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Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen
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Overcoming Sin and Temptation

by John Owen

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Even though I read an abridged version, I found the book (really a combination of three treatises) thought-provoking and practical. Every Christian should understand these principles and incorporate them into everyday living. ( )
  hmskip | Dec 31, 2010 |
I recently spent five grueling hours (grueling for a hopelessly out of shape bookworm) climbing a steep, winding mountain trail. Why? That was the only way I could see the view from the top of Mount LeConte. There were no shortcuts; I just had to put in a lot of hard work. But once I completed my quest and saw the view, I would have spent double the effort if necessary: what I saw was THAT spectacular.

The same can be said of reading the great Puritan theologian John Owen. It is HARD work, and a lot of it. So facing a 466 page anthology containing his 3 books on sin seemed more daunting than climbing LeConte, but I am pleased to report that the view is even more spectacular: it is life-changing.

This anthology, put together by Justin Taylor & Kelly Kapic, is not an abridgement: aside from some spelling updates and a few footnotes you've got the original manuscripts. There is an excellent introduction to Owen and his thought, as well as overviews of each of the three books. In the back are extremely detailed outlines of each book, as well as several indexes and a glossary of antiquated words (there are plenty of words Owen uses that will make you scratch your head so you will find yourself frequently consulting it!).

As stated before, this is an anthology of three different works by Owen. The first is his famous Mortification of Sin. I had read and reviewed an abridged version earlier this year, so I was interested in seeing how I would fare reading the original. Strangely, I actually like the original language better, it seemed more piercing and powerful.

The second book, Of Temptation, concerns itself on the nature and danger of temptation, and our duty against temptation and how to accomplish it. Owen simply amazes me: whereas most of us would exhaust our intelligent explanation of "temptation" in a few sentences, he spends eighty pages poring over the Scriptures, mining deep to bring insight that is both wise and cutting.

The last book, Indwelling Sin, is the longest and most thorough. Seventeen chapters that bring insight after insight on every page on the nature of the enemy within us, concerning its nature, power, and effect in our lives.

It has been said that once you finish reading what Owen says about a subject, you are convinced that he has covered it all. You may wonder, is it really worth reading over 400 pages on sin? And I will tell you, yes, it is hard work, but it is well worth the view. And just as I am planning on climbing LeConte again next year, I am going to reread this book next year as well, for I am sure that God has much more to teach me from its pages. ( )
2 vote wiseasgandalf | Nov 13, 2007 |
Excellent. Owen is not a light read, but he is worth taking the time to work through. ( )
  lougheryweb | Oct 17, 2007 |
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The writings of John Owen are a challenge to any reader, to say the least. His intricacy and complexity are intimidating and his language is downright befuddling at times. However, the depth of thought and the immense value of Owen's works cannot be quantified. His three classic works on sin and temptation are profoundly helpful to any believer who seeks to become more like Jesus Christ. In this volume, the editors have made updates to the language, translated the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew and footnoted difficult or unknown phrases, all without sacrificing any of the wonderful content of Owen's work. It is a uniquely accessible edition of John Owen's previously daunting work.… (more)

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