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Freedom from Sinful Thoughts Paperback – 1 Nov 1997


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Review

Reminds me of Kierkegaard's great classic, Purity of Heart. Both force you to look deep within your own life.--E. Glen Hinson, Baptist Theological Seminary

Arnold's writing is full of love. His deep-rootedness in Christ makes him a very wise, a very safe, and a very challenging guide.--Henri J. M. Nouwen

A concise, straightforward work written from a pastor s heart Sounds a warning to the self-oriented, therapeutic tendencies of our day.--Publishers Weekly"

Loving and sensitive, Arnold makes his readers feel encouraged rather than condemned.--Howard R. Macy, George Fox University

With deep insight into the workings of the mind, Arnold brings us towards deliverance by union with Christ.--Dallas Willard, author, "The Spirit of the Disciplines"

About the Author

J. Heinrich Arnold (1913-1982) is best known for his books Discipleship and Freedom from Sinful Thoughts, which have helped thousands to follow Christ in their daily lives, and for his pastoral care as elder of the Bruderhof communities. When Heinrich was seven, his parents Eberhard and Emmy Arnold and their five children left a bourgeois life in Berlin for a dilapidated villa in the German village of Sannerz, where they founded a Christian community based on Jesus teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. As a young man, Heinrich Arnold refused to serve in Hitler's armed forces and was forced to flee Germany. He studied agriculture in Zurich, Switzerland, and in 1936 married Annemarie Waechter, a kindergarten teacher. In 1938 they moved to England, where Heinrich managed the community s farm. In 1941 the community was forced to emigrate to South America. In 1954, Heinrich Arnold and his family moved to the fledgling Woodcrest Bruderhof in Rifton, New York, where he served as pastor for the rest of his life. Those who knew him best remember Heinrich Arnold as a down-to-earth man who loved life and would warmly welcome any troubled person in for a cup of coffee and a chat.

John Michael Talbot is an award-winning Christian musician, writer, television presenter, motivational speaker and itinerant minister to churches and parishes around the world. An early pioneer of contemporary Christian music, Talbot grew up performing in a country-rock band with his brother Terry before embarking on a spiritual journey that led him through Native American religion and Buddhism to Christianity. At this point he and Terry joined the Jesus Movement, recording the albumReborn on the Sparrow record label. He is now recognized as Catholic music's most popular artist with over fifty albums and four million copies sold. His songs are published in hymnals throughout the world. A member of the Jesus Movement in the early 1970s, Talbot converted to Roman Catholicism in 1978 after immersing himself in the life and teaching of St. Francis of Assisi. He then founded his own community, the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, at Little Portion Hermitage as an "integrated monastic community" with celibate brothers and sisters, singles, and families. Talbot is also the author of numerous books bringing the Christian monastic tradition to contemporary life, includingThe Jesus Prayer, Blessings of St. Benedict, The Way Of The Mystics: Ancient Wisdom For Experiencing God Today and The Music of Creation: Foundations of a Christian Life.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fulget crucis mysterium -Now gleams the mystery of the cross 10 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a profound book. Its piety is deep and true, centered on Jesus Christ crucified. I highly recommend it for Evangelicals and, despite a couple of minor theological difficulties, Catholics. Anyone interested in living within God's will should read this book.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Liberating Treatise on Renewing Our Minds 1 Feb. 2002
By Cameron B. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a wise and encouraging little book on a very important topic. It is 103 pages of text with an additional 8-page biography of the author, J. Heinrich Arnold. The eighteen chapter titles are as follows: The Struggle, Temptation, Deliberate Sin, The Will, The Power of Suggestion, Autosuggestion, Fascination, Suppression, Faith, Self-Surrender, Confession, Prayer, Detachment, Repentance and Rebirth, Healing, Purification, The Cross, and Living for the Kingdom. Arnold perceptively sees the distinction between our sinful nature and our will, but is also aware of the latter's inability to overcome sin without God's grace. He writes: "It is impossible to defeat one's sinful nature by will power alone, because the will is never wholly free, but bent this way and that by conflicting emotions and other forces at work on it." Thomas Kelly, in his classic "A Testament of Devotion" says it this way: "`I will' spells not obedience." This is because obedience comes through submission of our will to God, not independent exertion of it. It is as we walk in submission to the Holy Spirit that we overcome the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16) and bear fruits of righteousness. Although some theologians or authors make distinctions or use terms differently than others, one can benefit from a comparative analysis of Arnold's book in relation to others on the same or similar topics. Although such comparative analysis isn't an emphasis in this work, Arnold does incorporate insights from other authors such as Bonhoeffer, Pascal, Eckhart, the Swiss-French psychiatrist Charles Baudouin, and his father.
Through my studies I've come to distinguish (contrary to some) between what I call unconscious, conscious, and willful sins. The first involves sins of character and attitude that we are not yet aware of in ourselves and include "sins of ignorance". The second, usually considered synonymous with the third by some, involves becoming conscious of what was previously unconscious for the purpose of repentance. It also includes our awareness of our sinful nature that produces internal temptations (via sinful desires) that we can overcome through our submission to the Holy Spirit. Arnold, in Chapter II, states that "temptation is not sin" (pg. 10). I would qualify this by saying that all temptation is sin, but not sin from the one being tempted. I believe this was Arnold's point since some Christians condemn themselves for being tempted. Our sinful nature "tempts" us internally and contributes to any external temptation, but we are not to deliberately fulfill its sinful desires. What I call "willful sin" equates, more or less, to what Arnold calls "deliberate" sin and involves our deliberate refusal to submit to God and the moral light he gives us both in our conscience and in His Word, the Bible. I personally think that willful sin should be distinguished from our sinful nature (ref. Romans 7:20 in context) and its lusts. To help others understand my distinction between conscious and willful sin, I point out that all willful sin is conscious (choosing sin knowing it is sin) but not all conscious sin is willful, but the definition of each category needs refinement. Other books discussing sin and holiness that warrant a comparative analysis with this one and, in some ways, complement and reinforce its points, include such classics as: "Sin and Temptation: The Challenge of Personal Godliness" by John Owen, edited by James Houston; "A Serious Call to a Devout & Holy Life" by William Law; "Introduction to the Devout Life" by Francis de Sales; "Purity of Heart" by Soren Kierkegaard; and "Holy Living and Holy Dying" by Jeremy Taylor. A more recent, but good, Protestant analysis of sin is "Offense to Reason: A Theology of Sin" by Bernard Ramm. See also "Five Views on Sanctification," from the Zondervan Counterpoint series, edited by Stanley Gundry.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts are amazing things 29 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Anything good or bad, large or small that has ever been accomplished in human history began with a thought. This is why our personal thought life is not only crucial to the health of our soul but can have a very wide impact for good or evil. When thoughts become a burden that drag us down and away from life's purpose the wisdom in this book can give help and healing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pinpoint the problem. 19 Jan. 2015
By Book Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Freedom from sinful thoughts is a deep yet concise guide on the benefit of taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ, our Lord.

This is not only a practical book, but a theological bullet that will penetrate the heart and mind. The goal of this book is to stir your mind so that your thoughts become pure and focused on Christ...i.e. Hebrews 12.

The gut honest truth is that we are what we think. We often have trouble withholding our thoughts from becoming actions. We need to be free from this, so that our thoughts become Christlike reinforcing our actions to be Christlike.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive or biased review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope and Strength 10 Nov. 2013
By Happy Camper Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rocked my boat. A very well written document on a very critical aspect of living a Christian life. It intentionally reinforces the reality that our chosen thoughts that are dwelt on molds entire character and relationship with Christ. I have never encounter such a dynamic encounter on this subject. It has redirected my personal and devotional life in a very positive way.
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