Tuesday, April 30, 2013

currently reading: Tempted, Tested, True

Dr. Arnie Cole and Michael Ross, both currently of Back to the Bible, teamed up to write Tempted, Tested, True: A Proven Path to Overcoming Soul-Robbing Choices.  Various other writers also contributed.  The book focuses on temptation, reminding readers over and over that all people all are tempted, simply in different ways.  Additionally, it gives practical steps to overcoming temptation and changing habits.

This book begins by talking about the seven deadly sins and also about the four stages of temptation (mentioned in James 1). Throughout the book, the writers touch on many different sins including sloth, gossip, lust, worry and materialism.  Each chapter ended with a "nudge" such as "Nudge 1: Learn to be God-centered" and "Nudge 4: Change your brain".  These nudges had seven steps: tempted, tested, true, memorize, listen, respond and pray.  Included in each nudge were questions to answer, research/quotes to consider, Scripture verses and written prayers.    

The appendix was noteworthy.  In it, the authors explained "three protestant views about sin and salvation" by comparing the theologies of John Calvin, Martin Luther and Jacobus Arminius.  Included was a helpful reference chart.

I picked this book to review because I was intrigued by the phrase "soul-robbing" in the title.  I appreciated the authors' straightforwardness about sin and thought that they dealt well with it: showing the gravity of our sins (ALL of our sins, not just the "big ones") but reminding readers of hope for change through Jesus.  I liked the "nudges" because they gave clear steps for change and I believe they could be of great help if used properly.  Personally, I didn't care for the fact that there were multiple writers.  Having the two main authors was fine, but multiple other writers were added, I wished that their sections would have been designated differently.  Sometimes I had to look back a few lines to figure out who was writing.  Perhaps the editors should have changed the font or set those parts in a quote block to avoid this confusion.  Other than that, the book is easy to follow.  As someone who enjoys reading more academic-type books, I did get annoyed a few times when something was written without a reference.  For instance, on page 53 the authors write about how "ancient Jews thought that a desire...could have a life of its own".  I would have appreciated an endnote designating where they found this information, however, I recognize that most people wouldn't have been bothered by that at all.  The appendix was great - I appreciated their work there.  Overall, I would recommend this book as a reminder of the gravity of sin and practical guide to overcoming temptation.

**This book was given to me by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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