Look Straight Ahead - A Call to Men for Moral Purity
Sam Thorpe, Jr.
Paperback, 164 pages. Everyday Publications, 310 Killaly Street West, Port Colborne, Ontario, L3K 6A6 Canada. ISBN 978-0-88873-464-8.
This is a scripturally-based and balanced consideration of the temptations to sexual sin in Western society. It is a book of pastoral ministry for men and its aims are: to prevent men from falling into sexual sin; to counsel those who are to some extent caught up in it; and, to counsel elders who may find themselves having to deal with it. The introduction is straight to the point and highlights this growing problem amongst believers, in particular exposure to pornography, which is clearly defined and examined. The writer argues that this is one of Satan’s main weapons today. Is it true that it is almost impossible not to see something we would rather not each day of our lives, if not through the media (the focus of the book) then in actual life. The very real dangers are sensitively discussed. The book considers various issues in the context of the family, society and the local assembly. Issues addressed include: marital infidelity; controlling the mind; the matter of one’s conscience; our insensitivity to what is actually shocking; loving one’s wife; the importance of a plurality of male leadership in a local assembly; the discipling of young men; the need for expository teaching of scripture; the pastoral responsibility of elders. Each issue is handled well with scripture permeating each one, much of it quoted. There is a variety of material: statistical evidence; specific, practical advice; well-chosen, real life examples, including one in detail; visual aids; and biblical study tasks.
A consideration of one chapter may indicate the character of the book. Chapter 3 is entitled ‘Love in Action’ and is subdivided into four sections: evaluate your love; steps to victory over pornography; the fruit of an undisciplined mind; where will the world take you? Section 3 contains practical suggestions for combating temptation, e.g., a card with the words of Philippians chapter verse. 8 and a photo of one’s family placed on one’s computer monitor. The third section has seven scripture references, all quoted, plus four interspersed paragraphs of comment. The conclusion to the chapter has a bold rectangular block with a capitalized headline, two exhortations and five scripture references to look up. This is a book to read and ponder.
Regrettably, one adverse comment is necessary, but only one. The writer states that Christ forgives us ‘unconditionally’ and ‘He forgives us regardless of our attitude to Him’. This is very misleading.
[Our thanks to Bryan Charles, Appledore, Devon, UK for this review]