Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Book Review: "Wired for Intimacy" by William M. Struthers

My normal writing pattern for this blog is to quote a short saying (hence the name) from someone (whether in a written work, an audio recording, or a video) and then give my thoughts on it. I have decided to add another dimension to my blog and start posting book reviews. My hope is that my readers will find them helpful in choosing works to read or recommend to a friend on various subjects.

The first book I have reviewed is Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain. I chose to read and review this work for an ethics class that I took at my seminary because pornography has infiltrated our culture and, I would argue, severely damaged it.

It is difficult to deny that pornography is one of the biggest challenges facing Christian men in today’s society. Statistics say that one out of every three men is addicted to pornography and those numbers do not change when only Christian men are considered in the study. Many books have been written on the subject of how deal with this moral issue. Dr. William M. Struthers takes a different approach from the standard in this book. He examines the biological effects that pornography has on the brain and then offers a view of how it can be addressed in the Church while taking into account what neuroscience has revealed. Dr. Struthers “exposes false assumptions and casts a vision for a redeemed masculinity, showing how our sexual longings can actually propel us toward holiness in our bodies.”

Pornography is choking the Church. Men and women, leaders and lay people are all affected by this parasite and many have given up because they do not think there is any hope. Leaders in the church (especially those who focus on men’s ministries) need to learn how to address sexual addiction with wisdom and grace. It needs to be able to be exposed to the light because while hidden, fighting it alone is like fighting a hydra. I believe this book will give men and women alike valuable insight into the biological effects of this ethical issue and connect those to biblical truths about proper sexuality and God-honoring male-female relationships.

Posting my entire review of the book would make for a very long post so I have made it available for reading or download on my Google Documents account here. As a spoiler, here is my final, concluding paragraph:
My overall opinion of this book is very positive. It approaches a subject that has been written on many times in Christian literature and manages to bring many new insights to the conversation. There are some minor disagreements that I have with Dr. Struthers, but they do not affect the overall usefulness of the book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a holistic view of pornography and healthy male sexuality but especially to church leaders. Church leaders have the daunting task of counseling men struggling with pornography and I believe this book will give them invaluable insight in that effort. I would make the above recommendations with one caution. I would not recommend that someone struggling with pornography read this book early on in their recovery. Dr. Struthers is very blunt about several things (and rightfully so) and some of what he says could be a major temptation to one still struggling.
By His Grace,

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