The Death of Porn by Ray Ortlund

The Death of Porn: Men of Integrity Building a World of Nobility - Ortlund, Ray - 9781433576690

Ortlund, Ray. The Death of Porn: Men of Integrity Building a World of Nobility. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2021. 144 pp. $16.99. Purchase at Westminster Books for less.

Introduction

Ray Ortlund is the President of Renewal Ministries. He has been in the ministry for over 40 years.

Summary

Divided into two parts consisting of three chapters each and written as six letters from a father to a son, Ray tackles the scourge on society that is pornography. The first part seeks to reintroduce the characters of the story of man. Ortlund looks at the reality that men and women were created for royalty because Jesus is royalty. After establishing these biblical truths, he transitions to the second part seeking to equip the reader to reimagine the future.

Review

Part one offers a look at the individual persons: men, women, and Jesus. Using the pronoun “you” personalizes the first chapter when Ray declares that “you are royalty.” Much like Paul would write to Timothy or Titus as his son, Ortlund makes it clear that he is writing to men as his sons. Then, in the second chapter, Ray states that “she is royalty.” Again, by using the pronoun, “she,” he personalizes the letter. It doesn’t matter who “she” is because when it comes to pornography, especially with Christians battling against it, there is more often than not a “she” involved and that woman is royalty.

The final chapter of the first part is rooted in the truth that we are royalty because “He is royalty.” That is, Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, created us in His image so that we would be royalty. While I personally would have started here with the first letter, I appreciated the parental wisdom of Ray personalizing the first letter to “you” as it grabs your attention and alerts you that these letters are meant to be a loving personal reminder of a father’s love for his child.

The second part of this book moves from the individual person to the community of “we.” This is an essential truth that needs to be heard over and over in our world today. We do not journey alone. We do not fight alone. Instead, there are dozens of men in our congregations looking for others to engage in this battle. There are hundreds of men in our cities seeking to overcome the impossible. There are thousands of men in our nation staring down the leviathan that is pornography and just waiting for someone, anyone, to stand up and rally the troops for the battle at hand.

Ortlund is that man calling on the troops to train in their base camps (the local church) in order to engage in the skirmishes (city and state) in order to win the war against pornography. He makes it clear it will not be easy. We as men know this is true, but he makes it clear it is worthwhile and good.

His candor in writing explicitly to men is refreshing in an age when faux equality reigns supreme. His willingness to call men to accountability in a gentle and winsome manner is a model for us all. His clarion call to actually do something about the scourge that is pornography must be heeded. As is alluded to in the book, pornography is our generation’s slave trade.

Recommendation

There are countless books on battling pornography available today. What makes The Death of Porn better than those? In all honesty, it is the loving personalization of the way in which Ray writes. He doesn’t offer general sentiments of concern or generic recommendations of how to engage the battle. Rather, he offers a personalized letter written to men with specific battle plans. The skeptic in me says these will not work. The Spirit in me says this man knows what he is talking about and therefore is worth listening to. I commend The Death of Porn to any man. Maybe think of it as a dare. I dare you to read this book and apply his plan of attack and then see what the Lord will do.

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