Since getting reacquainted and in the loop at SBC Voices, I have come to appreciate each time Thom Hunter shares a new post. His writing is always penetrating and frequently takes a tack that few will ever ponder or dare to do, usually because it is born of personal and often painful experience of the sort that few are willing to share about transparently with others. This is the main reason that I jumped at the offer to review Thom’s book, Surviving Sexual Brokenness.
If I were required to describe the book using a single word, I would go back to that same idea: transparent. This isn’t a theory book or an abstract look at the problem of sexual issues in the body of Christ. This is the story and lessons learned by a man who has been through the fire personally and been given the grace and the gift to share the lessons learned with those are at an earlier point in the journey or who have not gotten the courage to start. Make no mistake about it, this book will challenge and prod in a good way.
There may be those who question the notion of sexual brokenness that Thom is talking about in the book, but statistics bear out the depth of the issue within the church itself. We live in a culture that glorifies sex and promiscuity and promotes an “anything goes” attitude toward sex. While most churchgoers understand the inherent problem with this worldview, we have struggled with how to respond. Some pastor’s have gone along with the “sensationalization of sex” and made responding to it part of their marketing ploy if you will. Others have chosen to not say much at all. Thom addresses head on the fact of sexual brokenness that surrounds us in the pews and offers help on reaching out to those who have already wrecked into the shoals or are perilously close to such a disaster.
There is excellent advice for churches and pastor’s in this book that comes from a heart who has been on the receiving end of both helpful and hurtful help from those who were just trying to do the right thing. Thom gives excellent advice on how we can relate to and help those who are struggling without compromising the truth of Scripture and God’s standards of righteousness. He also invites us to take a hard look at attitudes and behaviors that may lead us to isolate or destroy our ability to minister to those who need it most, the broken. One statement that stood out was, “from him who fails much, much failure is expected.” This encapsulates the problem we so often have in extending the same grace to others or even ourselves that we so desperately need to have and to give.
I do not hesitate to recommend this book and I cannot imagine any person who would not benefit from reading it. The issues surrounding sex and sexuality and how we respond to them, particularly in the areas of sexual sin are going to be a flashpoint for years to come. If you want to be prepared ahead of time instead of scrambling for wisdom in how to respond in the wake of a crash and burn disaster, you should read what Thom has shared. His wisdom from experience will provide grace for the reader and insight for the storm. I am grateful to him for providing me a copy to read so that I could equip myself and those around me for the days ahead.