It was a long time ago now that I wrote a book on pornography. And in a way it was a very different time. Back then the problem was just as pervasive as it is today, but that pervasiveness was still quite new and poorly understood. There were relatively few resources meant to help those who had fallen into troubling or even addictive patterns. Porn was still assumed to be solely a temptation for guys.
Today, though, no one can dispute the nearly universal reach of pornography—a reach so great that few young adults can truly claim they have been untouched by it. Today we know that while men may still be more likely to turn to porn casually or compulsively, many women do as well. And today we have a host of great tools meant to help people who are caught up in it and who long to be free.
Shortly after I wrote my book on the topic I realized that I had created a bit of a media mismatch. Where most people encounter porn in video format, books are in print. And where porn can be delivered freely, privately, and discreetly, books have to be purchased and carried around. In response I began to map out a video project that would address porn through a series of videos that could be accessed as early and discreetly as the smut it was meant to combat. Unfortunately I was unable to afford to create this myself and unable to secure funding, so the project fell by the wayside.
But if I had been able to make that series, it might have been similar to a new “teaching documentary” titled Into the Light which is now available to watch free online. The documentary had its genesis with two young men who made four simple observations: “There are pervasive sins that affect every Christian in the local church (like pornography); Books can equip Christians to fight sin and care for each other; However, not everyone is a reader; Therefore we need video resources to equip and inspire Christians.” Fair enough! So they set out to create that video resource, and I’m pleased to say they succeeded well.
The format of Into the Light is simple and effective. It is framed around six teaching sessions from six different teachers, all of whom have some expertise on the topic: Jeremy Pierre, Jenny Solomon, Heath Lambert, Deepak Reju, Ellen Dykas, and Garrett Kell. Pierre begins by discussing the nature of sexual sin and its consequences and Solomon follows by explaining God’s good design for our sexuality. Heath Lambert tells of the heart and how it is corrupted by pornography while Reju describes the necessity of taking radical measures to battle it. Ellen Dykas’ assignment is to tell how to run with endurance. Garrett Kell speaks last and enters a passionate plea to pursue freedom from this sin within the context of the local church. Woven throughout is the story of one young couple (a composite of many others) who tell of the history they brought into their marriage and the means through which God confronted, forgave, and healed them. At the end pastor Daniel Shin brings a final challenge and call to action.
I have been aware of Into the Light for some time now and had been slated to appear in it until we encountered some scheduling conflicts. I know the young men behind it as students at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and recipients of the Nick Challies Memorial Scholarship. They have made a professional-quality documentary that I think can and will prove helpful to those who are engaged in the battle against porn. It is a gift to the church and one I’d encourage you to make use of.