Book Review: Clean

By | September 28, 2013

Not long ago I read “The Final Freedom” by Dr. Doug Weiss. It contains a significant overview of all of the different factors which can be involved in sexual addiction. So Dr. Weiss seems to be quite knowledgeable. Unfortunately, “Clean” feels almost as if it were written by a different person. I was admittedly disappointed.

First of all, I got the sense that the book wasn’t written from a position of humility. I want to be cautious in saying this; it is a bit subtle and I could be mistaken. However he seems to talk a little bit too much about himself and his own accomplishments. Second, and one of the most bothering of the criticisms I have, is that Dr. Weiss promotes some significantly bad theology. For example, he compares America to the land of Israel and suggests that God is kicking Christians out of our “land” due to sexual immorality. He also suggests that certain consequences that men experienced as a result of their sexual sin were God’s discipline. Now the Bible does talk about God’s discipline (Hebrews 12:5-11). But I don’t believe we’re meant to confuse discipline and consequences. And the problem with this view is that it can lead to people writing off other’s pain as being healthy and God given.

Beyond these criticisms, the book just doesn’t offer all that much in the way of practical help beyond some general principals. (To be fair, the majority of the books I’ve read on this topic are quite similar in this regard.) Dr. Weiss barely even acknowledges sexual addiction, which is quite surprising considering this is the focus of his previous book and ministry. In other words, “Clean” is written for Christian men who struggle to maintain sexual “purity”, but who aren’t compulsive and/or have other root causes of their behavior. So perhaps these kind of men will find the book practically helpful. Beyond this, “Clean” is written primarily to married men (he occasionally acknowledges single men). So overall it has a limited target audience.

Perhaps I am being unfair to the book. Since I have read a number of other similar books, I am already familiar with much of the information Dr. Weiss shares. Perhaps “Clean” will be more beneficial the type of men it seems to be written for. Nevertheless, I believe that there are better books available on this topic.

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