Pornography has plagued the world for too long. Sadly, it hasn’t lost its momentum and it is still affecting our families and friends. Even the church has struggle with the appeal of pornography and its members have lost many battles. So it is comforting to know that Christ is able to free His people from what seems to be an inescapable bondage and slavery to immorality. Thankfully, this book titled Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace will help with that continuing battle for purity for Christians.
Author: Heath Lambert. Assistant direction of biblical counseling at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and executive director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). Other titles include The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams, and Counseling the Hard Cases: True Stories Illustrating the Sufficiency of God’s Resources in Scripture.
Summary: Chapters 1 and 2 start the book off strong by using the great doctrines of Grace and Godly Sorrow (from 2 Corinthians 7) to flood the believer’s mind in order to assist in the battle. He then discusses the process of radically cutting things out of your life (Ch. 4) and defines what confession should look like in the Christian (Ch. 5). Lambert then explains the advantages of both a married man and a single man in their fight for purity (Ch. 6), as he calls them to put on attitudes of humility (Ch. 7) and gratitude (Ch. 8), which many do not see as helpful tools for fighting pornography. The book ends strongly with the right motivation for purity which is a relationship with Christ (Ch. 9) and so he uplifts the readers with a surprise encouragement in the end (Conclusion). It appendix is a good article for those who want to help their friends, family members who struggle with staying pure.
Weaknesses: Very few! I could nitpick about minor issues but I won’t. But overall, I would have appreciated more of a concise process for tackling the issue of pornography (a packaged summary for the reader). Maybe he could have done a better job connecting the chapters to each other as they seem a bit disjointed. But this is not even a major issue.
Strengths: Lamber hits every angle on this issue. Though I did comment about it being somewhat disjointed, I do, however, think Lambert did a good job organizing the chapters in this the order (starting with grace and Godly sorrow as very strong). The book uses good, relevant examples that illustrate the principles. Each chapter was clear and concise with an adequate length in its explanations, Scripture citations, and applications. The homework questions are the cherry on top and can aid in counseling and personal reflection. As you read the book, certain chapters will shine brighter than others, but every chapter was relevant, helpful, and necessary. Lambert speaks with clarity, genuine tone, that reaches out to the downcast and discourage and provides hope in Christ. And the ending chapter was a delightful and encouraging surprise.
Recommendation: I highly recommend this book to all women and men. You should own this if you or someone you know struggles with staying pure in any way. For those counseling and in accountability groups, this is a wonderful tool and aid that will spark great discussion. If you want to read this for your own personal edification as a reminder to stay pure, you cannot go wrong with this book. There are many Christian books on purity out there, and this is a must-have.
- “When you deny your sin, you deny yourself access to God’s grace. When you admit your sin to God, you access his grace.” (24)
- “Worldly sorrow happens when you feel the sting of sin but still cherish a selfish love of sin in your heart. Godly sorrow happens when you are gripped with your sinful separation from God and desire to be restored to him at any cost.” (42)
- “You will not experience dramatic change in your struggle as long as you use accountability to describe your sins instead of declaring your need for help in the midst of temptation.” (49)
- “You will know you are finally free from pornography when you have full access to it and yet no desire for it.” (63)
- “The circle of your confession should be as broad as the circle of your sin.” (79)
- “Ask God to fill you with joyful love for your wife.”
- “But I have found one common trait shared by these men as they struggle with arrogance: men who struggle with pornography often see pornography as their only sin” (115), which is not the case.
- “Lust never has what it wants because it never has enough.” (130)
- “The truth that God wants you to know is that your relationship with Jesus is bigger than your struggle with porn.” (142)