Book Review – “Finally Free” by Heath Lambert
The following is an introduction to a series of sermons that I’m planning on preaching this coming year at the church where I currently serve as preaching and teaching minister… the series title is “World at War”
“If the enemy can’t beat you, then he will lure you to sleep with the ordinary, distract you with the urgent, and get you worked up over nothing. Every day we are bombarded with messages of power, success, entertainment, wealth, pleasure, and romance, and through these things the enemy seeks to convince us that our lives are somehow incomplete, and we spend much of our time chasing after these grand illusions that promise fulfillment, and in the process find ourselves chasing after false gods…we find ourselves committing idolatry! It sounds strange, it sounds like something from a bygone era far, but it’s real, it’s a war that rages within us, and it’s one we’re all fighting whether we realize it or not. Not only that it’s a war that has eternal implications!”
One of the pivotal battles of this war, and a cultural issue that the church has no other option but to address is the blight of pornography… This issue typically either falls under the area of “pleasure” or “romance,” depending on which gender one happens to be. It’s an issue that for years was considered to be a men’s issue, but the latest research shows us that it is now, primarily due to the ease of access via the internet, it’s an issue that is facing a large number of women as well.
Over my years as a minister I have counseled several men who have struggled with pornography, and have read extensively on the subject, so when this book became available I jumped at the chance to read it, especially when I discovered that Josh Harris, a man who I greatly respect had written the forward, I knew it was a must read… and I will say that I wasn’t disappointed.
It’s been my observation that most of the resources on dealing with the sin of pornography addiction, the amount of which is growing on a daily basis, all tend to focus on the idea of “fighting the beast within,” overcoming the issue by the strength of God, the strength of yourself, and the strength of an accountability partner. While there are some effective aspects of such thinking I’ve always believed that there was something missing in the conversation, and that something is “grace.”
If there ever was a more appropriate topic to focus on when dealing with the issue of pornography it’s without question grace! And this is where Heath Lambert hits it out of the ballpark! His work, “Finally Free, Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace.” Is one of the best works I’ve ever read on the subject, not only that, it’s one of those ideas that cross the road into other areas of life where we struggle to keep on the straight and narrow.
Lambert lays out 8 foundations which we can use to stand on in our fight against this sin; Sorrow, Accountability, Radical Measures, Confession, Spouse, Humility, Gratitude, and a Dynamic Relationship with Jesus. These foundations are built not on our own power or the power of others but the power of God, demonstrated through his amazing grace! (Side note: As a visual learner, I appreciated the graphic on pg. 15)
In this approach Lambert hits the issue head on, but does it in such a way that the audience can embrace the truth while, being comforted by the fact that they are loved by the God in whose image they are made.
Overall this is perhaps the best book on the subject I’ve ever read and I’m sure it will be one of my “go-to” resources in the future. Typically I find at least a few points of disagreement in any book that I read, but as of now (I’ve only read it once) I’m struggling to find any major points of divergence, which means that the author has done his work and done it well!
I give the book 5 Stars
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their “booksneeze program.” I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions and views expressed here are my own.