A Review of “Finally Free” by Heath Lambert

freeI have read more on the subject of pornography than I ever wanted to. Several years ago I took a full year to study a theology of sex and in the process read a number of books on the cultural epidemic that is pornography. It was actually a frustrating study on a number of fronts. It was frustrating in particular because a great number of these works said the same things, tended towards overly explicit descriptions, and were often lacking in practical help. I thought to myself, “There are very few books on this subject that I can recommend to those who are struggling.” Heath Lambert has seen the same problems in the present literature and that’s in part why he wrote Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace. This is probably the most practically oriented Christian work on pornography that I have ever read!

Lambert states that the book has a very clear and focused purpose. The book does not give us statistics on porn, the effects of porn, or the problem with porn. Lambert assumes that if we are interested in reading this book it is largely because we already know these things. His book focuses more directly on practice. He writes:

This book provides eight clear strategies to help you work out o your salvation and experience freedom from your desire for pornography. These strategies are tools designed to help you turn from sin to righteousness based on the work of Christ. (14)

The chapters in the book develop these eight strategies with focus and depth. In these chapters Lambert takes common ideas and gives them fresh emphasis. His chapter on accountability is particularly helpful in that he gives instruction on how to use accountability in effective ways, and points to weaknesses in the way many of us have used in it in the past. He also turns the tables on the subject of grace, so that grace becomes more than just a topic we discuss, but rather a “power we experience” (19).

Lambert’s eight strategies focus on Biblical themes and are each supported by Scripture. This is a very Biblical approach to pornography recovery. He establishes the grace of God in both forgiveness and transforming power as the “foundation” for our fight for purity. He moves on the following chapters, then, to distinguish between worldly and godly sorrow. He addresses practical tips for using accountability well, zeroes in on specific “radical measures” we need to take to cut off access to porn. He examines the roles of confession, marriage, singleness, humility, and gratitude for fighting porn. Then he rounds off the book with a look at the power of a dynamic relationship with Jesus. Lambert, like a good Biblical counselor, balances well the call to holiness and the dependence on grace that is needed in the life of the believer. The practical orientation of the book makes this a unique contribution to the current available literature, and yet he never suggests that we just need more will power to fight. The heart of the book is always the transforming grace of God accessed by faith in the work of Christ.

Readers may not hear a lot that is terribly new in this book, yet they will surely hear it in fresh and practical language. I was very impressed with Lambert’s work. It evidences sensitivity, conviction, and awareness. As a pastor, counselor, and professor he has examined this subject from a lot of angles and approaches it with a storehouse of experience and knowledge. This is the book I have been looking for! In years past I have used Mark Driscoll’s Porn Again Christian (which is too explicit), Tim Chester’s Closing the Window (which gave lots of information but less practical help than I had hoped), and Steve Gallagher’s At The Altar of Sexual Idolatry (which had some bad theology aimed at perfectionism). But Finally Free is the exact resource I have been waiting on. I highly recommend this resource both to those who struggle and those who seek to offer counsel and help to them. Finally Free is the most practical and Biblical book on fighting for purity I have ever read.

Comments

  1. Good review, Dave. I have this book on my ever growing “Books To Read” list. I’m excited to dig into it because I’ve heard great things about it. I’ve also read “Porn Again Christian” and I didn’t find it too helpful at all. To me, it was more like a “Ok, you can so ‘this’, and you shouldn’t consider it a sin because of ‘this’ ” kind of book…if that makes sense. Thank you for this review, though. It makes me look forward to reading “Finally Free” even more now. Grace and Peace, brother.

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