“Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is knocking for God.” – G. K. Chesterton
What if lust for porn is really a search for true passion?
In a world where there are 68 million searches for pornography every day and where over 70 percent of Christian men report viewing porn in the last year, it's no surprise that more and more men struggle with an addiction to this false fantasy. Common wisdom says if they just had more willpower or more faith, their fight would be over. Is the answer really that simple?
According to the counselor and ministry leader Michael John Cusick, the answer is nobut the big truth may be much more freeing.Backed by scripture, Cusick uses examples from his own life and from his twenty years of counseling experience to show us how the pursuit of empty pleasure is really a search for our heart's deepest desireand the real key to to resistance is discovering and embracing the joy we truly want.
Cusick's insights help readers understand how porn struggles begin, what to do to prevent them, and most importantly, how to overcome the compulsion once it begins. In the end, this powerful book shows us all how the barrier built by porn addiction can become a bridge to abundant life.
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SURFING FOR GODDiscovering The Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle
By MICHAEL JOHN CUSICK
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Michael John Cusick
All right reserved.
Chapter OneGetting Your feathers Back
Sometimes god brings gifts into our lives that make our hands bleed when we open the package. But inside we discover what we've been looking for all our lives. —SHEILA WALSH
FBI Raids Escort Service.
Shivers raced down my spine as I inhaled deeply. I never expected to see this headline on the front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A major sting operation on a local prostitution service made big-time news because several well-known professional athletes were involved. The FBI had confiscated the owner's little black book, complete with names and intimate details of customers. My name was hiding in that little black book.
Instantly my worst fears came true. At only twenty-four years old, my secret immoral life, which I had worked so hard to conceal, was about to be exposed: My porn addiction and frequent trips to adult bookstore video booths. My promiscuity, including the club hopping that none of my friends or ministry colleagues had any idea about. The alcohol abuse that became increasingly necessary to numb my shame, depression, and self-hatred. The massage parlors. The strip clubs. The endless cruising for sex-for-pay on darkened streets. And finally, the escort services—an innocent sounding euphemism for high-priced prostitution services that I couldn't afford but also couldn't stop myself from using.
In utter panic, my imagination launched into overdrive. I thought about the legal fallout. I imagined my mug shot in the paper. I pictured myself in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit, standing before a judge. I envisioned myself locked behind bars, cornered by a gang of angry, tattooed cell mates. Then I imagined my friends and family and all the questions they would shoot at me. Who is this Michael we never knew? How could you do such disgusting things? What kind of person are you, anyway? All these questions I asked myself as I projected my shame and anxiety onto those I loved.
Somehow, I mindlessly endured that calamitous day, although I knew that the burning nausea in my gut would never go away. I felt utterly isolated. I couldn't trust anyone with my story. But with the likelihood of this news going public, I knew I had to talk to someone. That evening I phoned my sister and asked her to meet me. Sitting in her car in an empty parking lot, I poured out my story as the tears flowed and my face burned with shame. After offering immense grace and kindness, she gave me the number of a Christian counselor. The next morning I phoned and made an appointment.
Fast-forward twenty-four hours. I waited in the counselor's lobby. Right at the top of the hour, the door to the waiting room opened and out stepped Mike. As I sized him up, I realized he didn't fit my expectations for a counselor. For one thing, he was tall and masculine—not like the mild-mannered, neurotic-looking TV shrinks. He motioned me into the inner sanctum of his office, where I nervously made a wisecrack about lying on the couch, Freudian-style. I expected at least a chuckle, or some kind of reaction, but Mike just sat in his chair, unaffected.
"How can I be of help?" he asked, wasting no time and looking right into me.
This guy doesn't mess around, I thought. A little chitchat would be nice before I spill the beans. But I wasn't there to mess around, either. So I took the plunge and told him things I had never told another human being. Over forty-five minutes I talked nonstop with an air of bravado and repartee that I had long ago mastered for situations such as this. With a smile on my face and in my best storytelling persona, I told him about the sexual abuse that occurred throughout my childhood. He learned about my early exposure to pornography and my addiction to porn magazines, videos, adult video arcades, and massage parlors. I confessed to him my history with prostitutes and escort services. Through all of this he just listened as if none of this shocked him.
I spoke as if Mike and I were old friends just having a beer together, cracking jokes and telling stories I thought would make him laugh. But I couldn't elicit any kind of response apart from his strong, kind, unwavering presence. After listening for nearly an hour, Mike conspicuously lifted his arm, looked at his watch, and spoke his first words since asking how he could help.
"We're almost out of time. I'd like to offer a few thoughts."
It's about time, I thought. It's pretty unnerving to talk for fifty minutes about stuff you've never told anyone without hearing any response. I listened for his verdict.
"I have a comment and a question," he began. "First, the comment.
"You strike me as a very lonely man."
Eight simple words. But they knocked the emotional wind out of me. My body language and facial expression didn't change, but a swirl of unpleasant emotions rose inside of me. I wasn't sure why, but I wanted to get out of that room. Then Mike continued.
"And now my question," he said with complete gentleness. "Are you ever at a loss for words?"
If his comment knocked the wind out of me, his question wrapped its hands around my windpipe. Suddenly I couldn't breathe. Isn't that totally socially inappropriate? I thought reflexively. But deep down I knew he'd nailed me. After less than one hour together, this stranger uttered two sentences that exposed my bruised and stubborn heart. With uncanny accuracy he summed up something about me that I knew was true but couldn't admit. Hiding beneath the veneer of a finely crafted Christian image was a profoundly lonely boy-man. I was as uncomfortable in my own skin as any poser who ever existed. I was a broken man.
My life proved author Gerald May's assertion that self-deception is one of the chief characteristics of addiction. You may find it strange to know that in all the years of my struggle with sexual sin, I never saw myself as a broken man. But brokenness was the very thing I couldn't acknowledge and tried to avoid by relentlessly working harder and harder to conceal the cracks in my soul.
In fact, shortly after becoming a Christian, I wrote a phrase attributed to Charles Spurgeon on the inside cover of my Bible: "A Bible that's falling apart is usually owned by someone who isn't." Right there, in large print and all caps, I established the cardinal rule for my fledgling faith. No falling apart. No weakness. Hold it together whatever the cost. Spurgeon's message was clear to my mind. A broken life—a life that's falling apart—and a life of intimacy with Christ were incompatible. So I set out to read my Bible until it was dog-eared and falling apart with the hidden hope that my very broken life would hold together. But then I lost my feathers and discovered I could no longer fly.
I will never forget the first time I made a serious effort to get my feathers back so I could fly again. One day in my junior year of high school—with utter sincerity and a genuine desire to honor God—I made a decision: porn and compulsive masturbation would no longer be a part of my life. As a brand-new follower of Jesus, I made the decision to clean house. When no one else was home, I grabbed my stack of hard-core porn magazines from under my mattress and carried them down to the basement incinerator where we burned our garbage.
With a strange mixture of anxiety and pride, I opened the incinerator, placed the magazines inside, and said good-bye to my struggles with lust, masturbation, and pornography. I lit a match and held it to a centerfold that burned with the fiery intensity it used to ignite in me. As I closed the lid, I imagined my compulsive sin going up in smoke with the paper those illicit images were printed on. A little while later I checked to make sure they had completely burned, not wanting anyone to discover my shameful secret. All that remained was a pile of gray ash. Feelings of relief and hope rose inside me in a way I had never experienced. This was the end.
You can probably guess what happened next. Months later I repeated the same pattern, except with a new stash of porn. I hoped to get my feathers back. Instead I discovered once again that I couldn't fly.
ALL OF US SHARE A BIPOLAR STRUGGLE
In listening to thousands of men—friends, acquaintances, students, clients—I have heard a thousand variations of sending our struggles up in smoke, only to discover that after the smoke has risen, the struggle still lies hidden in the ashes. In the old PC (pre-computer) days, men tried throwing away videotapes or burning magazines. Today they delete their porn-saturated hard drives or shred their hidden stash of DVDs. Their efforts come from deep and meaningful commitments of genuine surrender—only to return to masturbation and porn. Then follows the onset of increased shame, self-contempt, distance from God, loss of confidence, loss of intimacy, and loss of passion. Finally, they give up.
Their passions swing like a pendulum. First they swing toward the familiar pattern of lust that leads to sexual sin. The power of erotic beauty becomes so irresistible that they risk anything and everything for its pursuit. Then they swing toward a genuine desire to walk with God and follow His ways, to be better husbands and fathers, men worthy of respect. Back and forth it goes.
Scripture addresses this bipolar struggle with stunning clarity. The apostle Paul gave us an honest description of our battle with sin. Though he wasn't directly referring to sexual sin, his description of the pain, shame, confusion, and powerlessness resonates universally:
What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.
But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? (Rom. 7:15–24 MSG)
Paul may as well have been reading our e-mail. Actually, by drawing from his own struggles, he brilliantly captured the inner workings of the human soul: the battle between flesh and spirit, the old man and the new man, right and wrong, and the difference between what we long for and what we settle for. The struggle was not unique to Paul; nor is it unique to anyone struggling with pornography and sexual sin. But Paul's authentic and vulnerable confession assures us that such a struggle doesn't automatically mean we're unbelievers or spiritually immature. The intensity of our struggle, which feels overwhelming, does not invalidate our faith.
In fact, identifying this struggle and acknowledging our failure to manage it gives us the hopeful building blocks of a growing belief and true maturity. Of course, we can remain stuck in this place Paul described. But no one wants to stay tied to the bungee cord of acting out and trying harder to do better—we end up with emotional whiplash. No, according to Paul, we are created for more than this snap-back-and-forth cycle. And he was only describing three-quarters of the message in the passage I just gave you. His critical point offers the heart of the good news: we can be free "through Jesus Christ our Lord" (v. 25).
YOU WERE DESIGNED FOR MORE
Have you ever wondered what makes a certain act sinful and another not sinful? Why is it wrong to lie? Or kill? Or commit adultery? Who says viewing porn is wrong when our culture tries to reassure us that it's natural and normal—in fact, based on popular consumption and the ten-billion-dollar industry it generates, you're abnormal if you don't view porn!
One way of thinking about why something is sinful is to respond, "It says in the Bible that it's wrong." While true, God put dos and don'ts into the Bible because they reveal something much deeper about us. When God tells us not to commit adultery, He is telling us that doing this goes against our design. "Do not commit adultery" is God's version of "Do not brush your teeth with a toaster" or "Do not grill steaks on a block of ice." It just can't accomplish what it was designed to do. Like sailing the seven seas in a Chevy pickup—it doesn't get the job done, and you put yourself at great risk.
Or consider porn this way. Wouldn't it be rather odd if a trained fighter pilot never left the hangar for fear of not knowing how to fly the jet? Or consider a gifted sculptor who never picked up his hammer and chisel because he couldn't find the perfect block of marble. What if a major-league baseball player didn't show up for practice because he spent all his time playing baseball on his Xbox? Or a master shipbuilder never sailed the open waters because his fantasy of the perfect seaworthy vessel kept him on dry ground?
This is what porn is like. It allures us with the image or fantasy of being with a woman, while preventing us from being able to actually engage with a real woman. Porn keeps us from flying the jet, getting in the game, or sailing the high seas. All because we settle for something that doesn't exist and will never satisfy us.
So how does porn go against our design as men and sabotage God's dream for us to live out our true identities? C. S. Lewis spoke to the heart of this question when he wrote about the soul damage caused by sexual fantasy (whether through masturbation or pornography) and what he called "imaginary women." Lewis described these imaginary women this way: "Always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadow brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity."
Lewis began with the assumption that sex is good, not bad—a gift to be enjoyed within God-designed boundaries. He also framed his words against the backdrop that "the main work of life is to come up and out of ourselves." Lewis assumed that God designed us to mature and become less focused on ourselves and more focused on loving others. When we fixate on porn, we choose to remain selfishly anchored to our own pleasure above all else. When we preoccupy ourselves with meeting our own needs and ignoring the needs of others-in this case, our wives, flesh-and-blood women, and not some Photoshopped model-then we stifle our spiritual growth. Lewis summed up the problem with pornography this way: "In the end, [imaginary women] become the medium through which he increasingly adores himself. After all, the main work of life is to come out of ourselves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in.... All things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison."
Lewis calls us to remember what a man is made for: our deepest longing is to know God in the center of our being, and out of that place to offer ourselves for the sake of others. Augustine4 taught about the theological idea of incurvatus se—a life turned in on itself. Porn successfully accomplishes this—it causes our soul to turn in on itself in self-absorbed isolation and shame. It diminishes our souls. It seduces a man to use women to meet a need in himself—without meeting any of her needs. And this act of "using" comes not only at her expense but also at the devastating cost of his own heart. We don't realize the price we pay until we feel empty and bankrupt inside.
You were created for something bigger than yourself. You were created for excurvatus se—a life lived outward. Not outward as in codependent or being a martyr. Not dying to self in a way where legitimate needs are neglected. But a life that flows from a deep source. A life that bears fruit. A life lived outwardly enhances, builds up, and causes the heart to flourish. Donald Miller has suggested that we are trees in the story of a forest. And that story of the forest is better than the story of the trees. Pornography perverts and upends this idea with titillating images that invite us to live as if the story of the trees were the only story, and the story of the forest doesn't exist.
Excerpted from SURFING FOR GOD by MICHAEL JOHN CUSICK Copyright © 2012 by Michael John Cusick. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: What's Better than Porn? xi
Chapter 1 Getting Your Feathers Back 1
Chapter 2 It's Not About Sex 12
Chapter 3 Insatiable Thirst 25
Chapter 4 Gathering the Broken Pieces 37
Chapter 5 Exposing the Counterfeits 53
Chapter 6 Shame and Core Beliefs 66
Chapter 7 The Soul Snare Path 81
Chapter 8 Your Good Heart 94
Chapter 9 The Invisible Battle 108
Chapter 10 Your Brain on Porn 122
Chapter 11 Less Is More 138
Chapter 12 The Soul Care Highway 151
Chapter 13 Freedom to Live 164
Chapter 14 Going Under the Knife 177
Conclusion: Becoming the Hero That You Are 192
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book was recommended to me by my wife and the insight has lead me closer to Jesus and in return has lead me to a group of men that had the same struggles. I am now 2 years into fighting the battle and refer to this book often and refer friends to Surfing for God in the hopes they to can start a journey to healing and transformation. God Bless
This book is excellent and should be read by all men. We have been taught that pornography is just fine, but when you are addicted to it you will find that it is never fine. The author is very straight forward and helpful in dealing with this problem. It will open up your eyes to the problem we have here in the US. As Christians we need to acknowledge that it is a huge problem in the Church. There are answers and there can be healing. May you read with an open mind. Mike
Driving home from work listening to christian radio I was introduced to this book and has been a blessing to me. For those men who want to be real, this book is a must. This book will open your eyes and will help you understand why we men struggle with porn and how we can do something about it. RB
Surfing For God is a book written on the subject of sexual struggle from a Christian perspective. More specifically this book deals with issues of lust and pornography, the fallout that occurs when our hearts and minds are consumed with such things, and also how there is hope and that victory can be found. The author Michael John Cusick is both an ordained minister and a licensed counsellor with a very powerful story of his own battle with sexual purity. He brings both personal experience and professional expertise to this subject. Having taught and led small groups on this subject, I have reviewed and read numerous resources on lust and sexual purity and I have to say that this book is by far the strongest material I have read. What I appreciated most about Cusick's approach is how balanced it is (the spiritual & the physical) and how the answer to the problem isn't "try harder". Cusick makes it clear from the beginning that our hope to live whole lives, free from sexual struggle and lust, doesn't come from trying harder, managing our sin, or assembling a group of accountability partners, but rather our hope is found in the cross. It's in the Gospel of Jesus that freedom can be found. Freedom is found in heart transformation, not numerous attempts at behavior modification. Cusick talks thoroughly about this subject from a spiritual and scriptural perspective, but also talks about the physical make up of our brain and how pornography literally changes how our brain functions. This chapter is fascinating and does an excellent job of explaining the chemical reactions that happen in the brian in a way that everyone can understand. In the end this book brings so much hope to the struggle men have with the issue of lust. Cusick guides his readers to discover the lies that we base our faith and struggle on and to replace those lies with truth. Our identity as Christian men is not defined by the world, our struggle, or our own opinions, but rather is determined by the God who created us and died for us. I highly recommend this book to men who are struggling with lust and pornography and/or to anyone who has a loved one struggling in this area. If you teach on this subject or lead a small group or recovery group, I would also suggest reading this book. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Surfing for GodDiscovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle By Michael Cusick Published by Thomas Nelson Michael's book is a fresh breathe in the men's self help books. I spent time in my under grad and graduate work doing research on pornography addiction and this book I feel is a valuable resource. Cusick addresses the validity of the addiction and the struggle of it and uses his own personal experiences as a counselor and an individual who he himself has experienced the struggle. He addresses not only the psychological but also the spiritual, physical and practical levels of the struggle. I appreciate that Cusick spoke to the spiritual warfare side of things and addressed that the battle is not just the psychological aspects. Many people fail to understand the whole picture of the addiction and the addict and only look at select aspects of the issues. Cusick handles well the issues and helps the reader to see that the struggle is really tied to their search for God and true intimacy and love. He helps the reader to understand and hear the lies that they believed about themselves that may tie them to their struggle or addiction whatever it may be. Cusick writes in specific about sexual addiction but his principles can be used to address many addictions and struggles. This book is a definite must read for any person who struggles with sexual addiction. I also think any pastor or youth pastor should read this book and use it as a reference in their counseling.
Review: Watching the news recently I noticed how many stories revolved around extramarital affairs, addiction to pornography, and call girl solicitation, and most of the people involved were married. I was appalled thinking about the guilty party's significant other. Did they know? Were they shocked? Were they angry? What did they decide to do about it? Etc... To find out that someone you love is cheating, (physically or mentally), must be absolutely horrible, and I can only imagine the pain and emotional hurdles one must face after such a transgression. So when I got the chance to read Surfing for God I was compelled to hear Michael Cusick's take on why some people are so tempted to indulge in forms of cheating or adultery online. I admit, I have seen an occasional pop-up advertisement for "Find Sexy Singles Now!" or "For Better Sex, Click Here" while browsing the inter-webs, but my thought has always been, "Who the heck is going to click on those?". Well, I haven't, but I do know people that have, and that forbidden curiosity got them into more trouble than they thought possible, nearly toppling a marriage and leaving their relationships strained. I liked the overall format of the book. The flow seemed to work pretty well and the progression from "What's Better than Porn" to "Becoming the Hero that You Are" followed an enlightening and scripture-filled path that allowed for deep reflection on discussed topics. Michael Cusick talked about his own struggles with pornography/strip clubs throughout the book, using his experiences with temptation to emphasize the debilitating effects of any addiction. I could tell by the way that he described the situations, and how he dealt with them, that he genuinely wanted to help other men with similar problems; allowing the lost sense of kinship with God to return to them. However, I felt that the overall tone was one of punishment, and some of the sections seemed to berate the reader - don't get me wrong, in these situations someone needs to "put their foot down", but will a man read a book that continuously blames him, with no reprimand for society and the media? It is not just the individual's fault, (though they are the primary instigator), but also the fault of those that allow such material to be showcased for all to see. There was a lot of judgement going on, and even I felt guilty - for what? I am not sure. For this reason, I cannot call the book inspirational, even if it is meant for Christians. Another aspect that I did not quite care for was the language, which was very crude in some instances - it got the point across, but there were other ways to explain things without it. Overall, I feel that Surfing for God is a great tool for any man who struggles with indiscretions or addiction, or those who are curious them, but I wish that women had also been a target audience. There are women with the same types of problems that could definitely benefit from some guidance. Good book for getting control of core issues and getting back to God. Rating: On the Run (4/5) *** I received this book from the author (Book Sneeze) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
“Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God.” – G.K. Chesterton Michael Cusik uses this quote by Chesterton as a stepping stone for his new book, Surfing for God: Discovering the Divine Desire beneath the Sexual Struggle. Most books about men’s struggles focus on controlling lust or diverting your eyes. They seldom get to the real issues as to why lust is present. Cusik does that. He looks at the struggle with pornography as being a heart issue, not just a lust issue. He discusses the emotional and spiritual needs men are often seeking when they struggle. I recommend the book for men, ministers who work with men, or anyone who cares about men (and no, this isn’t just a male issue, but this book is primarily directed to men). It offers healing and freedom. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Cusick is an ordained minister and counselor who draws from his own experience with the restoring touch of God in his deeply broken life and marriage, broken by his many sexual sins and addictions. Cusick’s insights help you understand how porn struggles begin, what to do to prevent them (hugely important information!), and how to overcome the compulsion once it begins. My favorite chapter is “It’s Not About Sex”, this chapter discusses the “broken promises of porn”, which are: validation of our manhood without requiring strength, sexual fulfillment without relationship, intimacy without requiring risk and suffering, passion and life without connection to your soul, power over women without responsibility and humility and comfort and care without depending on others. I felt completely enlighten by this information and this topic sparked some very interesting dialogue between my husband and I. I always assumed this subject was rather cut and dry but it is a very complex struggle, especially for men. This book is not a long book (197 pages) and is a very quick read but I was surprised by the amount of material that was covered and how in depth most topics were discussed. While it is a “self help” book, it was still a “page turner” I found myself very interested in this topic. It’s no secret that American church and family is being torn apart by pornography, infidelity, sexual abuse and every other kind of sexual immorality. We typically think about men struggling with these issues but there is a rising number of women who now struggle with sexual sin, too. This is very important information for all to have. I would recommend this book not only to anyone struggling with a sexual addiction, but to parents of any young person and also to anyone who counsels people struggling with sexual addictions. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Do you think Every Man's Battle (Arterburn & Stoeker) and Wild at Heart (Eldredge) are good books? Add to your bookshelf Surfing for God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle, by Michael John Cusick. I know what you’re thinking; the title of the book is a bit odd. I was hesitant to read this book, given my opinion that ‘porn use/lust’ and ‘God’ were unrelated. However, do not be mislead. The book is more practical than it is theological. Mr. Cusick does make a few points to make a correlation between 'viewing pornography' and 'searching for God.' For the most part, this argument is weak and it is not really the brunt of the book. In my opinion, it is a poor book title choice. However, the book is fairly substantive; it does waste very much of its 197 pages. I also thought that it got more interesting the further I read. It is obviously interdenominational. There are some theological issues with the book, and his choice of paraphrased Bible translations for his scriptures is ill advised (The Message, Updated NIV, etc...). He waters down our Lord's teaching in Matthew 5:29-30, saying that it “misses the point entirely” of Christ’s teaching to take drastic measures to avoid the temptation of lust (“drastic,” i.e. moving your computer somewhere that isn’t as tempting). Cusick also erroneously explains (I believe) one of Paul’s writings in Romans 7, possibly leaving people with the impression that they are not accountable to God for the sexual sin in their lives. If we are not accountable for our sins, why try to overcome them? However, he goes into new territory compared to other books. The intricacies of how pornography affects the brain are discussed in great detail (chapter 10). He also provides a fairly detailed plan on how to break an addiction to pornography (and it ain't fluffy). These are things that I believe are lacking in most other books on the topic of pornography and sexual perversion and lust. I would recommend this book not only to men struggling with a sexual addiction, but also to anyone who counsels men struggling with sexual addictions. This book will help everyone get a better understanding of the devil’s foothold of sexual temptation and enslavement in the lives of millions of men. Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of fair and honest review.
My Thoughts- This book is a must read for any man who may be struggling with sexual problems or may know someone who is. As a wife, I don’t think I would give it to my husband if there was not a solid relationship. There are many parts in this book that could help many with more than just sexual struggles. I think that is great, because some men may have more issues than just the sexual struggle. One of the best parts of this book was learning about the 3 Spiritual Counterfeits. They are the “counterfeit good,” “counterfeit truth,” and “counterfeit worship.” These are the works of the enemy and he uses those to lure us to him. It is his lies and temptations that keep men away from the true God and His promises. I would highly recommend this book to any man who struggles sexually. Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Surfing for God: Discovering the Divine Desire beneath the Sexual Struggle by Michael John Cusick for free from the publisher through the BookSneeze Review Bloggers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.