In the introduction, the author, Jack Skett, tells us that “This is a book about porn. Of course, porn is about sex, so in essence this is a book about sex… Christians are not generally accustomed to talking about sex”. This is the Christian take on porn.
Skett became addicted to internet pornography as a teenager for a short time in the Noughties. He describes how porn changed the way he viewed women, objectifying them and leading him to understand that they existed only for his (male) gratification. It also made him secretive and dishonest, even with his own brother. At this time in his life he was attending church with his family, and exploring his Christian faith. At a Christian youth camp in 2006, he attended an evening talk on addition. The speaker shouted, ‘There’s something on you. God can see it, and I can see it’. Terrified that this man could see into his porn problem, he stood up and presented himself for healing… but let his friends think he was seeking help in quitting smoking. Jack Skett is now a pastor and, according to what people in his church have said to him, pastors are ‘different’ (apparently). What enormous courage he shows in ‘coming out’ on this issue now by writing this book.
The author asserts that we all of us dabble in porn, men and women. Fifty Shades of Grey is porn for women, he tells us – and he’s probably right, But I haven’t read Fifty Shades and I don’t really want to read erotica for either sex, and I hate writing anything approaching steamy bits. In my opinion, to say that everybody does porn is taking it a little far.
His personal experiences are summed up in the Introduction and Chapter 1. The remainder of the book moves on quickly from the personal and into Christian ethics, with particular reference to St Paul’s Epistles. He draws our attention to pornographic statuary
in the ancient world, in Pompeii, and, particularly, in Corinth, where having sex with a temple prostitute was somehow part of the Graeco-Roman religion. He writes, quite reasonably, that you cannot expect a Biblical verse to cover every eventuality, and every sin. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “Thou shalt not do pornography.” Skett’s central plank is that sex exists for two reasons – pregnancy and our pleasure – but that it should be enjoyed only by married couples. After exploring some quite harsh Pauline teaching, in 1 Corinthians he justifies this position by stating that Paul didn’t discuss appropriate sexual relationships between unmarried couples, so therefore unmarried sex was not something Christians should do. To my mind, this is stretching things too far.
Skett argues his case at length. I cannot help but feel that he could have covered the ground in fewer words. However, if you wish to explore and develop your understanding of Christian ethics, Jack Skett provides much food for thought.
The full title of this work is ‘A Better Kind of Intimacy: The Price of Porn and How to Overcome It’ by Jack Skett. A copy for review was provided by the Instant Apostle Facebook group, free of charge.
This book has just been released on Instant Apostle. You can watch the author un-boxing his copies on the Instant Apostle website and thereby find the Amazon link.