Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review: #GetOpen

Craig Gross is the founder of XXXchurch.com, and has been helping folks find healing from sexual sin for over 10 years. In July 2013 he published Open: What Happens When You Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Accountable.

Open is being highlighted here on The Relentless Fight because of its challenging call to radical honesty, and how it equips people with strategies for accountability. Battling sin with brothers and sisters by your side is vital in the fight, and this book tells you how to do it.

Craig Gross is a Christian and has written other books that even have Jesus in the title, however in this book Craig does not mention Jesus or explicitly build his case from Scripture. The strategies are biblical and helpful, but only AFTER you build on the foundation and power of the gospel. The motto of The Relentless Fight is to "Remember the gospel and keep fighting", and this book is an excellent resource for the "keep fighting" part by providing tactics and best practices for accountability relationships, either one-to-one or in groups.

Hopefully nonChristians will read the book and be motivated to become open with others, and strive to fight their sin. But at the end of the day, without the foundation of the gospel, there is no problem OR remedy. Without a biblical worldview, there's no problem: why should anyone STOP looking at porn or lying on their taxes or stop their unhealthy eating habits? Why introduce this time-intensive structure of accountability? Why change at all? And without the gospel, there's no remedy: our best efforts are based on OUR own strength and will quickly fail us. John Owen had incredible insight into this; he said we should by all means seek to restrain sin in unbelievers, but that it should NOT be our MAIN end for them, but rather first conversion. Owen writes, "Let men know it is their duty, but in its proper place; I take not men from mortification, but put them upon conversion. He that shall call a man from mending a hole in the wall of his house, to quench a fire that is consuming the whole building, is not his enemy. Poor soul! ...You set yourself against a particular sin and do not consider that you are nothing but sin." (Of The Mortification of Sin in Believers, page 85 in the edition Overcoming Sin & Temptation)

Once you have the biblical foundation of conviction that you need to change (that your behavior is sin), AND the biblical remedy of the gospel (that you're a new creation in Christ), one of the best weapons in the fight is to be OPEN with a few close friends who can help you in the relentless fight. Open is recommended as a great resource for strategy AFTER and BECAUSE OF the foundation of the gospel to fight our sin. You can buy the book here.

Remember the Gospel, and #GetOpen,
The Relentless Fight

PS: For more reading on being honest about our sin check out Don't Conceal...Confess And Forsake. And for getting help from others read Don't Go It Alone.