According to a recent book review by The Economist, our society is “porn-crazed, bingeing, gambling, pill-popping, fiddling incessantly with gadgets,” and facing an “epidemic of addiction” because “modern humanity faces temptations that it is ill-equipped to resist.”
An article by Dr. Philip Zimbardo on CNN describes how “arousal addictions” to online porn and video games are creating a generation of men unable to function in the real world and ultimately to “the demise of guys” (view his TEDTalk on this).
And this blog post claims that perhaps 80% of applicants to the International Mission Board, SBC have a porn history that in many cases slows down or ends their application process.
What to do? For starters, the church must openly, honestly, and frequently preach and teach about subjects like addiction, porn, and the isolation inherent to modern life. It must explain and equip people to understand how those subjects subvert God’s design for sex, relationships, and community, which are fundamental to a loving, authentic, and robust Christian life that glorifies God.
To that end, there are many excellent resources available (and more appearing all the time) discussing the issue of addiction, recovery, and healing through God’s grace and mercy. Here are two books we recommend that are particularly helpful in understanding sexual addiction from both a neurological and biblical perspective:
Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction (Dr. Mark Laaser)
“This book offers a path that leads beyond compulsive thoughts and behaviors to healing and transformation. Sensitive to the shame of sexual addiction without minimizing its sinfulness, Dr. Laaser traces the roots of the problem, discusses its patterns and impact, and maps out a biblical approach to self-control and sexual integrity.” (Amazon.com)
Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain
(Dr. William Struthers)
“Countless Christian men struggle with the addictive power of porn. But common spiritual approaches of more prayer and accountability groups are often of limited help. In this book neuroscientist William Struthers explains how pornography affects the male brain and what we can do about it.” (Amazon.com)