Closing the Window on Porn

Closing the WindowMy book on pomography is to be published by Inter-Varsity Press in November 2010. The title will be Closing the Window: Steps to Living  Porn Free (the UK title is Captured By A Better Vision). Here’s what Inter-Varsity say about it …

Pomography is everywhere. Far too many Christians regularly use and are addicted to it, warping their perception of se xuality and relationships, destroying marriages and ministries. But Christians who struggle with pom also long for change. When we realize the unfulfilling emptiness of pom, we come to yearn for freedom from it. But what do we do? Tim Chester says that we can be captured by a better vision–a liberating confidence that God offers more than pomography does. Moving beyond pat answers or mere willpower, Chester offers spiritual, practical and corporate resources for living pom free. He exposes the false promises of pom and redirects us to the true promises of God. With assurance of God’s grace and cleansing power, we can change our desires and escape the traps and temptations of pomography. However great the challenge, God’s grace is even greater. And we can come to a place where we no longer feel the need to use pom. Close the window on pom. And open the door to freedom, integrity and new life.

You can pre-order the book here from amazon.com. In the meantime you can buy the UK edition from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

Here are some endoresments …

“One of the greatest challenges facing Christians today is the call to se xual purity and integrity. Tim Chester’s book will prove indispensable for those committed to that challenge. By exposing the lies that fuel pomography addiction and offering practical tips for staying free, he arms us with the tools we need to win the battle against pom.”

—Andy Comiskey, founder and director, Desert Stream Ministries, and author of Strength in Weakness and Naked Surrender

“Finally, a book which rightly puts the struggle with purity, pomography and se xuality into the larger biblical framework of what it means to know God in the midst of our brokenness! This is a wonderful resource to add to the arsenal of anyone serious about finding freedom from the power of pomography. In addition to that, Tim has written a book that can be effectively used by pastors and leaders. It is an excellent pastoral tool to help those dealing with and impacted by the false promises and lies of our pom-is-the-norm culture.”

—John Freeman, president, Harvest USA (www.harvestusa.org)

“Tim Chester has hit the nail on the head! Pomography is a cancer eating the heart of the church, and this excellent book tackles it head-on. As you would expect, it is thoroughly rooted in the Bible, very well researched and highly accessible. Crucially, Tim also offers fantastic practical and realistic help and advice that us men would do well to take advantage of. I highly commend this timely book.”

—Carl Beech, general director, Christian Vision for Men, http://www.cvmen.org.uk

“Tim Chester believes that churches need to talk about pom, and has written a helpful book that explains why. I believe it will be a lifeline for those who feel trapped and say, ‘I can’t change.’ It contains a message of grace, strength and hope.”

—Ian Coffey, director of leadership training, Moorlands College

“Christians think se x is great, but its misuse is bad! Pomography draws Christian men into a dark world where shame and guilt replace joy and freedom. This book superbly diagnoses the problem and points to God’s healing. Tim Chester’s writing will rescue many a marriage and restore many a man to a place where purity and passion coexist in biblical relationship.”

—Stephen and Janet Gaukroger, Clarion Trust International

“Tim Chester offers hope, and the possibility of living free from the snare of pomography. . . . Without sounding superspiritual or piling on the guilt, this book emphasizes the fact that we cannot change without God’s help. . . . Chester’s diligent research and nonjudgmental approach will, I promise, help many Christians who are struggling with pom.”

—Lyndon Bowring, executive chairman, CARE

[Before you ask, I’ve deliberately written ‘pom’ because my blog software screens expli cit words.]

Pornland

The Guardian newspaper has a great piece on a new book called Pomland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by Gail Dines (available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.). Pomland reveals the devastating affect porn is having on our culture. Here are some quotes:

“We are now bringing up a generation of boys on cruel, violent porn,” she says, “and given what we know about how images affect people, this is going to have a profound influence on their sexuality, behaviour and attitudes towards women.”

According to Dines’s research the prevalence of porn means that men are becoming desensitised to it, and are therefore seeking out ever harsher, more violent and degrading images.

“I have found that the earlier men use porn,” says Dines, “the more likely they are to have trouble developing close, intimate relationships with real women. Some of these men prefer porn to sex with an actual human being. They are bewildered, even angry, when real women don’t want or enjoy porn sex.”

Porn culture doesn’t only affect men. It also changes “the way women and girls think about their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships,” says Dines.

Images have now become so extreme that acts that were almost non-existent a decade ago have become commonplace … “To think that so many men hate women to the degree that they can get aroused by such vile images is quite profound,” says Dines. “Pornography is the perfect propaganda piece for patriarchy. In nothing else is their hatred of us quite as clear.”

Read the whole article here.

For more on overcoming pomography see my book, Captured By A Better Vision: Living Porn-Free, IVP, 2010. It’s available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

Thursday Review: Winston Smith on masturbation

A review of Winston T. Smith, It’s All About Me: The Problem with Masturbation, New Growth Press, 2009.

Available here from amazon.com. Also available as a five pack from amazon.com.

It’s All About Me is the latest in CCEF’s excellent series of pastoral booklets. It’s 20 pages long and, like the other booklets in the series, clearly designed to be used as part of a pastoral process.

Smith addresses the issue of the morality of masturbation by outlining the harmful effects it typically has on relationships. He invites the reader think about what is happening in their fantasies. “In most cases people are fawning over you. You are the centre of attention in a world where no one cares about anything but you.” We’re only three pages, but already the idolatrous nature of masturbation is being exposed. The Bible warns against making neat distinction between what happens in our minds and what happens in our lives. This selfish attitude will affect your real life relationships.

But there is hope. “Jesus didn’t come just to police our sexual lust, but to free us from it … You may not believe it, but the truth is that Jesus’ love is far sweeter than any world of self-indulgence you can create.” Smith highlights a helpful truth for any process of sanctification: “what feels like death bring life and joy”. Saying no to temptation isn’t easy. It feels like loss. But it brings life and gain.

The second half of the booklet focuses on practical strategies for change. These includes confession, community and “learning to love real people in the real in the real world”. “Instead of focusing on your fantasies and sexual satisfaction, look around at all the real people God has put into your life for you to love and serve.”

This is a great little booklet. Smith’s writing is compact and at the same accessible. Above all it’s gospel-centred. The disciplines of confession and community are highlighted, but it is clear that Jesus is the answer to the problem.

For more on overcoming pomography and masturbation see my book, Captured By A Better Vision: Living Porn-Free, IVP, 2010. It’s available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

It’s All About Me is not available in the UK. But don’t despair: I’ve written a similar kind of booklet on pomography which will be published by The Good Book Company.

Steve Jobs on freedom and porn

Pete Sanlon has a fascinating post on Steve Jobs, Apple and pom:

Jobs has argued that he wants his portable computer devices to not sell or stock pomography.

When a critic emailed him to say that this infringed his freedoms, Jobs emailed back and told him to buy a different type of computer.

Steve Jobs is a fan of Bob Dylan. So one customer emailed him to ask how Dylan would feel about Jobs’ restrictions of customers’ freedoms.

The CEO of Apple replied to say that he values:

‘Freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from pom. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin’ and some traditional PC folks feel their world is slipping away. It is.’

The interlocuter replied:

“I don’t want ‘freedom from porn’. Pom is just fine! And I think my wife would agree.”

In the most revealing line, Steve Jobs dismissed the critic thus:

“You might care more about pom when you have kids.”

Pause for a moment and consider what the above emails represent.

The CEO of one of the wealthiest, most successful international companies, responds to the email of a customer. Business prospers on the mantra ‘The customer is always right.’ Business wants the customers’ money.

But in this case, over the moral issue of pomography, Jobs is happy to tell customers to buy a different product. He argues that children and innocence ought to be preserved—and that trumps the dollar.

Google (with their motto ‘Don’t be evil’) rake in billions through pomography. Ranks of employees spend their time categorising and arranging advertising for pomography. (I know, I spent some time discussing the difficulties posed to a Christian who worked in their UK HQ.) Pomography is huge business, yet here is the CEO of Apple telling the pomography businesses to take their dollars elsewhere.

I’m delighted by Steve Jobs’ attitude to pom. I’m astonished by his biblical definition of freedom. Freedom is not about having lots of choice. We have been deceived into holding this false definition of freedom by neo-liberal economists. True freedom is the ability to choose or to be the best. God’s freedom does not lie in the fact that he can do either good or evil. It lies in the fact that he can always do and be what is best. Freedom is not being able to choose whether you view pom or not. It’s the ability to live the good life which is life in relationship to God and under his authority. And that means freedom includes freedom from pom.

For more on pomography see my book, Captured By A Better Vision: Living Porn-Free, IVP, 2010. It’s available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

HT: Justin Taylor

Porn-proofing our boys

I recently an encouraging email from someone who has read Captured By A Better Vision purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US.

He ends with this question about pom-proofing our boys. What do you think?

There was one question that the book left me asking though and I wonder if you, or any of your colleagues might address this perhaps in a blog posting sometime. There is a goldmine of inspiration and strategy in the book about how to avoid pom, and stay out of it. You make one comment though about how many users first view it when they discover their father’s stash. I have two sons – and while they will never find anything like that in this house, they will be exposed to it somewhere at some point. Your ‘ideal’ view of a man’s first view of a female body being on his wedding night is as you say as beautiful as it is unrealistic, so my question is this. As a Dad of two boys (I see from the book cover, that your kids are all girls!) how can I best equip them to deal with the challenge of the pom they will be shown? Obviously there are spiritual, practical and psychological components to this, and sharing the gospel with them and praying that they’ll get it, and be transformed by it is formative. But what else? How can a Christian Dad fight for his boys? At what age should we start to discuss it? How can the discussion be realistic for them without stimulating or inflaming their interest. I should add that my oldest son is 10, and starting to show a burgeoning interest in the female form! This could be a useful follow-up to the book perhaps?

Captured by a Better Vision Book Giveaway

My next book, Captured by a Better Vision: Living Pom-Free purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US has just been released in the UK.

For RSS or by email subscribers to this blog, I am giving away one copy of the book.

All you have to do to enter the draw is to send an e-mail with your postal address and name to bookoffer [at] timchester [dot] co [dot] uk. The deadline is Friday 26 March.

To buy the book in the US click here and to buy it in the UK click here.

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Captured By a Better Vision – Extract

My latest book is published in the UK today. Captured By a Better Vision: Living Pom-Free purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US aims to offer hope for people struggling with pom and guidance for those trying to help them. It is published today in the UK by IVP and will be published in the US InterVaristy Press. In the meantime it is available in the US from Amazon.com.

Here’s the introduction to Captured By A Better Vision.

Here’s an extract from chapter 2, ‘Freed By the Beauty of God’.

And here’s a chance to see me introducing the book …

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Porn Statistics

In my forthcoming book, Captured By a Better Vision: Living Pom-Free purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US, I describe the spread of pomography as an epidemic. Here are some stats that back up this claim …

  • Every second, 28,258 Internet users are viewing pomography and $3,075.64 is being spent on pomography
  • The pomography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink
  • There are 4.2 million pomographic websites, which is 12% of all the websites on the internet
  • Every day there are 68 million (25% of the total) search engine requests for pomographic terms
  • 42.7% of internet users view pom
  • The average age of first exposure to pomography is 11 years old and 80% of 15-17 year olds have had multiple hard-cor e exposure
  • The 35-49 age group is the largest consumer of internet pomography
  • 47% of Christians say that pomography is a major problem in the home
  • 17% of women struggle with pomography addiction and 70% of women keep their cyber activities secret
  • The USA produces 89% of all pomographic web pages (Germany are the next biggest producer, producing 4% of all pomographic web pages)

Captured by a Better Vision aims to offer hope for people struggling with pom and guidance for those trying to help them. It is published by IVP  in the UK on 19 March 2010. It will be published in the US by InterVaristy Press.

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Captured by a Better Vision – Contents and Commendations

My new book, Captured by a Better Vision: Living Pom-Free purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US, is due to be released in the UK on March 19.

Here are some commendations:

‘Fantastic practical and realistic help… I highly commend this timely book.’ Carl Beech

‘A lifeline for those who feel trapped… A message of grace, strength and hope.’ Ian Coffey

‘Will rescue many a marriage and restore many a man to a place where purity and passion coexist in biblical relationship.’ Steve Gaukroger

Here’s the table of contents:

Foreword by Lyndon Bowring

Introduction: Let’s talk about porn

1 Looking beyond the frame

2. Freed by the beauty of God

3. Freed by the grace of God

4. The fight of faith

5. Freed for the glory of God

6. Conclusion: Putting it all together

The chapter titles don’t give much away, but they do emphasise that this is not just a grim assessment of the grip that porn has on so many Christians. Instead, this is a book which brings a positive message of hope and freedom. I’ll post an excerpt in a future post to give you a flavour of the book.

You can see me talking about the book here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO3NktNg3qU

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