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Overcoming Sin and Temptation Paperback – September 25, 2006
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“The editors of this volume have worked hard to make Owen’s unrivalled insight into the Christian’s inner war with sin accessible to all, and the result is truly a godsend.”
—J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College
“To read Owen is to mine spiritual gold. Unfortunately, as in mining, reading Owen is hard work. Now, Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor have made Owen’s work accessible to modern readers while still retaining his unique writing style.”
—Jerry Bridges, author, The Pursuit of Holiness
“With brilliant editorial efforts and insightful introductions by Kapic and Taylor, John Owen’s magnificent treatises on sin and sanctification have been made available for a new generation.”
—David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University
“Sin is tenacious, but by God’s grace we can hate it and hunt it. John Owen provides the master guide for the sin-hunter. Kapic and Taylor bring together three of Owen’s classics, clarifying them in simple ways—but all the substance, the careful, hounding arguments are still there.”
—Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks
“John Owen understood how the gospel makes us well. Three cheers for Kapic and Taylor for introducing a new generation to Owen’s peerless works.”
—Sinclair B. Ferguson, Professor of Systematic Theology, Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas
“John Owen is a spiritual surgeon with the rare skill to cut away the cancer of sin and bring gospel healing to the sinner’s soul. Apart from the Bible, I have found his writings to be the best books ever written to help me stop sinning the same old sins.”
—Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College
“John Owen’s wisdom is the missing link in our culture’s confusion about sexual sin. Kapic and Taylor’s matchless edition renders transparent the practical theology of one of the great Puritan thinkers, bringing Owen to accessible light without sacrificing theological integrity. I consistently use this book in women’s studies and one-on-one discipling and counseling, especially with women who struggle with unwanted lesbian desires and pornography. Understanding that indwelling sin manipulates believers and how to deal with this is, sadly, the best kept secret in contemporary evangelical discourse on sin. Understanding sin rightly allows believers to glorify God with rugged love, as Owen shows us that repentance of sin is itself the threshold to our merciful God. Every believer should read this book.”
—Rosaria Butterfield, former tenured Professor of English at Syracuse University; author, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert; mother, pastor’s wife, and speaker
“No writer has taught me more about the dynamics of the heart and the deceitfulness of sin than John Owen. Read this book carefully; it will help you understand your heart and experience God’s grace.”
—C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
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.
Kelly M. Kapic is professor of biblical and theological studies at Covenant College in Georgia. Kapic and his wife have two children.
Justin Taylor (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center, and he blogs at Between Two Worlds—hosted by the Gospel Coalition.
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?
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Top Customer Reviews
Quality paper and binding as well. It's worth the price even though I already have the book in electronic edition (Logos Edition and Ages Software)
Owen has you nailed. Your Old Man has certain strategies for interfering with your communion with our Holy God. Your Old Man wants to flee from His presence, and he will prompt you to sin, forcing you to grieve the Holy Spirit in order to give himself a breather from your fellowship with the One whose holiness he desires to avoid. Your Old Man is you--- the old law, the old principle within you---with all your imagination and creativity, and pet sins that your new man can't seem to shake. Owen will teach you how to recognize, track, and thwart your Old Man's stratagems by prayer and watchfulness.
One noteworthy lesson from Owen will prove familiar to all spiritual warriors, and that is the Old Man's line, "This far and no farther." Sound familiar? "I'll just look at this one thing on the web, but go no farther." "I'll just have dinner with her, no more." May I add here that I've noticed how prominent the word "just" is in the Old Man's lexicon. When you hear it echo in your mind, drop to your knees and start praying, because "it's on!"
Think of this book as critical intelligence on enemy movements and dispositions stolen from enemy headquarters by a stalwart agent of proven worth. You might win without it, but you'll suffer a number of defeats along the way that could easily have been avoided. Our final victory is indeed assured, for He Who has begun a good work in us will finish it unto the day of Christ Jesus Our Lord, but whether you start beating the guts our of your Old Man now or only much later depends largely on how well you now "know thy self," for to know thy self is to "know thine enemy." (See Romans 7)
To wage war while despising critical intelligence is the height of folly, for it is to give your enemy victories that might easily have been yours and is to prolong the suffering needlessly. Sure you have an enemy army without your walls, the Evil One and his minions, seeking to sift and devour you, but you have a tireless enemy within as well, who desperately wants to cooperate with him and throw open your gates to let him in. You must identify this spy, track, pursue, seize and bind him in chains and cast him into your deepest dungeon; but keep watch, for he fights furiously to free himself and turn the tables on you. Owen will show you how to put his neck under your boot, and through prayer and watchfulness keep him there, but it is up to you both to read this book and yet also manage to remember its lessons once the fog of battle descends on your mind in the heat of temptation and obscures your love of Christ.
If you read this work prayerfully, perhaps in conjunction with "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices," by Brooks (ISBN: 0851510027), and "The Christian in Complete Armour," by Gurnall (the full 1244-page version, ISBN: 0851511961), you'll find yourself promoted to officer in His army in no time. Officers enjoy many privileges along with their increased responsibilities, including greater proximity to the Leader and being made privy to more of His counsels.
See J.C. Ryle's "Holiness," too (ISBN: 0967760356), but this one by Owen is the clear winner for crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires.
If you're a purist and desire to read only undistilled versions of Owen and others, insisting on the Complete Works of..., or whatever, be at peace and buy this. It's by no means distilled, and though it is still a little bit of work it is by no means as hard to get through as Death of Death. I too prefer the works in the original, and that is indeed what you're going to get here, but with footnotes to explain archaisms and a few corrections to Owen's errant citations, etc. You can tell the editors love Owen in the original, too. I guarantee you won't regret this purchase.
Stop reading and start buying! For the Christian is from moment to moment, day to day, either advancing or retreating, conquering or being conquered, enslaving his Old Man or being enslaved by him. Put on the whole armor of God, read this intelligence on the ploys of your traitor within, and get on with your conquest!
But be advised, Christian, much is expected from him to whom much has been given. If you study this prayerfully and apply it diligently, by God's grace you will find yourself granted closer communion with God, but the closer you get to Him the less tolerant He will be of your indwelling sins, for their reek will only be that much stronger in His nostrils the closer you get. An ounce of sanctification calls for two, two for a pound, and on until carelessness or unwatchfulness in your daily temptations will result in grieving the Holy Spirit more quickly and more sharply, and more profound setbacks will accrue than before, since to fall from a height hurts more. Therefore be prayerful, be watchful, be precise, dear Christian, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its passions and desires, for we are commanded to be holy as He is holy, and we are advised that He will be regarded as holy by all who would draw nigh to Him. Attempt this on your own strength and wits, however, and you will fail. You need to learn how, you need to read Owen's work. Studying Owen will indeed require dedication and focus, but the labor is not in vain, for,
"In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and earthenware, and some for noble use and some for ignoble. If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work." 2 Ti. 2:20f.