Monday, March 02, 2009

Dealing with sin...

If you have never read any of John Owen's classic works on dealing with sin and temptation, stop reading this very minute and order your copy right away!

I've read many books on dealing with sin, and nothing outside of Scripture holds a candle to this one. Forget all those modern light and fluffy treatments; this book is the meat that you need.

John Owen is a good doctor. He knows where sin hides. He knows the dark parts of your heart. And like a good doctor, he is going to pursue those festering bits, expose them to the light, and show you how to fight them! Glorious!

You can read the original Owen to great advantage. All Puritan writers are challenging in their complexity, and Owen particularly so, but if you read slowly and out loud, you will have few difficulties. And the gold is worth mining!

However, the modern, lightly re-rendered version "Overcoming Sin and Temptation," as edited by Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor, makes him more accessible without losing anything vital. I'm thoroughly enjoying this book, and profiting greatly!

Here's a taste: Owen discussing how indwelling sin starts small, but if it is fed, it grows until it conquers. Instead, we need to fight it with all we have the moment it begins to rear its ugly head (Overcoming Sin and Temptation, p. 289):

Sin grows not to this height at its first assault. Had it not been suffered to make its entrance, had there not been some yielding in the soul, this had not come about. The great wisdom and security of the soul in dealing with indwelling sin is to put a violent stop unto its beginnings, its first motions and actings. Venture all on the first attempt. Die rather than yield one step until it.

1 comment:

Julian Freeman said...

Tom, I loved your anti-challies comment the other day. That was hilarious.

I can't wait to see how your writings will be a blessing to us in this coming year. God willing, we'll hear from you lots! :)