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The Mortification of Sin (Puritan Paperbacks) Paperback – Abridged, May 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Owen (1616-1683) is amongst the best known of the Puritans. His writings continue to be widely read and greatly appreciated to this day. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth; abridged edition edition (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851518672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851518671
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Known as the "theologian's theologian," JOHN OWEN (1616-1683) was vice chancellor of Oxford University and served as advisor and chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. Among the most learned and active of the Puritans in seventeenth-century Europe, he was an erudite and accomplished theologian both in doctrine and practical theology.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on November 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Also available in The Works of John Owen Vol. 6, this is a masterpiece on how to kill corruption in one's personal life. It is less than 100 pages long (in my copy!), but it is packed with some of the most insightful thinking regarding sanctification, that I have ever read. Owen packs much into this brief book leaving hundreds of rocks just turned over for the reader to search out treasures for himself. There are nine preliminary steps to mortifying sin which were of great practical help to me. They are: 1. Consider the dangerous symptoms of your lust; 2. Get a clear sense of the guilt and danger of the sin; 3. Load your conscience with the guilt of the "perplexing distemper"; 4. Have a vehement desire for deliverance; 5. Determine whether the sin is rooted in your natural temperment; 6. Prevent the opportunites for sin; 7. Vigorously oppose the first actings of sin; 8. Think deeply about the majesty of God; 9. Speak no peace to your own disquieted heart - let God speak it. These principles form the bulk of the book, but they are fenced in by strong opposition to all legalistic methods of dealing with sin and with hearty exhortations to focus on Christ and be empowered by the Spirit in the whole task of mortifying sin. An excellent treatment of the subject and worthy of repeated readings. In fact, it is in the top ten on my "Master Reading List" (which is a short list of the best books I have read and which deserve to be mastered - if you are interested email me at brianghedges(at)gmail(dot)com)
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan A Blevins on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback

I usually give a book a month or more to ruminate so I can weigh the value of its contents against all that I have learned from scripture, but in this one case I'm breaking that rule. I swear John Owen just drove the sword of the Spirit into the very midst of my still-beating heart like a surgeon's scalpel. This book is life-changing. It is biblical, powerful, relevant and Spirit-filled. Owen has made all the questions which lingered in my mind with regard to sanctification and the means by which we are to pursue holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit suddenly coalesce into a coherent, scriptural, practical, spiritual whole. In 130 pages (Puritan Paperback edition) he did this! And how foolish I feel for not having seen it all before when it is so clear and simple and plainly biblical! But don't take my word for it. Here's the opening statement of the section on the actual work of mortification:

"Suppose a man is a true believer, and yet finds in himself a powerful indwelling sin. This sin makes him captive to its power, and consumes his heart with trouble. It perplexes his thoughts, weakens his soul in communion with God, takes away his peace, defiles his conscience, and exposes him to hardening through the decietfulness of sin. What shall he do? What course shall he take to mortify this sin, lust or corruption? How can he gain victory enough, even though it is not utterly destroyed, yet, in his contest with it, he may be enabled to maintain his power, strength and peace in communion with God?"

This paragraph launches the reader into the answer to these very questions. How can we "by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body, [so that we] will live" (Rom. 8:13)?
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By James John Hollandsworth, M.D. VINE VOICE on February 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
About the Author: Owen was considered one of the greatest minds of the seventeeth century, serving as vice-chancellor at Oxford and publishing extensively. He also was very politically active during much political turbulence in England at the time. Owen was a contemporary of John Bunyan's and once was able through his political connections to arrange to have Bunyan released from prison. Owen is also widely considered to be the most difficult of all the major Puritan theologians to read, because of his highly intricate and frankly not very readable prose. Most people (including me!) find a modern re-written edition much more palatable than his originals, and many editions of The Mortification of Sin (including this one) are a modern abridgement.

Mortification is a word meaning to put to death, and this book explains how we both have a duty and a necessity to actively fight against every outbreak of sin in our lives daily. His most quoted advice from the book sums up his position, "always be killing sin or it will be killing you." He urges us to "always be at it while you live; do not take a day off from this work."

There are chapters on the importance of putting sin to death, the work of the Holy Spirit in mortification, how our spiritual health depends on it, what mortification is and is not, seeing sin for what it is, keeping a tender conscience and a watchful heart, waiting for God, and the work of Christ and the power of the Spirit.

No cute word pictures, no self-affirmations---just a blunt and comprehensive examination of what every Christian must do to become more holy. As Owen says, "Live in the light of Christ's great work, and you will die a conqueror." Read this book.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Sockanasa on March 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was dissappointed when I received this book to find that it is an abridged version that has been re-written into easy to read language. Although I find the original language difficult, it wasn't just re-written in modern language, it was dumbed down and parts cut out. Some of the original punch was lost. However, it is available for free as a download online since it is so old. Look for vol 6 of his works and have lots of paper.
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