Book Review: Tempted and Tried

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As the days go by, and the months turn to years, Christians begin to long more and more for the great day of the Resurrection. Why? Because as time passes by Christians begin to hate their sin more and more. With each passing day, the true believer declares with a greater burden, “I Hate my Sin!” You see, whenever we sin, we make the declaration that we value something more than we value God. With this reality in mind and as we grow in our Christian life, we witness again and again the tenacity of sin. It has been a rare thing indeed to walk into a Christian bookstore and find a book on how to conquer the sin in our lives. It is in the midst of much writing on spiritual laws and several keys to spiritual living that Russell Moore brings us this work. This book is a gift to the church, and I can testify that it will benefit you immensely. The truths Moore presents in this book have been tested and tried!

Tempted and Tried is about being victorious over temptation. The author uses the story of Jesus and his victories over the temptations in the wilderness as an example for believers to follow in their fight against temptation.

The author argues that because Christians are “in” Christ, they now have the same power and tools that Jesus had in overcoming these three temptations. This point is crucial because I believe that over the past century or so, the doctrine of Union With Christ has been vastly ignored. The neglect of this doctrine has led to many Christians being ignorant of all that God has given them in Christ. This includes their standing before God as well as the tools God has given them to overcome sin.

This book, however, is remarkably different from the typical books that are written about combating temptation. In Tempted and Tried, Moore does not offer a simple list of different ways in which one can avoid or prevail over temptation. Instead, he informs the reader why temptation and sin are so serious and what Jesus did for us so that temptation can be conquered. Moore states, “Just as our temptation is part of a larger story, so is our exit strategy from its power. The same Spirit who led Jesus through the wilderness and empowered him to overcome the Evil One now surges through all of us who are joined by faith to Jesus. We overcome temptation the same way he did, by trusting in our father and hearing his voice” (p. 22). The author then goes on to say, “This isn’t a self-help guide, promising to do for temptation what a diet manual promises to do for obesity” (p. 23). Moore does much more than simply lay out a “how-to” manual.

Moore’s book was tremendously insightful. One of the great strengths of the book is the angle in which it speaks about temptation. Many books discuss temptation, but I have not encountered another that takes it from the angle Moore takes. Typically the books written about temptation take a highly personal tone. They usually give certain practical points that an individual can take to avoid temptation. Tempted and Tried, however, gives the reader a grand view of Jesus and shows what he has done on behalf of believers. The author also begins each chapter with a story that illustrates the point he intends to make throughout the chapter. This approach was extremely helpful and allows the reader to know what to expect and to follow along more clearly.

Ultimately, this book is excellent and edifying. By the conclusion of the book, the reader can expect to have a firm grasp on temptation and how to fight it. Some may criticize the book’s lack of any step-by-step counsel in combating temptation. However, the book gives an even greater weapon to fight temptation. Tempted and Tried will remind Christians that victory over temptation is not primarily won by simply taking several steps to avoid it, though that can be tremendously helpful and necessary. Victory over temptation, however, is primarily won by recognizing who believers are in the resurrected Christ and bidding farewell to their old selves who were tried, convicted, and crucified with Jesus. Christians have been resurrected with Christ and walk in the victory that Jesus won when he was tempted, tried and found perfect. Click on the picture below to be taken to Dr. Moore’s own blog.

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About Kyle James Howard

My name is Kyle, I am married to my “high-school sweetheart” and we have 3 children. I have a 7 year-old daughter (Hadassah), a 2 year-old son (Jonah), and 1 year old (Kesed). I am 32 years old and I am currently a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have an Associates degree in Biblical & Theological Studies, A B.S. in Biblical Counseling, and I am finishing up an Advanced M. Div in Historical Theology. Click on the "About Me" link at the top of my home page to read my full testimony.

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