Thursday, June 28, 2012

SURFING FOR GOD by Michael John Cusick

Surfing for God: Discovering the Divine Desire beneath Sexual Struggle is a 2012 book on pornography and Christian sexuality by minister and counselor Michael John Cusick. Here, Cusick draws from his own extensive experiences with pornography and prostitutes to discuss biblically how the pursuit of physical pleasure is actually the pursuit of fulfillment in God: addiction to pornography is overcome not by willpower or by trying harder, but by surrendering to life transformation from God and finding freedom in Christ.

Surfing for God is one of two extremely honest and profoundly important books on Christian sexuality and pornography to come out in 2012 (the other is The Lord Is Beautiful by Joel Danker-Dake); they have a fair amount of topical overlap, but both are well worth reading.

Cusick is a counselor, and Surfing for God is an interesting and theologically sound holistic mix of the spiritual and the practical, in terms of both analysis and advice. Cusick spends a lot of time on the root causes of pornography use, most of which involve spiritual and emotional brokenness, and he emphasizes the spiritual aspect of temptation throughout. Of his many recommendations for those seeking help, he’s particularly high on spiritually-oriented solitude and what he calls “centering prayer,” by which people can become more focused on God as well as on their own real state and issues.

Surfing for God is not a long book, but Cusick covers a tremendous amount of ground. As such, the reader may well feel that he jumps around too much. Many ideas aren’t developed as fully as they might be, and the reader may be left asking, “Well, but what about X?” Surfing for God could easily have been twice as long without becoming tiresome, but one gets the feeling that Cusick and Thomas Nelson were going for accessibility. Accessible it certainly is, but Cusick’s advice tends to be a bit general (granted, there’s only so much a book can do), and earnest readers will likely want (and need) to seek help from outside after finishing it (Cusick is the founder of Restoring the Soul, a ministry for this type of thing).    

It may not be a perfect book, but Surfing for God is a tremendously necessary and worthwhile one, and it’s an excellent place to start for those looking for help as well as for those wanting to better understand the problem of pornography.


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”