Those who suffer from flashbacks of endless (and perhaps counter-productive) youth group discussions of "How far is too far?" should find Tainted Love to be refreshingly candid.  David Mark Brown admits in the book's beginning that he is "not pure at heart," and shares his struggles with pornography, among others.  In fact, he asserts that in order to experience lasting growth and success in the fight for sexual purity, we must allow our inevitable failings and sins to drive us to God instead of away from Him.

Brown does a fine job demystifying intimacy and showing why true intimacy must involve mutual commitment and respect, as well as encompass our whole selves—spiritual, mental, emotional and physical.  He is willing to admit when he doesn't know the answer to something and is not afraid to take what might be a controversial stand, such as his belief that all masturbation is sin because it is ultimately a selfish act.

The book does suffer from some minor pacing problems; at times Brown throws in poetry and biblical narratives that seem somewhat random and disjointed.  Still, this is an easy, satisfying and affordably-priced read; so it is well worth picking up a copy.

Used by permission.  CCM Magazine © 2002