Overcoming Sin and Temptation (Foreword by John Piper): Three Classic Works by John Owen
John Owen has been on my reading list for quite some time. I have even begun to read an Owen tome more than once, only to be discouraged by his archaic and tedious style. Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor have presented a faithful and accurate edition of Owen’s writing on the matters of sin and temptation, and have enabled this reader to finally persist in reading Owen.
The text and the structure have been modernized and footnoted to provide this reader a far less arduous task in understanding and following Owen’s argument and development. Owen’s three books—Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers; Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It; and Indwelling Sin—are readable to me! This volume is a boon to me, and I am certain it will prove so to many others.
As to the content of Overcoming Sin and Temptation, Owen impressed me in these ways:
This book is not for the casual tourist. The subject matter is too important to allow a frivolous approach, and Owen treats the matter of overcoming sin and temptation seriously and comprehensively. This is warfare, and Owen is uncompromising in rooting out and defeating sin and temptation.
Owen is realistic. There is no easy solution here, no magic bullet. Clearly, this is a life-long battle. He steers the reader away from misguided, half-hearted, or ill-conceived remedies and makes crystal clear what mortification of sin requires in its importance and involvement.
These is a strong pastoral note of encouragement and challenge. Owen knows the dangers and pulls no punches. But he provides spiritual encouragement and strongly reminds the reader that he or she is not alone. The Holy Spirit is involved at every step. This battle is joined in the power of God and for the glory of God.
Great battles require great warriors. John Owen is such a warrior. I have no choice but to join in the battle. And Owen points to the Great Warrior—Jesus Christ—who guarantees the outcome. This is a book I will return to again and again. I cannot commend it enough.
Thank you to Crossway for providing a complimentary copy of this book through the Blog Review Program.