The Church Leaders “Best Books” series is our way of helping leaders find, read, and recommend books on a variety of important topics related to ministry and the Christian life. Check out the rest of our best books lists.
Tim Challies offers a much-needed list of books on fighting sexual sin. Tim is a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church and writes at his popular blog, Challies.com. He is the author of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment and Next Story.
Check out his book on fighting porn addiction, Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn.
1. Finally Free by Heath Lambert
Having read many (many!) books on this topic, I see three unique and noteworthy strengths in Finally Free. The first is its commitment to the gospel of grace. Lambert avoids using “gospel” or “grace” like buzzwords that have no real meaning, but instead speaks of grace as a power that we can discover, that we can use, that is available to us as we fight against sin. The second is the book’s sheer practicality. No other book I have read so helpfully lays out strategies—strategies you can actually do and that will actually work—in the fight against porn. The third is its encouraging tone. He encourages by focusing on Christ’s power over sin and he encourages by his authority on the subject, earned in those thousands and thousands of counseling sessions.
2. Undefiled by Harry Schaumburg
Schaumburg’s particular strength and ministry is in recovery from sexual sin. This book is ideal for hurting spouses who are attempting to recover together. He deals well with the feeling of defilement that can come to those who have fallen into sexual sin, or to those who have been the unwilling victims of sexual sin. In the opening pages Schaumburg says, “To be spiritually mature, you must be sexually mature; to be sexually mature, you must be spiritually mature.” This book seeks to achieve both of those goals, to help Christians grow up both in spiritual maturity and in their understanding of God’s great gift of sex. It does it well.
3. Wired For Intimacy by William Struthers
Struthers’s book is unique in that he explores the important link between pornography and biology. He shows how the male brain is hard-wired for intimacy and relationships and how pornography affects the male brain. He looks beyond the usual—beyond the moral and ethical and legal and even spiritual. He shows that pornography is also a physical matter, “rooted in the biological intricacies of our sexual design.”
4. Sexual Detox by Tim Challies
My own Sexual Detox is a short, punchy book on pornography geared particularly to young men. I wrote it as a response to conversations with young men who, like so many young men today, had immersed themselves in online pornography. It is ideally suited for men, and young men, to read and discuss together.
5. Purity Is Possible by Helen Thorne
We all know that pornography is a plague that has effected an entire generation of young men, but all the attention focused on men may mask the fact that many women struggle as well. This book addresses fantasy, erotica and pornography, and does so from a female perspective. Thorne is transparent (but not vulgar) in describing her own struggles with lust and in sharing how she has gained increased victory over the sin. She writes in a friendly and conversational tone, inviting the readers to join her arm-in-arm as they pursue purity together.