Sex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is) may be one of the best books on the market today to help us counsel people in our struggle against the enslavement of sexual sin. It is especially useful for people who are under age 25. It is good not just because of its practical advice, but because of the stress which the author, Joshua Harris, usually gives to the Grace of God. The Gospel shines forth throughout most of this book in a way that is not found in many of the other books on the subject of sexual sin.
In the first section of the book Harris develops his statement regarding the “truth about lust.” He really talks about the power of the Gospel. His chapter titles read, “Not even a hint,” “Sex is not the problem,” and “You can’t save yourself.”
I love God, but I cannot continue to ask for forgiveness over and over and over for the same thing.
In the second section of the book Harris becomes more practical, talking about “A custom-tailored plan” and the differences between “Guys and Girls” in connection with lust and sexual use and dependence. His chapter on “Self-centered sex” may be the weakest in the book. He cannot seem to see the problem of lust in connection with masturbation as well as he see the problem of the sin of lust in connection with his other topics. The final chapter of this section deals with the temptations of the media.
Harris develops strategies for change in the third section of the book. Here he devotes a chapter to accountability partners. Another chapter speaks of the power of the Word of God. He lists many helpful Bible passages, but we would classify many of them as Law passages. The reader will want to supply Gospel passages of forgiveness for this chapter in addition to the passages that Harris lists. In his final chapter on sowing in the Spirit, Harris writes: “Remember that your hope for change is based in God’s grace. It’s because Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins that you can stand justified before God and know that he will sanctify you…. You can press towards God’s standard of not even a hint of sexual immorality in the unshakeable confidence that through faith in Christ you stand before God with not even a hint of guilt. Because of Jesus Christ, we have victory over lust.” p. 171.
The appendices at the end of the book are valuable. “Purity Download, Seven tips for fighting internet porn,” is a helpful addition of practical insights. “The Path of Repentance” by John Loftness is helpful, but the power of the Gospel and the Word of God as a means of grace is not properly stressed and will need to be added by the reader.
I’ve come to believe that lust may be the defining struggle for this generation.
Over-all, I would recommend this book as a very useful tool to be read by those seeking to get out of the cycle of the sin of pornography. It is also a very good discussion tool for friends to help friends who are struggling with porn use. It offers a good template for continuing discussion.
Author: Joshua Harris
Reviewed by: Alan Siggelkow on July, 2013