When I discovered James Cordrey’s site, Intentional Warriors, I felt that I had found a kindred spirit. His content was openly anti-porn and pro-pursuing-righteousness, presented with a professional look and forthcoming attitude. His posts and platform revealed a life that Christ renewed from destructive behaviors and near-collapse, and that’s a life to which I feel connected.
Cordrey goes into the details of this journey in his book of the same name, which I liked despite a few missteps. Intentional Warriors is forward, open, and full in its content but lacking in its presentation (a surprise given the website’s superb look and feel). Formatting errors such as page numbers and chapter breaks created a bit of a clunky read, and I am not entirely sure that I agree with all of his word choices. For example, he calls God “risky”(p32), but I would contend that an omniscient being risks nothing; on the flip side, he says that “faith=risk” (p29), and with that I could not agree more. He also calls God “dangerous”, and I think there’s something to that concept, though I’m again uncertain of the word choice–which is prevalent and oddly capitalized throughout the book. Finally, the references are some of the most used of the last 15 years: Braveheart, The Matrix, and Lord of the Rings. That being said, I had some issues with Intentional Warriors.
However, the book contains much more that I love. Intentional Warriors features some great Scripture (Proverbs 28:13, p33); great quotes (p90), and many valuable thoughts gleaned from firsthand experience. Cordrey touches on a multitude of factors in the struggle against sex saturated culture, and he does so in a way that provides insight into many facets of Christian recovery. He admonishes his brothers to become sober minded (106), pro-active (112) fighters, who redeem rather than destroy (71). He also deftly outlines the great irony of pornography consumption: that porn exploits man’s insecurities, provides him a false sense of masculinity that deceives him into believing the experience is uplifting, and then leaves him feeling more insecure and inadequate than ever (84, 96-97, 100). These excellent explorations are accompanied by many others such as but not limited to: life’s inherent difficulty making us feel inadequate (99), our tendency to stray from the sober-mindedness required to fight sin (106); the danger of self-protection leading to cowardice (109), and the hard reality that church failures, such as adopting business models for growth (139) and offering false accountability (113), are partially to blame for our plight (and require a new generation of men to step forward and lead the charge toward purity).
Regardless of my misgivings, I cannot discount the value of the above content nor the veracity of Cordrey’s testimony and his willingness to put himself on the line. He lays himself bare to the judgment of his readers through his personal confessions (p40,44,82) and serves as an example of the change the Holy Spirit provides to those who would be transformed (149,154). Additionally, he is not concerned with aires; I never once felt his tone was condescending, as if he ‘knew so much’; instead, I saw a real human being, healed from real pain, who possessed a desire to help others. Publishing missteps aside, the truth of person’s heart is compelling and warrants praise.
Ultimately, I think Intentional Warriors can help a number of men. Cordrey’s manner and tone will speak to them in ways that my novel, Stronghold, never could. As far as Cordrey’s concerned, real men aren’t watching from a comfortable place where evil has no footing (90-92). Real men take courage through Christ and, in so doing, exhibit a strength they never thought they could have, one that is imbued by their Heavenly Father as direct result of his using them for his purposes (160).
Intentional Warriors has its flaws, but its substance outweighs its style. You can check out the book for yourself at Amazon: Intentional Warriors: Fighting For Purity And Freedom In A Sexually Saturated Society