Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our next project

As you can tell, it has been quite a while since I've sat down and done this whole blogging thing. Needless to say things have been exceptionally busy. We've got several studies that we have wrapped up and are getting ready to send off to the journals and I've been busy reading through manuscripts in preparation for my next text.

This summer I had the opportunity to do some prep work and have been encouraged to write a book on women's brains and sexuality. The proposal has been accepted (thank you, Al Hsu and IVP) and I will be working with my wife, Donna, on the project and we will co-author. Not being a woman, it seemed logical to partner with the woman I knew best on this project. This book will deal more broadly than just pornography but with a variety of issues related to sexuality (i.e. prostitution, abuse, sexting), so we've got a lot more to cover. Our hope is that it will not just be informational (as WFI was) but will include more practical advice (something I intentionally steered clear of in WFI), more stories of people who have struggled, and even more of a Biblical and theological flavor.

Once again, if there are any questions or studies that you would like to suggest we review here on WFI's blog, please drop a note in the comments or send me the reference.

Just a reminder to continue supporting the Esther Fund and to look forward to a year of more/actual blogging on this site.

Peace and have a Happy New Year!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Link to Pornography History Survey

Some of you have contacted me and indicated that you are interested in filling out/participating in our survey on the individual's experiences with Pornography. A copy of the survey can be found here and you can fill out the survey online. We will be allowing anyone to sign up, so you can direct anyone you might know who may be interested to the link or this blog. A copy of the link will also be posted in the left panel as well.

-Dr. S

Monday, April 19, 2010

Covenant Eyes Interview

Here's a link to the Covenant Eyes Blog for an interview I did with them.
Your Brain on Porn
It was loads of fun working with these guys and they have a wonderful ministry. one of the things that I really enjoyed about them is their honesty and their desire to really address this issue as openly as possible.  A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit with them in Michigan and to meet up with several others who are working in this area.  Michael Leahy , the author of several books including Porn @ Work , Crystal Renaud of Dirty Girls Ministries, and Francois Driessen of Firetrigger, Inc. who is putting together a documentary on the issue and titled, "Scratching the Surface". 

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Silver Bullet? Taking Every Thought Captive

As I've been talking with people about what research is out there on the brain that might be of help in recovering from pornography, I find that many people are looking for a 'silver bullet' from neuroscience. Much like every other area of life, we look for quick and easy ways to deal with our problems. We want to take a pill , find the right formula or buy the right tool that will make our problems go away. Unfortunately the truth is that a right understanding of how we are made, the consequences of our sin, and the best path to healing often entail that we take a hard road towards righteousness. That being said, I was reviewing some articles this morning and came across an old study that I knew about, but did not include in the final draft of Wired for Intimacy.

In a study published in 2001, three researchers in Montreal showed that male subjects who were asked to inhibit their level of sexual arousal when viewing pornography (film excerpts) were able to decrease their level of sexual arousal-related neural activity when compared with me who were not trying to control their levels of arousal. This fits with what I share in WFI that the neurological resources are in place to voluntarily influence the electrochemical activity that is initiated when viewing porn and to change the neurological pattens that are being reinforced.

So if you are looking to science to for a silver bullet, or you need the evidence of fMRI to confirm the wisdom of Scripture, perhaps this is just another way to understand what II Corinthians 10:5 means when we are encouraged to "...take every thought captive to obey Christ.."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Late Night on KDKA - A Message of Hope

As a young boy growing up in western PA, I often got to listen to KDKA radio (and watch KDKA channel 2, too), so it was a bit of fun to be on with Father Ron Lengwin's show Amplify tonight. We had a chance to go through some of the things in WFI, and I count it a blessing to be able to share the word of hope from the book. That really is what this is all about isn't it? Our hope doesn't rest on passing laws, finding a porn-vaccine or selling millions of books. Our hope is found in the mystery of how God has created us and how his Spirit, Word and love can alter our very being and make us new creations.

2 Corinthians 5:17-6:1 states:
5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 6:1The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Isn't it wonderful that the very rules that govern how our minds can become so depraved are those that can direct us towards holiness? When I think of how the nervous system interacts with the body and how it responds to the world around us, I cannot help but come to a place of awe. When I see how this system can be diverted to a place of depravity, it grieves my heart. When I see how the plasticity of the brain enables us to form new paths, new wiring, which can lead us to a mindset which looks away rather than leers, which celebrates rather than consumes I am filled with hope for those who are lost.

I am in the process of putting together some of the data from the XXXX Church and Covenant Eyes survey our research team conducted last semester. Once we have the data cleaned up and analyzed, be on the lookout for a summary. A first look at the data have some very interesting findings.

God's peace on you all and remember this year's resolution - Build the Esther Fund ;)  

-Dr. S