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Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault (Re:Lit) [Paperback]

Justin S. Holcomb , Lindsey A. Holcomb
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 5, 2011 Re:Lit
The statistics are jarring. One in four women and one in six men are or will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. But as sobering as the statistics are, they don’t begin to speak to the darkness and grief experienced by these victims. Because sexual assault causes physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual pain, victims need clear help, hope, and healing. In Rid of My Disgrace, a couple experienced in counseling victims of sexual assault explains how the grace of God can heal the broken and restore the disgraced.

Justin and Lindsey Holcomb outline an approach for moving from destruction to redemption. While avoiding platitudes and shallow theology, Rid of My Disgrace combines biblical and theological depth with up-to-date research. This book is primarily written for those who have been assaulted (either as children or adults) but also equips family, friends, pastors, and others to care for victims in ways that are compassionate, practical, and informed. Part of the Re:Lit series.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Careful research, lots of Scripture, and a demonstration that the work of Christ says ‘you are washed clean’ to those who feel like outcasts, which will speak to victims of sexual abuse.”
Ed Welch, Counselor and Faculty, The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

“I can’t express how grateful I am that someone is tackling this subject with both a pastoral heart and an understanding of how the devastating effects of sexual assault can wreak havoc for decades after the abuse. It is an epidemic issue where resources are scarce. There isn’t a weekend that goes by where we aren’t told a gut-wrenching tale of innocence stolen and left trying to help a man or woman make sense of their pain. I praise God for the gospel that can heal and restore and for the Holcombs that had the courage and wisdom to write this book for us.”
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network

“God sees, knows, heals, restores, and redeems. This is the message of hope this book offers, to all who have suffered from abuse. How desperately needed this message is in our culture today! In my interaction with teens and young adults, I have heard many stories of sexual abuse. I am so thrilled that there is a resource like this book that offers relevant, practical, biblical hope and healing words of life.”
Rebecca St. James, singer; author; actress

“Having experienced much sexual brokenness in my own life and now having pastored a church that ministers to thousands of broken people, I can say with confidence that this book is desperately needed. Justin and Lindsey write to help the abused and to help those who help the abused. It is a must-read for all those who live and minister in this sexually broken world.”
Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri; Vice President, Acts 29; Chaplain to the St. Louis Cardinals; author, The Dude's Guide to Manhood

“Justin and Lindsey demonstrate a unique level of compassion and concern for victims of sexual assault and the hope for them for healing. The gentle and empathetic tone, along with a sincere belief that victims can experience healing, makes this book indispensable for both victims and those who care for them.”
Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor, LifeChurch.tv; author, WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working

“The world—and too often the church—encourages victims of sexual assault to do more. Self-help advice just adds more layers of guilt and a sense of powerlessness. The authors of this excellent book have good news: literally, a gospel that answers our disgrace with the grace of God in Christ. For anyone who suffers from abuse—as well as those who minister to them—Rid of My Disgrace is powerful, healing medicine.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Calvin on the Christian Life

“Where will you find a ‘Theology of the Victim’ from a Reformed theologian? You just found it. If you’ve been the victim of abuse, you won’t find yourself blamed in this book. You’ll find yourself embraced by the love of a God who meets you in your pain. This will be required reading for all of my students.”
Chuck DeGroat, Academic Dean, Newbigin House of Studies; Director, City Church Counseling Center

“Some books are easy to read, but this isn’t one of them. Its difficulty, however, is not a matter of style or prose but of substance. We don’t like thinking about sexual assault and abuse. We’d rather pretend they don’t exist. But the church can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to the extent of this problem or to ignore the devastation it brings to both body and soul. What makes this book so worthy of your attention, notwithstanding the discomfort it may cause you to feel, is the wealth of wisdom, gospel grace, and pastoral sensitivity that the Holcombs bring to bear on those affected by this experience. No matter how deep the pain or sense of loss endured by the victims of sexual assault, God’s healing grace and power are greater still. Highly recommended!”
Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“One can tell that the Holcombs have extensive experience working with victims of various kinds of assault because this book is so comprehensive in elucidating the types of healing necessary. Thoroughly researched, richly evangelical in theology, strongly assertive to deliver from blame and guilt, Rid of My Disgrace is heartily recommended for all who suffer from sexual exploitation.”
Marva J. Dawn, theologian; speaker; author, Being Well When We're Ill; In the Beginning GOD; and Talking the Walk

“As the President of Youth for Christ/USA, I am a first hand witness to thousands of lives that have been impacted and marred by sexual assault. Often the trauma is replaced by debilitating shame and despair. I was moved and inspired by the thoughtful, comprehensive and approachable way that Justin and Lindsey Holcomb unpack the power of grace. The pages of the book unwrap the gift of God, they unlock the shackles of guilt, and they unleash the Spirit of God to transform. Rid of My Disgrace is an important work, for a vital time, to a broken people. I praise God for the fruit that this book will produce.”
Dan Wolgemuth

“Written passionately from the agony that haunts victims, this book also offers a message of hope and healing. It is an invaluable resource for those who have been victimized and a must-read for family, friends, pastors, or counselors of victims to be equipped to serve and love them well.”
Jud Wilhite, author, Eyes Wide Open and Uncensored Grace; senior pastor, Central Christian Church, Las Vegas, Nevada

“This important book places the powder keg of gospel truth where it is most needed: on the frontline of pastoral ministry. A mixture of clear writing, real-life stories, and faithful Bible exposition makes this a powerful resource in the fight for redemption in the lives of those we are called to serve.”
Joel Virgo, Lead Pastor, Church of Christ the King, Brighton

“This is a sad and disturbing book. The ‘dark’ of it will keep you awake at night. But the ‘light’ will cause you to sing with joy and hope. What a gift to the church and to those who have felt the shame of sexual assault or who love those who have! Read it and give it to your friends. They will rise up and call you blessed! It is the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of abuse…and I’ve read a lot of them.”
Steve Brown, Host, Key Life Radio Program; author, Three Free Sins: God Isn't Mad At You 

“This compelling, disturbing and hopeful book written from the perspective of the Christian faith, has the potential to be a lifeline for many who have experienced the horror of sexual violence.”
Rob Morris, President and co-founder, Love146

Rid of My Disgrace reminds victims of sexual assault that they are not alone and it is not the end of the story. From King David’s daughter Tamar to the courageous survivors telling their stories today, the Holcombs take sexual assault out of the shadows of shame and isolation and into the light of the gospel. With a solid grasp on both the effects of sexual assault and of redemptive history, the Holcombs thoroughly identify sexual assault and its aftermath while calling the reader to let even such a painful, hideous act be a part of their story of redemption through Christ’s sufficient work on the cross.”
Monica Taffinder, co-founder and counselor, Grace Clinic Christian Counseling

“This book helped us understand the painful emotions that go along with the particular suffering of sexual assault. But more than that, it showed us how to respond to our twelve-year-old son who was assaulted.”
Parents of a child victim

“I thought I had gotten over the abuses in my past—I had forgiven my abusers, stopped feeling like a victim, and felt like I was a stronger person. After reading Rid of My Disgrace, I realized there were still underlying issues I hadn’t dealt with that were preventing me from getting close to other people and, worst of all, preventing me from having a deeper relationship with God. Each chapter not only discussed each emotion that had been secretly weighing on me, but also showed me that those emotions don’t have to rule me. Jesus’ death and resurrection apply not only to my sins, but also to the burden of someone else’s sin against me. My identity is no longer as ‘damaged goods.’ It is ‘child of God’ and with that comes God’s unending love. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has experienced not only some form of sexual abuse, but other abuses as well.”
Adult female victim

About the Author

LINDSEY A. HOLCOMB counsels victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Previously, she worked a case manager at a sexual assault crisis center and a domestic violence shelter. Lindsey provided crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and conducted a variety of training seminars to service providers. She earned a Master in Public Health with a focus on violence against women. Lindsey and Justin are authors of Is It My Fault?: Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence.
 
JUSTIN S. HOLCOMB is an Episcopal priest and teaches theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously taught at the University of Virginia and Emory University. Justin holds an M.A. in Theological Studies and an M.A. in Christian Thought from Reformed Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Emory University. He and Lindsey are authors of Is It My Fault?: Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence.

Product Details

  • Series: Re:Lit
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (January 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433515989
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433515989
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This review first appeared at TGC Reviews [[...]], an online publication of The Gospel Coalition.

In a fallen world where unspeakable evil occurs, the church must be a place that shines the hope of the gospel into the darkness. One dark corner of our world is sexual assault. The statistics are astonishing. One in four women and one in six men have been or will be victims of sexual assault. The effects are horrific. And the world is not short of remedies: self-help, self-love, and self-heal. Unfortunately for the victims, these answers are "horrible news."

Justin Holcomb, a pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, and his wife, Lindsey Holcomb, equip the church to rise and meet the challenge of helping victims of sexual assault, not by the empty hope of self-help, but by grace, redemption, and restoration in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let me be up front with the matter. I really liked this book. Pastors should read it, and victims of abuse will be encouraged by the authors' honesty and care. So to briefly comment on the book's content and its usefulness to pastors, counselors, and victims, let me give four brief reflections on its value to the local church's ministry to the afflicted.

First, Rid Of My Disgrace deals honestly and directly with sexual assault. It presents a clear and full definition, giving victims, churches and pastors clarity on what constitutes sexual assault. They describe in vivid detail numerous effects the assault brings upon a person. Victims will feel like they are not alone, while pastors and counselors will have an invaluable resource for learning what is going on inside the victim when their own words cannot express the inner turmoil.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great help for victims of sexual violence. January 30, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well prepared book by Justin and Lindsey. The book has a multiple audience. It is definitely for those who are in a struggle to overcome the sexual improprieties of their past - but it is also an important book for those who minister to or counsel this group of people. I have been a Pastor for almost 30 years and have found this book the best, biblical based treatment of the problem. The 1st part of the book is especially helpful for those reading it who intend to be counselors of various kinds toward sexually abused men and women. We have a very active counseling ministry at our church and this book will become a guide for them to be even more helpful than they have in the past. The book also alerts those who may not know just how large an issue this is. The statistic that is most helpful is that 1 in 4 women have been raped and 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused. The authors then suggest that this is one of the most unreported crimes in the United States at least. I have a friend in law enforcement who deals directly with these sorts of crimes and he says definitely the statistics are very understated. That means that those of us who deal with larger audiences (congregations) are speaking to many men and women who need to hear this message and know where they can get help. I am promoting the purchase of this book as often as I can. I also appreciate the solutions the book offers. The series of stories by people who have been abused are heart-wrenching. I have been brought to tears reading them. But each story is followed up with clear Biblical teaching and easy to understand applications for the the reader to grasp. I am not aware of any other book that could compete with the way this book handles the problem and solutions. Anyone who reads this book will be given the information they need to help others or be helped and most important - the reader will understand how large a problem sexual violence is in our society (in our churches) today.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, helpful, and Christ-centered on a difficult issue February 28, 2011
Format:Paperback
One if four women and one in six men (statistically) will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Which means, that if there are four women and six men who read this post, 1/5 of them will have been, or will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That's a staggering amount of people. If you're like me, you're easily left having a vague notion of the horror of this sin, baffled with a broken heart for the victims of sexual assault, and wondering, "How can Jesus help these people?!" Jesus says he comes to heal the broken, surely if anybody can be described as broken, it's the victims of sexual assault.

Justin Holcomb and Lindsey Holcomb step along side us in Rid of My Disgrace and help us see the glorious power of Christ to give hope and healing for victims of sexual assault.

I'll be honest, I read this book backwards. I know, authors have their order of chapters for a reason, but I was far more concerned with how they ended the book then how they began it. Far too often people begin with good intentions of helping the broken, but end in shady places. The Holcomb's never even come close to this temptation. In part three of Rid of My Disgrace, "Grace Accomplished", they end, essentially, with a Biblical Theology of how shame and grace interact throughout the Bible and culminate in the person and work of Jesus Christ. They do this to help victims of sexual assault find their sin's place (both sins done against them and their own sins against God) in the story of God's accomplished redemption plan in Jesus Christ.

There are two things to note here: 1) The Holcombs do not play games with psycologizing healing for sexual assault victims. They come into the issue with the Gospel in hand to offer Jesus to victims.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well witten and thoughtful
I appreciate the tenderness of the book and how they seek to comfort those who have gone through sexual assaults. It is a good balance of tenderness and truth. Read more
Published 2 months ago by HH
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative
This book, although very informative & full of statistics & scriptures, is not as helpful as I had hoped. It shares much history & explanations, and very few testimonies. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Adrian Lopez
3.0 out of 5 stars Gospel centered, but some explicit content that might evoke some...
It is overall a good book, but there is some explicit content, so it can evoke some unpleasant memories. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I've done a lot of work regarding my past struggles with sexual abuse. One of the things God used was a "Living Waters" program in my area. Desertstream.org. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. Coelho
5.0 out of 5 stars Without our consent
Although I have never been a victim of sexual molestation or rape, as a female in a patriarchal household, my wounded soul very much resonates to the feelings of shame carried by... Read more
Published 9 months ago by nursewoman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very on point. A must read for every Survivor and church leader
It tackles the subject from the spiritual standpoint without becoming preachy and neglecting the psychological and emotional aspect. Read more
Published 9 months ago by jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight into the heart
I am about 25% through this book after having read The Wounded Heart by Dan B Allendar (er?), also amazing. Read more
Published 10 months ago by 1wayin
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is tough, so deal with it
Sexual assault is painful. If you want to deal with that pain, study this book. It will systematically take you through and help you understand that pain and how Jesus Christ is... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Collin Cambridge
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enlightening and Encouraging Read
wish this book had not been written, or more properly, I wish there was no need for this book to be written. I wish there was no such monstrosity in the world as sexual assault. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Tim Challies
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful
This book has been helpful for both my wife who has to deal with her past and for me who gets to support her.
Published 11 months ago by Dan Engel
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