"It starts like this, doesn't it? It starts as a series of innocent departures, gradually leading to something more and something more." This is the assertion Russell D Moore makes in the opening pages of his latest offering, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ.
Sin by its very nature is subtle and deceptive. It creeps into our lives and often catches us unawares. Sometimes, before we know it, we have reached a point of habitually sinning without actually realising the treacherous ground upon which we are at that time treading. In fact, as I write this review I am currently being tempted by a sultry Gwyneth Paltrow who is dancing seductively in her recent appearance on hit TV show Glee (TV remote- press Off!) This just goes to show the ever-present nature of sin and temptation in 21st century living. We are bombarded on our TV screens, on our laptops, mobile phones and magazines. Sin and Temptation are everywhere. Sin is destructive....it destroys relationships, ruins lives and can leave us feeling trapped. Whatever hope do we have in this battle against sin and temptation?! How is it possible to defeat this prowling lion that never leaves our side....how do we finally bury the rotten corpse of our old sinful nature that clings to us like a parasite, often sucking the joy out of our Christian lives?! In Tempted and Tried Dr. Moore has written a practical, Scripture-saturated, Gospel-centred and easily accessible book on why Christians are tempted and how they are to overcome temptation.
Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Seminary, reminds us that we "will be tempted exactly as Jesus was, because Jesus was being tempted exactly as we are". Herein lies one of the main reasons we face temptation- we face temptation as Christ faced temptation and Christ faced temptation just as we face it. Whilst we fail daily, we must draw strength for the battle by remembering that Christ never succumbed to Satan's slithering advances. Moore also asserts that the battle against sin is one of remembering our true identity. As Christians our true identity is in Christ and God is our Father....when we sin we forget/attempt to push these unshakeable facts to the side for that fleeting moment of pleasure or lapse in character.
Sin is a battle, of that there is no doubt. I heartily recommend this book as it will help you in your battle against sin and temptation. However, it will also fill you with hope as its pages are gospel saturated. Yes, you will be challenged and squirm in your seat as you read, due to the fact Moore doesn't hold back any punches, but you will also be comforted and strengthened to take up arms and put to death the sins you struggle with. It's no surprise that the book has received all but one 5-star review on Amazon...do yourself a favour, buy this book!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Crossway book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.