Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hero: Book Review

HeroI'm really excited to offer a guest post by my amazing, talented husband, John UpChurch. Hero, by Fred and Jasen Stoeker, was more along the lines of a "guy's book" so I decided to turn this one over to him. If you're interested in seeing more of John's writing, head over to More Novel by the Week for writing tips and tricks from an editor or check out his website. Enjoy!!

Salvation brought disillusionment. With no one to blame but myself, I had the mistaken belief that once I was saved, temptation would wither away like a dead leaf. I was wrong, very wrong. While I was set free, I realized that living my life for Christ meant dedicating myself to a better way.

Part of my failures before God came in and turned everything upside down involved a failure to keep myself unpolluted from the imagery of this world (i.e., pornography). And salvation did not simply remove the source of that pollution. The world really doesn't care that you've been transformed and hopes you'll ignore what it means to be set apart. My missteps there didn't simply stop overnight.

But I was disgusted by it, and I thank God for leading me to a book that gave me a new understanding of where purity starts. Purity doesn't mean simply not looking at "the really bad stuff"; it means not looking at the gateway stuff as well. For men, gateway imagery is everywhere: TV, magazines, posters at stores--pretty much everywhere.

That book, Every Young Man's Battle (EYMB), taught me how to attack the root of the issue instead of simply pruning the leaves. It was for that reason that I was excited to read a new book from Fred Stoeker in the same "trilogy" (as he refers to it), Hero. (I missed the second book, Tactics, but it teaches young men to apply what they learn in EYMB).

For Hero, Fred partners with his son Jasen to show the fruits of living out a covenant to purity. Thus, much of the book discusses how Jasen learned to apply what his father had taught him and the rewards that came with it.

The core message of this book is that men aren't heros because of deeds or accomplishments; they are heros because of their commitment to being the man God created them to be. And foremost is a desire for true purity. The world provides many arguments against purity (sadly), but Fred and Jasen do an excellent job in knocking down each one.

Any man seeking to live for God--and seeking to be a better husband and father (either now or in the future)--should take this practical, biblical advice and run with it.

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