My friend and Pastor Bruce Roeder has done a book review on the excellent book, Delivered by Desire, By Pastor Daryl Wingerd. Yesterday I posted the first part of the review, and today is the second part.
You can find Pastor Bruce at Missio Dei Fellowship, in Kenosha, WI.
I like Wingerd’s approach with his little book. He sets it up as a dialogue between two men, one of whom can’t seem to shake INET porn in Chapter One.
Right off the bat the dialogue goes where it needs to. The man who is struggling is named Nick. Nick knows the porn use is wrong. Most Christian men do get that. On occasion I’ll counsel someone who is not convinced it is wrong but that is merely the power of rationalization making that which is forbidden more acceptable than out and out adultery or fornication. By and large most Christian men grasp that porn is wrong and many have tried time and time again to break the habit only to find themselves going where they should not. Wingerd’s book takes the approach of encouraging Nick to fight rather than heaping shame on him which is at times the tactic used in some Christian circles.
In the dialogue Nick identifies the reason he fails as not knowing how
to quit. Wingerd then spends the rest of the book leading Nick to grasp what is going on his heart when he fails and the “how to’s” to finally overcome a ruling desire of the heart that feels like a disease addiction that cannot be defeated.
Here’s a partial chapter breakdown.
Chapter 2: The Significance of Desire
Key paragraph: Please forgive my non-technical language, but whether you respond like a moth or a cockroach when faced with a choice between Light and darkness depends on what your “wanter” wants.
Your wanter is your heart. As an unbeliever your heart will be inclined toward disobedience but when you receive Christ you receive a new heart with a new capacity you did not have before.
I like any counseling book that makes a big deal out of the heart. This is much more than behavioral modification. It deals with the soul.
Chapter 3: The Anatomy of Desire
Key paragraph: Because of God’s wrath following Adam’s disobedience, there was a “new natural” in terms of human desire. Sin-the excessive and perverse expression of the good desires God implanted in mankind at creation-became the new ruling principle in every person from birth.
In other words, sin distorts everything and sin whatever the form becomes something that rules a person. In Christ, that changes, but sin still has the power to pull the believer down and dominate him through habitual responses to life.
This is why Nick fails. At his moment of weakness the ruling desire of the heart (lust, pleasure) is stronger than his love for Christ. Controlling idols take many forms. Pleasure, power, control and approval are the most common and most people can identify with them one way or the other. Porn is obviously connected to pleasure but power and control can also factor in. Controlling idols are the roots of what psychology would call addictions. The controlling idol is so powerful the person feels like they have a disease they cannot cure.