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.."

1 comment:

  1. I am a recovering sex addict and lead a recovery ministry at my church called 180. I was a pastor for 26 years and for the last 8 years became more and more addicted to sexual sin and porn. I have read Craving for Esctacy as well as many Christian and secular books on sexual addiction. I am looking forward to getting and reading Wired. It seems to me that many Christians want to see sexual sin as only a spiritual problem.. It certainly is a spiritual problem but it is a physiological, psychological, emotion and relational problem as well. Is the answer to be found in Christ...certainly but grasping the other factors involved in the addiction has been helpful to me in my four and a half years of sobriety.