me.

But the more I encounter grandeur, the more I’m drawn into wonder. In the light of these incredible, shining stars, the beauty of the gospel shines ever more brightly in my soul. How could it be that the One who spoke these epic galaxies into being lavishes His love on the likes of you and me? The all-powerful hands of the Maker became the nail-pierced hands of the Savior. He who is everything made Himself nothing. The One who commands the Sun, Moon, and stars in their courses above took on the nature of a servant.

Jesus, who said, “Let there be light,” spoke up for you and me. And in the end, in human skin, the sinless and perfect Son of God exchanged His life for every twisted thing that we have done. In that single act, the star breather became the sin bearer. The universe maker became humanity’s Savior.

God doesn’t need a Hubble Telescope to get in touch with you or check on the affairs of your life. He sees it all, the good and the bad, the joy and the pain. But not only does God see, He has the power to heal and repair, to carry and to hold.

Looking up makes us feel small and shrouds us with a sense of awe, but that’s never a bad thing. So let that feeling come (and stay) as you journey through these pages. And let the wonder of it all lift you up to see and embrace the face of God, the brilliant Maker of all.

Indescribable Glory and Grace
As Indescribable contains many beautiful color pictures of stars, planets, and galaxies, I’d recommend reading it on the iPad or on the Kindle App for PC/Mac. I see there’s also a film version you might want to check out.

I leave you with Giglio and Redman’s challenge: “Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course…We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.”

Or perhaps we could paraphrase: “The Son comes out every Sunday and we watch television.”

Indescribable: Encountering the Glory of God in the Beauty of the Universe ($2.24)

Indescribable DVD ($9.88)