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Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault Paperback – January 5, 2011
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“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; author, The Mingling of Souls
“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
“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, Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story
“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, President/CEO, Youth for Christ
“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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
One in six. That's the average number of men have been sexually assaulted.
These are underestimates.
Sexual assault is a crime surrounded by misconceptions and confusion. Definitions are either too specific to sufficiently identify instances of assault or too vague to even be helpful. It's a crime that robs victims of their dignity and their identity. And often, in our attempts to be helpful, we find ourselves at a loss; we don't really know what to say or how to help victims of assault and abuse.
How can the stain of disgrace be removed?
Authors Justin and Lindsey Holcomb provide a compelling, thoughtful and hopeful answer in Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault, as they apply the gospel to this horrendous crime.
Dividing the book into three sections, "Disgrace," "Grace Applied," and "Grace Accomplished," the authors handle the subject matter with great care. It's evident that they're not working from a theoretical perspective, but that this is hands-on, practical knowledge. In part one, they begin by providing a proper definition of sexual assault. They define it as follows:
Sexual assault is any type of sexual behavior or contact where consent is not freely given or obtained and is accomplished through force, intimidation, violence, coercion, manipulation, threat, deception, or abuse of authority. (p. 28)
"This definition," they explain, "gets beyond our society's narrow understanding of the issue and expands the spectrum of actions to be considered sexual assault.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow. That is all I have to say about this book...
Okay that's a lie, that's not all I have to say...
This book was wonderfully written. Read more
Good book, couldn't put it down! Some really sad stuff thoughPublished 7 months ago by Faye A Young
Awesome book. If you are dealing with the subject of this book read it. If you know someone who is dealing with this subject in their life encourage them to read. There is hopePublished 9 months ago by Danny
Was suggested by a friend that also was going through some things in the past that I went through. I've been able to discuss my issues more with people. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dustin
“There is an epidemic of sexual assault, and victims need the kind of hope and help that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can provide. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Lauren R. E. Larkin
This book is excellent! It very directly applies God's grace to suffering people for the healing get of their hurt. Read morePublished 17 months ago by kds