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Luther Statue

20 February 2006
  The Battle Isn't Over

Every Young Man's BattleEvery Young Man's Battle is featured prominently in every Christian Book store and catalog. Part of the "Every Man Series on Sexual Integrity," it's touted as offering "strategies for victory in the real world of sexual temptation."

As a parent of four with my oldest just starting to drive, I'm new to the world of older teens. I initially purchased this book for my teenage son, but I'm very glad that I chose to first screen it myself.

Authors Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker seem to provide more titillation than coping skills with their very graphic descriptions of their escapades with real life girls and pornographic images. There is so much emphasis on their own stories of uh ... "self abuse," that I question their motive in writing this book. I see that the author was born in 1953 — perhaps he suffers from the baby boomer tendency to let it all hang out.

From a Lutheran standpoint, the book is mostly Law and little Gospel, and somewhat works-oriented. The authors' worldview is that pleasing God by living a blameless life is possible and that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

The recommended coping strategies include training oneself to "bounce the eyes" and "corral the mustang mind." There is some decent advice in the chapter called Sexual Honor — mostly common sense info on avoiding tempting situations in the first place.

I'd love to see a book aimed at Lutheran teens on this sensitive topic — one that acknowledges original sin, emphasizes vocation and encourages private confession. I have not yet read Pr. Tim Paul's book, reviewed earlier, but look forward to doing so.

Every Young Man's Battle
by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker
ISBN 1-57856-537-5

Great review, Polly! This is very helpful to me.
I know it's not aimed at teens, and in some respects it's a little outdated: but Helmut Thielicke's book The Ethics of Sex offers valuable ethical insights from a Lutheran standpoint.
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