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ss nucleus - summer 2006,  Every Man's Battle / Every Young Man's Battle (Book Review)

Every Man's Battle / Every Young Man's Battle (Book Review)

Every Man's Battle - Stephen Arterburn & Fred Stoeker - Waterbrook Press 2000 - £7.59 Pb - 256pp - ISBN 1578569682

Every Young Man's Battle - Stephen Arterburn & Fred Stoeker - Waterbrook Press 2000 - £7.59 Pb - 240pp - ISBN 1578565375

I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mt 5:28)

This passage seems to set Christian men an unattainable standard for holiness, especially in the modern world of sex on the TV, sex on the internet, sex on posters and the fashion of really short skirts that got my flat mate jealous for her boyfriend's attention this morning. How can we avoid sex without walking into things or becoming dangerous drivers? Surely it's just how guys are?

Every Man's Battle is a call to sexual purity. In the examination of Scripture and examples demonstrating the firm hold and heavy damage done by sexual sin, this book inspires us to fight, not only in avoiding extra-marital sex, but right to the roots of our eyes and our minds.

Jesus is a hard act to follow, but we are directed to the example of Job who, just a man, said, 'I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl' (Jb 31:1). To follow this example the authors give a detailed, viable plan for guarding our eyes and our minds. Knowing that we are set free from the bondage of sin this plan considers that sexual sin is a habit rather than a master and treats it accordingly.

As they say with Yorkie chocolate bars, 'it's not for girls'. These books look into the dark box that every guy has to deal with. Every Man's Battle contains passages written by women who have read the book, describing their greater understanding but also their revulsion towards how men often think. So please girls, be warned – you might be shocked, but give your boyfriend grace and allow him to read it!

But why review both books together? The one problem I find with this series, apart from the slightly American analogies about mustangs (is that like a horse?), is that it misses me, a single 23 year old, as a target. Every Man's Battle is concentrated on married men. Every Young Man's Battle is more concentrated on teenagers who are dating. However, between the two books I feel equipped for this battle and therefore I recommend that if you're a guy and you're not Jesus then both these books would be a blessing to you too.

Reviewed by:
Peter Christian
Clinical student at Imperial College, London

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