When it comes to the topic of pornography and/or sexual sin, there are a growing number of helpful resources that address the issue from a variety of angles. What is needed, however, are more books—not less—that address this topic, for the simple fact that this is one of the greatest issues facing the Church today. The problem of addiction to pornography and/or sexual sin is not going away, but is instead growing rapidly. This is a battle I personally know well, as I’m one of the men who has overcome an addiction to pornography. The pornography addict (as I’ve said before and will say again) lives in a world where guilt and shame reign supreme instead of Jesus. Truly men (and now even women) who live in pornography-addition, live in darkness instead of in the light. This is why John Freeman, the President of Harvest USA—a ministry dedicated to speaking to these issues—wrote his book, Hide or Seek When Men Get Real with God about Sex.
Hide or Seek has ten chapters organized around one central idea—that is to help his readers understand the lie of pornography and the hope of the gospel. To this end, he thoroughly examines the epidemic of porn in Chapter One. In chapters 2-4 he explores life as a God-hater, idol-maker, and game player—emphasizing why living a double life won’t meet our greatest need for Jesus. In Chapter Five, Freeman moves to explain why we (as men) need to live a life of integrity. From there (in chapter six) he talks about how to “come out of the darkness and into the light”, and continues into chapter seven by explaining how we are to live in the “banquet room”. Chapter eight takes a very helpful look at dealing with the dark desires that come up as a result of sexual sin. Chapter nine helps readers to come out of living in a world where guilt and shame reign supreme, and helps them to begin to breathe in the fresh air of the gospel. The book concludes with a clear call to know Jesus and be known within the local church.
Reading Hide or Seek was a true joy, primarily because this book is so drenched in the Bible. The author doesn’t assume anything about the readers understanding of the meaning of theological words, but helpfully explains what each of the terms mean, with a heart to help his reader grow in knowledge of the Word of God. Additionally, the author writes as a practitioner. Since pornography affects the identity of the person—people need to understand that this is a topic that they should speak about, but can’t speak too authoritatively unless they have truly wrestled with it. That isn’t to suggest that people who’ve never had an addiction to pornography, or been affected by witnessing someone they know struggle in its grasp, can’t speak to these issues. I believe that those who haven’t struggled can be a great blessing and help to people who have overcome an addiction to pornography, as they learn how to live a pure life that honors and glorifies the Lord. Yet, this is what the author does so well—he combines his many years of experience as a practitioner with his understanding of the Bible to highlight what the Word of God teaches and illuminate the hope that Jesus provides in His finished work.
At my local church, I serve in a variety of ministries—including as a leader of the Men’s Ministry. I also lead the Men’s Evening Bible Study on Wednesdays. I’ve heard the stories of how many men (not only in my local church, but also outside of it) have wrestled with an addiction to pornography, and have either overcome it or are currently struggling with it. Like John Freeman, I know well this struggle. It is one of the most terrible issues that Christians must speak out about. This book will help ministry leaders to think properly about sexual sin, and to help the people of God to come out of the shadows and into the light of God’s presence. I highly recommend this book and believe it will help both the struggling individual and the disciple to understand, not only the issue of sexual sin, but the hope that the gospel of Jesus provides to sinners and saints alike.
Buy the book at Hide or Seek: When Men Get Real with God About Sex, WTS books, or from New Growth Press.
Author: John Freeman
Publish: New Growth Press (2014)
I received this book for free from New Growth Press for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”