Deepak Reju and Jonathan D. Holmes
Reviewed by: Carl Miller
Rescue Plan: Charting a Course to Restore Prisoners of Pornography and Rescue Skills: Essential Skills for Restoring the Sexually Broken, by Deepak Reju and Jonathan D. Holmes. P&R, 2021. Paperback, 256 and 272 pages respectively, each $13.00. Reviewed by OP pastor Carl Miller.
In our sex-crazed world, we find the beast of sexual addiction alive and well, thriving more and more every day. Sadly, we find that sexual addiction has the same vitality in the church. The carnage of sin that has been left in its wake, the pain and destruction that it has brought to persons and relationships, is staggering.
In the companion book set of Rescue Plan and Rescue Skills, pastors Deepak Reju and Jonathan Holmes provide a very practical and comprehensive set of tools that equip pastors, counselors, friends, and family with foundational knowledge and skills to help rescue and restore prisoners of pornography. Though someone struggling with addiction to pornography could benefit from reading these books, the clear focus is on helping the helpers establish a rescue plan and effectively carry out the rescue operation, by the work and grace of God.
As Reju and Holmes explain in the beginning notes in each book, Rescue Plan provides the helper the “what, when, and why” (Rescue Plan, 17). It gives the theory. It explains the nature of pornography addiction and what it looks like in different stages of people’s lives. The authors conclude each chapter with practical tips laid out in four P’s—personal reflection, potential problems, a practical step, and prayer. Rescue Skills provides the “how.” It is a boots-in-the-mud, scalpel-to-the-heart guide as Reju and Holmes help you develop and carry out your plan, having learned more than twenty practical skills. The authors end each chapter in similar fashion with action items called “Reflect” and “Act.”
As the groundwork on the subject is laid, Reju and Holmes begin Rescue Plan in the right place by presenting the darkness of sin and its effect on sex. No matter how many may be tempted to deny or minimize it, sin destroys sex. Satan loves to deceive people to believe that ultimately sex is meaningless. He loves it when people are enticed and fall into the prison of addiction and descend into slavery. Using James 1:13–15, Reju and Holmes helpfully explain the pit and pitfalls in how the cycle of addiction works. Yet, as much as we need to understand how sin destroys sex and the details of its deadly cycle, the authors rightly point us to the path out of the darkness: understanding how God intends sex and how Jesus, the great Rescuer, redeems it. Working through the early verses in 1 Corinthians 6 (as one example), the authors show how the light of the gospel shines brightly on this matter through the person and work of Jesus Christ and his rescue of his people. Springboarding from this, biblical strategies are provided for those who struggle with a specific issue or in their station of life. Matters addressed include how one should view and effectively deal with masturbation, speaking to what is true of children or teenagers who get caught looking online, struggles in the midst of dating or courtship, single folks who struggle with sexual temptation, and married couples where one falls and the other feels betrayed.
Having a good foundation of knowledge, Rescue Skills is insightful in the work of restoration. Reju and Holmes teach helpers to listen, to ask good questions, and to provide effective, broad, and Word-based accountability, staying gospel-focused. How can you help one recover after a fall? Great guidance is provided.
Rescue Plan and Rescue Skills assist Christians as they seek to be truly helpful in restoring the sexually broken for the glory and cause of Christ.
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