Friday, June 29, 2012

"Tempted and Tried": A Review

The next book you need to buy, borrow, or check our is without a doubt Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ by Dr. Russell Moore and after you pick yourself up, seek Christ, and begin your fight as a Serpent fighting warrior you can thank me. Dr. Moore has written an important book that has inspired rappers (Flame's album "6th" was inspired by this book) and challenged it readers. Dr. Moore is one of the best Christian writers around and has an amazing ability to pierce through the readers heart with the gospel.

You are in the midst of a war led by the Devil himself. Right now you are subject to the arrows of the enemy who used temptation as a means to fight the gospel and to pull us away from the greater glory of Christ. Our hope in facing and overcoming temptation is not self-help remedies, but the gospel of Jesus Christ by which we submit to His Lordship and follow His example.

Most of Dr. Moore's book is focused on the temptation of Jesus who faced the temptations of provision, protection, and pride each of which we face relentlessly every minute of everyday.  Christ overcame these temptations, unlike Adam, Esau, the Israelites in the wilderness, Moses, David, and every human in history.  Dr. Moore walks the reader through the temptation of Christ reminding us that Christ must go through these temptations as the fulfillment of Adam, the fulfillment of Israel, the fulfillment of the Law, and as our High Priest who can sympathize with us. Moore has a rare ability to weave the whole biblical picture in a way that points us to Christ and His cross. Moore repeatedly takes us to the gospel and that makes the book worth your investment.

Regarding his ability to reach the reader consider the following example I quote at length:

Self-control is, in this fallen world, counterintuitive and countercultural, so much so that anyone possessing it will seem bizarre if not subversive.  That's especially true for those of us living in an era of unparalleled affluence, in which there is the illusion of a limitlessness of conceivable consumption.This has changed te makeup and witness of our churches, I fear, in ways that are mostly invisible to us. We have become the people Jesus warned us about - fat, upwardly mobile, and politically influential. In the meantime we've become accommodated in almost every way t the culture that surrounds us. We must recognize that one of the roots of the family crisis around us - in the pews we sit in or preach to every week - is the wallet in our own back pocket. 

Too many of our churches, too many of us, have made peace with the sexual revolution and the familial chaos left in its wake precisely because we made peace, long before, with the love of money. WE wish to live with the same standard of living as the culture around us (there is no sin in that), but we are willing to get there by any means necessary. 

Why does the seemingly godly church member in one of our congregations or parishes drive his pregnant teenage daughter to the nearest city under cover of darkness to obtain an abortion?  Because no matter how much he "votes his values," when crisis hits, he wants his daughter to have a "normal" life. He is pro-life with, as one feminist leader put it, three exceptions - rape, incest, and my situation. 

Why do Christian parents, contra Saint Paul's clear admonition in 1 Corinthians 7, encourage their young adult children to delay marriage, sometimes for years past the time it would take to discern whether this union would be of the Lord? Why do we smilingly tell them to wait until they can "afford" it? It is because, to our shame, we deem fornication a less awful reality than financial hardship. 

Why do our pastors and church leaders speak bluntly about homosexuality but not about divorce, despite the fact that evangelical Christian divorce rates are the same or higher than those in the world we consider "unchurched"? It is because in many cases church leaders know the faces of the divorced people in the pews before them, and they fear losing the membership statistics or the revenue those faces represent. To put it bluntly, we have many more out-of-the-closet multiple divorcees than out-of-the-closet homosexuals in our churches. John the Baptist put his head on a platter to speak the truth that not even a king can claim another man's wife. John the Modern Evangelical isn't willing to put his retirement benefits on the table to say the same thing to a congregational business meeting
. -87-89

Amen! And Ouch!! As you can see, Moore convicts more than "those sinners" but us Pharisees and this is only a small taste of the entire book.  Moore leads the reader to the cross in this war over our souls. He exegetes Scripture and always makes a bee line to Calvary - preachers ought to take note.

I cannot recommend this book enough. As I said at the beginning, you need to read this book and read it soon and return to it often. Dr. Moore is a great writer and he has something we need to hear here. If you want to be conformed to the image of Christ, get Tempted and Tried.

For more:
Reviews - "Adopted for Life" by Russell Moore
Blogizomai - Moore: Gambling, Justice, & the Gospel
Blogizomai - Where Are They Now?: Moore on God's Providence & the Next Billy Graham
Blogizomai - Robertson Has Repudiated the Gospel: Russell Moore on CNN
Blogizomai - Dungeons & Dragons, and Calvin, O My!: Moore's Exhortation to the New Calvinists
Blogizomai - Gospel-Centered Ecology: A Reality That Christians Must Face Without Abandoning the Gospel
Blogizomai - Moore: The Man In Black at 80 Blogizomai - "Mapping Out Our Next Trillion Years: How the Kingdom of Christ Reshapes Your Mission" by Dr. Russell Moore

Blogizomai - "Zen and the Art of Mammon Maintenance: How the Kingdom Reorders Anxiety" by Dr. Russell Moore

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