Book Review: The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn

4 03 2008

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Copyright 2008 Kelsey Hough.  All Rights Reserved.

When it comes to Christian purity books, there seem to be two categories: The impure “purity” books, and the fluffy purity books.

Since the first group believes “knowledge is power,” the aim is to inform the reader in great detail about every kind of impurity on the market. Rather than being equipped to deal with living in our sex-saturated culture, though, the reader only comes away with step-by-step instructions of what not to do. It’s about as affective as an anti-drug campaign that teaches kids how to make homemade narcotics.

On the other side of the purity books scale, the goal is to show how romantic purity can be, rather than how painful, devastating and destructive impurity always is. They promise their readers a “happily ever after” if they’ll just follow God’s plan for their love life and relationships. Purity then, sadly, becomes a means to an end – a happy marriage and romantic bliss – rather than the pursuit of God Himself … a life of holiness.

To my surprise and delight, Randy Alcorn’s book The Purity Principle: God’s Safeguards for Life’s Dangerous Trails falls into neither of these two common categories.

The Purity Principle is a small book, but it packs a punch. Chock full of Bible verses, real-life examples, and sound biblical advice, it answers questions like, “What exactly is purity?” and “Why does it even matter?” This is a wonderful book for older teens and adults of any age, and any relational status, who would like to gain a better understanding of what biblical purity is, and why it’s important.

Much like the book of Proverbs, instead of giving you the lowdown on what not to do, or painting an overly romanticized, fluffy picture of purity, Randy Alcorn removes the glimmer of sexual immorality by sharing the real-life stories of men and women who fell into sin by slowly choosing to walk down the wrong road – one small, fatal step at a time.

The Purity Principle shows how the fear of God and the consequences of disobeying His holy law should be what “drives the sense into us” rather than out. And how this fear of God should be what makes us alert, diligent, watchful and drastic when it comes to protecting our own purity and making sure we don’t allow even a hint of sexual immorality into our own lives.

Because The Purity Principle doesn’t take a let-me-tell-you-what-not-to-do approach to purity, and it’s biblically solid, it could be a helpful book for someone who’s currently struggling with issues of morality, while still being an excellent choice for someone who wants to learn how to safeguard their life so they don’t find themselves needing to do an about-face later.

Recommended Age: 16+

PracticalPurity@gmail.com Drop me a note if you’d like reprint permission.

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6 responses

5 03 2008
びっくり

This book sounds interesting. Living a life of exploration during my late 20s and early 30s, I experienced some of the sadness and emptiness of what our world teaches as desirable. Recently, after 10 years of waiting and avoiding those problems, I am once again becoming impatient. If I spend just a little time remembering the pain of the past, and the promise of God’s plan, then I can stay the course.

Perhaps I should order up this book for some quiet time reading.

5 03 2008
Kelsey Hough

Yeah, you might want to pick up a copy. I think it’d make a good book for quite reading.

I’ve read a lot more purity books than your average individual (I’m currently working on a research/writing project on the subject) and this is one of the best I’ve seen. It doesn’t bribe the reader with romance or happiness; it illustrates the heartache and pain that comes from choosing to walk down the wrong road, which is good because it’s something we can easily loose sight of.

In a lot of ways,The Purity Principle is like the book version of Proverbs chapter five. It’s very good.

~Kelsey

10 03 2008
Autumn

Hmm, is this a published book review? I very much approve.

29 03 2008
titus2woman

LOVE Randy Alcorn! He has another one I’ve been dying to read: MONEY, POSSESSIONS, AND ETERNITY, and I just discovered he has a blog! *CONGRATS* on your 10,000 hits! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

13 07 2010
Shongi

I live in South Africa, Gauteng (Johannesburg), I have checked several bookshops looking for this book but I have not find it. Please help me coz i realy want to buy the book for myself

26 10 2010
Tunde

I love this book

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