Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Review: Every Man's Battle

Every Man's Battle is a practical book written to help men see the need for and have the ability to fight the battle against lust in its various forms. It is helpful, balanced and straight forward. It talks plainly about the battle, the problems of lust and the solutions. 

The book is divided into 6 sections.
1. Where are We?
2. How We Got Here.
3. Choosing Victory
4. Victory with Your Eyes
5. Victory with Your Mind
6. Victory with Your Heart

The book is broader than just fighting pornography and so deals with lust in all its form. Those who find pornography particularly luring will find it helpful--although you will want to supplement it some for this problem. While those men not enslaved to that particular form of lust will find the book helpful in rooting out lust that can run deeper.

The book speaks in plain language with helpful instructions and tips. It includes short sections written for women. The book as a whole gives helpful stories and examples from the perspective of men and women. Yet it speaks clearly to men and motivates them to stand up and be men. It challenges men to draw a line in the sand and fight this battle. Men will be challenged with clear direct language that strikes at the core of who they are. It is in an analogous to the rousing speeches generals have their men on the eve of battle in thousands of wars. Will men fight this battle for the sake of their wives and women?

Helpful are the tips about "bouncing" ones eyes for dealing with random images that can distract our minds if we dwell on them. For women (other than wives) that we must know in our lives, the analogy shifts from a defensive battle to a customs agents. There are certain thoughts that we must immediately detain and take captive for Christ. Once the thoughts are taken captive and killed, it is possible, with caution to have a healthy relationship with a women who say for example a co-worker. Arterburn and Stoeker flesh this out in detail offering sobering examples of where men have failed, why and how men can and must keep "their shields up" and be on "red alert" (Star Trek allusions). 

While the book lays out a clear pattern of Biblical obedience, one weakness is that it does not entirely ground obedience in the gospel. It does not deny the gospel and certainly references the Holy Spirit's power. In the end it's method is analogous to the "third use of the law." A biblical counselor or pastor will want to supplement this book with material on repentance, gospel living and crucifying the flesh. However, the book gives helpful tips and tools for fighting lust. It will be tough to read this book and look at lust in the same way again. The goal of the book is not merely to set men free from lust but to set men free to wholehearted love God and their wives. 

I'd give this book three and half stars (if three= fair/good; four = great; five = superb).

I would like to thank Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. 

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