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Captured by a Better Vision Paperback – 19 Mar 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Inter-Varsity Press (19 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844744353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844744350
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Tim Chester is involved in The Crowded House, a church-planting initiative in Sheffield. He was previously Research and Policy Director for Tearfund UK. He has spoken at Word Alive, Keswick, and on Christian training courses. Tim's books combine biblical wisdom with practical teaching and include 'The Message of Prayer', 'Good News to the Poor', 'The Busy Christian's Guide to Busyness', 'Total Church' and 'You can change'. He is married with two daughters.


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By Bacchus TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
I don't quite know how to review this book.

I am familiar with Tim Chester's writings explaining passages from the Bible. I know that the subjects of sexual immorality and pornography appear in passing those writings and when I discovered that he had written an entire book on the subject, I was intrigued.

I would be a liar if I were to say that I have never owned pornographic material or looked at it on the computer but I would never consider myself to be 'in thrall' to it. From a secular perspective, I would say that excessive porn use would indicate frustrations within one's marital relationship and for single people, it emphasises loneliness i.e. it's a bit 'sad'. With this in mind, it would seem healthy to avoid porn as much as possible.

Tim Chester says all this and much more in the book. He tells about the fakery of porn, the corruption of the industry and the insidious hold it has on users. He is uncompromising in stating that porn use is adultery of the heart and is as much an act of betrayal as any actual physical act of adultery. He provides statistics indicating the size of the problem as he sees it and shows that people who are avowedly Christian are likely to be as prone to use pornography as anyone else.

Rather than simply telling people to avoid using porn, Tim Chester asks his readers to embrace a Christian life in full so that the sheer beauty, scale and completeness of God's creation provides a fuller and more glorious experience than porn could ever do. I feel that this book has expanded my religious faith and understanding in many ways completely unrelated to a simple avoidance of pornography and for that, I am extremely grateful.

Tim Chester quotes G K Chesterton, "Every time a man knocks on the door of a brothel, he is is calling on God". It suggests (to me anyway) that in the depths of sin and despair the path to righteousness may begin.
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This is an incredibly helpful book addressing a vital issue facing the 21st Century church: the need for radical holiness in the area of pornography. In many ways, the underlying principles behind this book are those laid out more fully in Tim Chester's other book "You can change: God's Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behaviour and Negative Emotions", but even if you've read that this book is a must read for those who struggle in this area, or who are supporting those who do. The first two chapters of "Captured" are worth the cover price on their own:
* The first chapter sets out the importance of this issue and how destructive it is, as well as all of the ways in which pornography is ultimately a lie, set out in 12 reasons to give it up. A lot of this stuff is common sense, but for those in the midst of the fight it helps to be reminded of it again and again
* The second chapter is dynamite: Tim lays out 7 false promises made by pornography and the different idols that they appeal to. When asked "why do you find pornography attractive?" the answer may seem obvious, but this chapter shows what's really going on in the human heart and how ultimately porn fails to deliver in every single way and how God alone offers what we seek after. The specific idols Tim highlights are incredibly insightful and a valuable weapon in the fight.
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Format: Paperback
This is the heart of a review I was asked to write for the journal, Themelios:

It is a brave man who talks openly about sexual sin. It is an even braver one who writes a book about it! But Tim Chester now has an established track record of writing well-crafted, profoundly theological but deeply pastoral books. This book, specifically tackling the blight of pornography head on, follows naturally from his 2008 publication, You can change. That Captured by a better vision is needed and timely should not be in doubt. The statistics for pornography usage and the sex industry's profit margins are truly terrifying. Porn's repercussions (for users, for those involved in the sex industry and for society as a whole) hardly bear thinking about. Its pervasive presence amongst Christians is the western church's vast, unspoken secret - in one survey quoted by Chester, it is suggested that out of every 100 adults, twenty-five men and ten women are struggling with regular porn use (p. 11). Yet, despite its prevalence, it is a problem of such shame that it is confined to the shadows and never properly addressed.

So how to tackle it? That is the painful question for pastors who minister to such people, not to mention those who themselves struggle. The age-old resort of the well-directed rebuke, or naming and shaming, has never worked. Many caught up in pornography are wracked by crippling shame as it is, but that is barely enough to halt their indulgence.
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This is a most timely book and will be a great help to people struggling with the scourge of easily accessible pornography. It is also a valuable resource for those seeking to understand the depth of the problem and help others in a compassionate and appropriate way. I would recommend it for church leaders, congregations, counselors and anyone concerned about the harm that pornography does to individuals and to society.
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