Chester, Tim. Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free. Downer’s Grove: IVP Press, 2010. 160 pp. $15.00. Purchase at Westminster Books for $10.05.
Tim Chester is co-leader of the Crowded House, a group of international church planting networks as well as co-author of Total Church. You can read my review of a couple of Tim’s books here. Closing the Window is Tim Chester’s addition to a recent plethora of books dedicated to dealing with the sin of pornography.
Chester has divided his book into 5 chapters with an introduction and conclusion. The intro gets right down to the point with the title of “Let’s talk about porn.” This introduction is key as it sets the pace and tempo for the rest of the book. From here, the reader is challenged to call a spade a spade. Chapter one helps to show the reader what is really going on in each scene being watched. More importantly, we are given a “behind the scenes” peek at what goes on in the studio as well as the lives of the “actors” and “actresses.”
Once this foundation is laid, Chester turns our attention to the Lord who alone is able to free you from the sin of pornography. Chapter two explicitly talks about the beauty of God while chapter three moves the reader toward being freed by the grace of God. Chapter four exhorts the reader to fight for the faith. This entails a constant battle in the life of the believer. Sometimes you will fail, sometimes you will win. Regardless, as Tim shows us, it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to fight this battle.
The fifth chapter explains how, as believers, we are freed from sin–specifically, pornography. What is more, we are freed for the glory of God. The conclusion helps the reader to tie everything together and begin to win in the battle against porn.
Chester’s no-holds-barred approach to dealing with pornography is refreshing. His five-key ingredients in the battle against porn are extremely helpful and most beneficial. He offers insightful and practical advice that is necessary though not often shared in books dealing with porn. The five key ingredients (without explanation) are:
- abhorrence of porn
- adoration of God
- assurance of grace
- avoidance of temptation
- accountability to others
These five key ingredients are explained in much greater detail throughout the book. I share these with you in the hopes that it would prompt you to read this book and/or get it for someone you know who may struggle with this sin.
Do not read this book without a pen in hand. You will be writing throughout in the margins and underlining like crazy. I have said in a previous review regarding Daryl Wingerd’s book, Delivered by Desire, that I recommend it above all other books. While I still stand by that statement, I do want to qualify it with the addition of Tim Chester’s Closing the Window. These two books offer hard-hitting advice and exhortation salted with the grace and mercy offered by Christ. If you have to pick up one copy, I would actually get Closing the Window first and then Delivered by Desire. Regardless, these two resources will quickly become invaluable to your library–trust me.