Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: Purity Is Possible

In her book Purity is Possible: How to Live Free of the Fantasy Trap, Helen Thorne is "honest about the murky world of our [Christian women's] minds and the impact of pornography on every facet of our lives.  But the real aim, the ultimate goal, of these pages is to encourage you to become more like Jesus, the perfect embodiment of true attractiveness," (Kindle location 106).

Ms. Thorne shows how "fantasy, erotic, and pornography--the sexual fiction we [Christian women] imagine, read, or watch--take us out of this world and transport us to a whole new dimension," (Kindle location 213).  The author does an excellent job of revealing the sin of lascivious acts without being too explicit, but her writing is still forceful enough to reveal the ugly reality of women's struggle that brings about conviction.  Even though Ms. Thorne specifically addresses sexual sin, any area of discontentment in finances, career, family, etc. can be sinful and lead to an ungodly fantasy life.

The author notes that "ungodly behaviour stems from ungodly worship," (Kindle location 367) and looks at the idols in the heart of Christian women.  She calls out the sexual sin in our lives whether in thoughts and/or actions, and then points to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  Ultimately, she points to the Bible as the "only real way to see, and keep seeing, the areas in which we [Christian women] need to change," (Kindle location 938).  She also clearly demonstrates that the mortification of sin is a synergistic process which requires the work of the Christian and the Holy Spirit.

There were a few statements in the book that I do not completely agree with Ms. Thorne, but there are two major concerns that I want to address.  The author obviously has a different view of the effectual call of salvation than I, but she recognizes the fact that not every woman reading her book is a Christian and gives a Gospel presentation.  However, her presentation is incomplete; the Gospel is more than just letting Jesus pay for our sins (Kindle location 780).  Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and He was buried and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures, (1 Cor. 15:3-4), and "these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name," (John 20:31).

In addition, Ms. Thorne's statement that "each time we mess up, God remembers the cross and pours more forgiveness into our lives," (Kindle location 864), is not consistent with orthodox Christianity.  Christians are imputed with Christ's righteousness at the moment of regeneration by the Holy Spirit.  It is done once and it is done completely.  The idea of infused righteousness that needs to be replenished is an unbiblical Roman Catholic construct.

Nevertheless, Ms. Thorne calls out sin and then provides a biblical hope of change that's not just grounded in trying to do better the next time, but gives guidance in renewing the mind to conform to the image of Christ.  She recommends specific chapters of the Bible to read and think about which provide comfort and truth to the Christian.  She knows that the process of change will not be easy, but continues to point to Jesus Christ and His power.  Therefore, I heartily recommend this book for all Christian women (young and old) who struggle not only with sexual sin, but also those who have a fantasy life that is not submissive to God's will.  The apostle Paul reminds us that "godliness with contentment is great gain," (1 Tim. 6:6); therefore, Christians should strive to be holy because God is holy, (1 Peter 1:16).

Full Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.