Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace

In Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace, Heath Lambert lays out a number of practical steps for people struggling with pornography. There are nine chapters which give eight methods by which a person can battle the desire to view pornography. Eight methods could be overwhelming, but Lambert does an excellent job of showing how each method is rooted in the grace and empowerment of God. This is not a book that leaves you feeling that in order to be free you have to check these eight boxes, rather it leaves you sensing the deep need to allocate God's grace to every area of your life. In this way it not only applies to a struggle with pornography, but is also a primer on the Christian life in general. The theology and practices Lambert outlines are transferable to any area of struggle, not just pornography.

As a man who has struggled with lust and pornography for almost twenty years, this is the first book on the topic of pornography that I finished with my focus on Jesus rather than on pornography. Lambert again and again shows that freedom from pornography is based on and flows out of the grace of God. Here are a few quotes that exemplify the grace-emphasis of the book.

"Jesus loves to cleanse those who love to look at pornography, and he loves to give them power to change. Our sinfulness does not get the final word. Instead, Jesus justifies, washes, and sanctifies us. Our only hope is in a risen Savior who has the power to bring us out of the pit of pornography. This book is a guide to the exciting process Jesus uses to do this work." (location 86)

"God's powerful transforming grace can give you a pure heart, and you can subdue your desires for pornography." (location 194)

"When you deny your sin, you deny yourself access to God's grace. When you admit your sin to God, you access his grace." (location 214)

"You will never be free from pornography until you acknowledge that in order to change you need the help of God through brothers and sisters in Christ." (location 467)

"When you receive God's grace to make your confession to others, then you will receive God's grace, which flows from that confession. Confession is bookended with grace." (location 966)

"In the end, you can't get to Jesus without the power that Jesus gives. When Jesus calls you to a relationship with himself, he knows he is calling you to do something you can't do on your own. That's why he gives his forgiving and transforming grace. If your heart is cold toward Christ, ask him for forgiveness. Ask him for his power to change. Ask him to fill you with a burning desire to know him and to love him more than anything or anyone else. The Christ who calls you to relationship with him will be pleased with your dependence and will grant your request made in faith." (location 1688)

In addition to his overriding commitment to God's grace as the source and power for defeating pornography, Lambert provides pertinent and poignant examples from his own life and ministry that drive home his points in unforgettable ways. These stories show that his ideas are Biblically sound, and also make a real-life difference. I have read numerous books on the topic of pornography through the years. For me as a pastor, Finally Free has gone straight to the top of my list of books to recommend for those struggling with pornography.

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