I was pleasantly surprised to hear John Piper in this voice clip acknowledge that women do often struggle with pornography. He focused on it even longer than I would have expected, and hopefully opened the doors in the Christian community for women to realize that this is not just a male issue.
I agreed with the majority of what he had to say on the issue of being addicted to pornography. The main point he made was that “getting right with God precedes getting our pornography issues fixed.” I completely agree with that.
What I don’t completely agree with is his solution to getting to know God: to read a book on theology and increase your knowledge of God. I agree with him that there is so much more than our “Sunday school knowledge of God.” And I get that he is trying to give you practical ways to do that, but no book (other than the Bible) is going to increase your knowledge of God in the ways that you really need.
The book he recommended is called “Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine” by Wayne Grudem. It is a 1,100 page book about theology and doctrine. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this book. In fact, it could help someone have a better grasp of what Christianity looks like in the church, but it doesn’t solve the issue of getting to know God better.
John Piper spouted off a list of books, all of which are probably amazing books that I would even recommend if I had read them, but that as a solution to knowing God and ending your addiction to pornography is not good enough. It will fail.
I have known atheists who know more about God and theology than most people do in a lifetime, but they still don’t know God the way I know him.
Is there anything wrong with theology and reading books to know more and grow? Absolutely not!
But the way I have gotten to know who God really is didn’t come from books. It comes from living life with Him. Telling him about every sorrow and every joy. Asking him for advice with every problem I encounter. Taking time to listen, pray, and read His Word. Receiving my daily bread from the only one who can sustain me.
I could just leave it at that, but I have one more point to make.
What about all of the people who don’t enjoy reading or who can’t? What about the woman or man who struggles with pornography and was never taught how to read and will never get the opportunity. If John Piper is right, they have no chance of getting to know God better and will probably never overcome their addictions because of it.
John Piper is a teacher, so it makes sense that his automatic answer would be read and grow in knowledge. But for those people that I just mentioned, hope dies.
Books and teachings may assist in the pursuit of knowing God, but until we are truly living life with God we will never know Him.
How do we live life with God? I would love to hear your thoughts on what you think it means.