Pure In Heart by J. Garrett Kell–Book Review

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

Author J. Garrett Kell connects this promise from the Beatitudes to the need for sexual purity, a sin he has struggled with himself. He uses real life examples to illustrate how both men and women are tempted and need help resisting the sorts of sin that our society not only tolerates, but often condones.

Pure in Heart

The first section of the book is entitled “The Promise of Purity” and deals with the basics — who God is, what He promises us, and why maintaining sexual purity is difficult. The second section, “Pathways to Purity“, offers strategies for pursuing purity and resisting temptation. The author emphasizes that there is no quick-fix– this is a lifelong process.

There is an appendix with discussion questions, so the book could easily be used in a small group setting. There is also a section with suggestions for those who need help with this issue right now. It would be a good resource for pastors to have on hand.

This book is basic and biblical. If you are familiar with the Scriptures there are no surprises. Like other sins, sexual temptations need to be faced and confessed. We should avoid or flee from situations that are problematic and seek support and prayer from Christian friends. Ultimately, we must rely upon the strength of God.

VERDICT: 3 STARS. While there is nothing wrong with this book, the examples given were addressed in a superficial way. I also believe that being “pure in heart” encompasses so much more than sexual purity.

If you would like to purchase this book follow the link below:


The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.

For more about resisting sexual sin see these posts:

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges–Book Review

real sex — Book Review

Gay Girl, Good God — Book Review

Before We Forget edited by Nathan Millican & Jonathon Woodyard–Book Review

This book is a series of brief essays written by pastors about the challenges of shepherding a congregation.  One of the editors calls it “an exercise in the discipline of confession.”  Remembrance is also highlighted as a key spiritual practice.

“We want to remind ourselves of God’s work in our lives as He has conformed us into the image of Jesus and molded us into (hopefully) more faithful followers and more careful and helpful shepherds.”

Topics discussed include:

  • Insecurity
  • Pride
  • Taking the Pastorate for granted
  • Character
  • Sexual purity
  • Patience
  • Reconciliation
  • Suffering

Each theme has one chapter written by a young pastor, and one by an older pastor.  If you are not in ministry yourself, you should still read this book for a better understanding of the problems pastors encounter. The ministry is not easy;  it requires the ability to properly order priorities, persevere in the face of difficult circumstances and lead others while also acknowledging your own sins and shortcomings.


The topics covered are relevant to all church leaders, and in fact every Christian.  I especially liked the chapters on patience and reconciliation (which probably needs I need to work on these things!)

VERDICT:  5 Stars.  Very interesting and readable.

If you would like to purchase this book follow the link below:


The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.