January 14, 2006

Book Review & Recommendation: Not Even A Hint

I suspect that many have read this book by Josh Harris. It has a changed title and cover design than it did when it first hit the shelves. It's now called Sex is not the Problem (Lust is). From what I read on his website that the cover was changed because Max Lucado wrote a book with the same basic cover design as Harris used several years prior on Not Even a Hint. (I guess I wouldn't want my writing confused with Lucado's either.)

If you are out of your 20's, you may be tempted to think of Harris as just a teen writer, who is popular because he wrote a dating book. Let me assure you, this guy is solid. This book is, well...frank! He doesn't mince words. He probably is too open and honest to fit in most of the 'solid, fundamentalist' churches where I'm from. That is not a slap on the churches, but rather the type of Christians that seem to exist today.

Harris trumpets the theme that without constant dependence on God's grace, you cannot see victory over any sin. If you are looking to feel good about yourself, don't read this book. (Although, it would be good for you.) Even with a strong focus on God's grace, Harris does not fall into 'let go and let God' mentality. He includes strategic tips incorporating wisdom into the picture.

In the opening chapter Harris quotes Jerry Bridges saying, "Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace" (11). This book was like a road sign that pointed me back to God's grace. We can become so dependent upon a plan or a feel good strategy that we don't depend on His grace. It almost goes without saying that if you aren't wise in areas of temptation, staying away from things that trigger you, you will continue to struggle. But Harris's point is that without God's grace, any 'change' you see is merely temporary moral reform.

Praise be to God for His grace, greater than our sin. (Romans 5:20)