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Temptation and Sin (Works of John Owen #6)

4.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,427 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
The concept of sin and personal responsibility has all but disappeared from our world. John Owen deals with the nature of sinful humanity as no writer since has done as keenly or thoroughly, arguing that sin is always a self-deceiving, blinding folly. Owen was a leading English statesman in the late 17th century and is considered "the John Calvin of England."
Hardcover, 648 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Banner of Truth (first published 1656)
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Alexis Neal
Jan 27, 2012 Alexis Neal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-books, religion
Editors Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor do their darnedest to make one of the most notoriously unreadable Puritans accessible to lay readers. This is my first exposure to Owen, so I can't really compare their 'modernized' version to the original, but I can say that although it was substantively dense and organizationally complex, it was also quite readable.

In fact, Kapic and Taylor are so determined to simplify Owen that they footnote and define more than 250 words throughout the book--words r
David Westerfield
Owen brings so much content to the table concerning the nature and power of sin in the life of the believer, it is like trying to drink from a fire hose. His thought process, logic, and ability to synthesize Biblical information is beyond comparison. The book is actually a compilation of three books: On the Mortification of Sin in Believers, Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It, and Indwelling Sin.

In the first book, On the Mortification of Sin in Believers, Owen makes the distinction, from
Rhyan Phillips
Mar 26, 2012 Rhyan Phillips rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well it finally happened. I finished this book after working on it off and on for maybe a year and a half. It is a difficult book to speak of in short because, as Owen shows, there is much to be said about sin. I will say this is probably a book you can read many times and continue to learn from. It is fairly puritanical language but it's manageable and the revelations and convictions herein are certainly not bound by linguistic discrepancies.
Trey Bahm
Jan 17, 2013 Trey Bahm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterful theology by this great Englishman. Both he and contemporary John Milton wrote political literature (a.k.a. propaganda) on behalf of the mid-17th Century Puritan movement. Owen himself was an advisor to Oliver Cromwell.
Feb 21, 2011 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: repeat
This book has quite possibly impacted my life more than any other book outside of the Bible.
Edward Sanderlin
Next to my bible, this book has had the greatest impact on my life. I will say this book proved to be a great challenge to read. I often re-read sentences and pages because of the difficulty. However, the work put forth was well worth it. This book is a combination of 3 works by John Owen. His included works are the mortification of sin, indwelling sin in believers, and the nature of temptation. This book makes much of Christ and paints a vivid picture of the terriblness of sin. This book crushe ...more
Trent Cannon
Mar 02, 2015 Trent Cannon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I have read this volume one time already, and am reading it for the second time. This book has helped me in ways that words can not express. Owen writes with much insight and from a pastoral heart on sin in the believer. His exposition of Psalm 130 was used of the Lord to bring me through a time in my life when I felt totally abandoned by God, deserted, and without hope of recovery. Sin had practically destroyed my life, robbed me of testimony, destroyed my ministry, and wrecked my marriage. Owe ...more
Zachary Barnhart
"The really great writers are not valuable for their cleverness but for their straightforward and astonishing insight into what the Bible really says about great realities. This is what we need."

John Piper's opening exhortations in the Foreword are an important introduction to not only these paramount works of John Owen, but the theologian himself. John Owen is one of the most prolific writers and teachers in the history of the church. His writing is extensive, rich, and the perfect paradoxical
Jacob O'connor
Feb 19, 2014 Jacob O'connor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the most helpful book on this topic I've ever read.

Most of us are familiar with the legend of the two wolves that live in our souls. There is a good one. There's a bad one. Which one wins? The one you feed.

John Owen gets beat up for being difficult to read. I didn't find this to be a distraction. It isn't light material, but this is best read as a devotional or as a resource with you feel under attack.

Owen keeps coming back to the central premise: we must mortify our flesh and be made al
Lea Lea
Oct 22, 2014 Lea Lea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first introduction to Owen, and for that matter, Puritan writers. It is difficult to express how influential this book has been. It is the type of book to always have nearby and to read in small portions, so as to ruminate on it all day. it is surprising how life-giving and applicable such an old book could be.
Technically I only read the section entitled "Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers," but I'm fairly confident that this section is typical of the whole book. As to the annotations and corrections by the editors of this collection, they were very well done. They were kept as minimal as necessary and so didn't distract at all. However, that said, other than increasing my vocabulary with unusable words, I'm not sure I see the value of keeping the antiquated language at all. I may just opt for a ...more
Michaelpatrick Keena
I have always enjoyed Owens, and look forward to this current edition of his works. Reading Owen is no mere walk through the park, but after walking his path through the Word, one is never left the same
Scott Cox
Jan 18, 2016 Scott Cox rated it it was amazing
I recommend obtaining the complete 16 volume set if at all possible. However this volume, plus Volume ("Death of Christ") are probably the two most important volumes to begin your comprehensive study of John Owen. The following is an excerpt from Volume 10 regarding the Providence of God: "1. His decree or purpose, whereby he hath disposed of all things in order, and appointed them for certain ends, which he hath fore-ordained. 2. His prescience, whereby he certainly foreknoweth all things that ...more
Bryan McWhite
This is the best book I have ever read on sin and the battle against it. This is must-read stuff for every believer. One of the most formative books of my life.
Aug 10, 2011 Danny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pure gold. Get it. Read it!
Nathan Schneider
Aug 24, 2015 Nathan Schneider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual-growth
The power of sin should not be underestimated, nor should it ever be inevitable (because of the grace of God). Owen's Overcoming Sin and Temptation is actually three classic works by the Puritan writer: Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers, Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It, and Indwelling Sin. Each book is focused on a particular passage of Scripture (e.g. Of the Mortification elaborates on Romans 8:13, "For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you p ...more
Dec 11, 2014 Jeanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
From what I understand, this essay turned book, was intended for high school students going into college. It is one those studies that you will need to read several times at different times of your walk just because it speaks deeply of the things of God. I choose to read this important essay because popular blogger Tim Challies had invited his readers to read along with him. Each week we were to read a chapter and he would write his thoughts. I have included his web page for you to take a look. ...more
J. Machen
Apr 26, 2013 J. Machen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the introduction for this book there is found a quote by Andrew Thomson on Owen's writing; "Owen travels through it [his subject] with the elephant's grace and solid step, if sometimes also with his ungainly motion."(15) Upon Reading through this book this proves to be an apt statement. Reading Owen's writing can sometimes feel like trudging through thick mud, but the time spent is well worth it. While the pace and prose of Owen's style can leave you confounded and re-reading whole paragraphs ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Coyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains a heavily-edited version of John Owen's three treatises "Mortification of Sin," "On Temptation," and "Indwelling Sin." When I say "heavily-edited", I mean NOT that the language has been updated as some modern Puritan reprints do (the bad ones, mostly), but that Owen's outline has been corrected and obscure words have been footnoted. So, where Owen might give a series of points that run like this: 1. Sin; 2. Redemption; D. Application; 5. Corollary; 6. Sin again; etc; the edito ...more
Tim Augustyn
This is a really, really good book. It was written in the 1600's, and if you read the original, it is almost impossible to follow. The editors of this book have done a really good job of bringing it into (to be fair) the late 1800's : )

What Owen does so helpfully in this book is help us understand the nature of sin. Why do I sin? What kinds of struggles can I expect in the Christian life? And then: What kind of resources has God given me to deal with the sin that I find in my life (even though
This book is possibly one of the best I have ever read.
It seemed like Owen was killing me at times by using the Word to convict me of my sins and ripping out confidence in myself.

The only way to mortify sin is by the Holy Spirit. Apart from Him all actions are fruitless and done in vain.

The section on how desire and temptation lead to sin was very good to hear. Owen's talked of all the ways we make provision for the flesh, to gratify the lusts there of.

Owen's expresses the importance of Fathe
Jan 15, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No book is as blunt yet as hopeful (for its foundation in Christ's grace) about battling sin. There is hope that is in the words of the teacher, "refreshment to your bones." (Prov 3:7-8)
Brian Collins
Jan 25, 2012 Brian Collins rated it really liked it
The first book bound in this volume, "The Mortification of Sin in Believers," is probably the best book written on how to war war against sin. It is worthy of being read often. The other books bound with it, "Of Temptation," "The Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalency of the Remainders of Indwelling Sin in Believers," and "A Practical Exposition upon Psalm CXXX," do not rise to the same level, but they too are worth reading. The latter, on one of my favorite Psalms, is a classic Puritan expositio ...more
Paul Degraaf
Dec 27, 2015 Paul Degraaf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This puritan classic has been foundational in my pursuit of holiness. A must read for every child of God who desires to kill remaining sin.
May 23, 2015 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most profound books on sin and temptation. This is a book to read and re-read.
Oct 19, 2014 Per rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best and most life-changing book I've read, besides the Bible.
Kate Mccallum
Aug 17, 2015 Kate Mccallum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredibly difficult book to read! He is so spot on with how our sin interacts with us and what we allow it to do in our lives. There is hardly a page in the book that does not have a highlight on it. He so well describes the consuming, beastly power of our flesh. He also describes how Satan uses our flesh against us. He also shows our complete inability to deal with it on our own. His solution is essentially to purse the Lord non-stop. That is the only way to counteract the deceitfulnes ...more
This is a collection of 3 books by Puritan John Owen on a subject that is quite taboo these days, sin. Line by line, Owen describes how sin gains its power to captivate a person. He talks about the law of sin, the workings of sin and our need to "mortify" (put to death) sin.

This is a very thorough work, but it does take a lot of effort to follow the 17 the Century vocabulary. Having said that, it is well worth the effort to persevere to the end.
Bob Flores
Amazingly rich but very difficult to read for me. This version has actually even been simplified to a certain degree. The language of Owen's day is very different than ours. I even read a few other Puritans works to get into the rhythm of the way english was written back then, and Owens work was still difficult, but I did it! If not for that, I would have given it 5!
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  • The Bruised Reed
  • The Mystery of Providence
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
  • Suffering and the Sovereignty of God
  • Quest for Godliness
  • For the Love of God: Volume One: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God's Word
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • The Godly Man's Picture
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • The Religious Affections
  • Holiness
  • The Christian in Complete Armour
  • Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ
  • The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (A Theology of Lordship)
John Owen was an English theologian and "was without doubt not only the greatest theologian of the English Puritan movement but also one of the greatest European Reformed theologians of his day, and quite possibly possessed the finest theological mind that England ever produced" ("Owen, John", in Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, p. 494)
More about John Owen...

Other Books in the Series

Works of John Owen (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • The Glory of Christ
  • Communion with God
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Faith and Its Evidences (Works of John Owen, Volume 5)
  • Sin and Grace (Works of John Owen, Volume 7)
  • Sermons To The Nation (Works Of John Owen, Volume 8)
  • Sermons to the Church (Works of John Owen, Volume 9)
  • The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
  • Continuing in the Faith (Works of John Owen, Volume 11)
  • The Gospel Defended (Works of John Owen, Volume 12)

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“When we realize a constant enemy of the soul abides within us, what diligence and watchfulness we should have! How woeful is the sloth and negligence then of so many who live blind and asleep to this reality of sin. There is an exceeding efficacy nad power in the indwelling sin of believers, for it constantly inclines itself towards evil. We need to be awake, then, if our hearts would know the ways of God. Our enemy is not only upon us, as it was with Samson, but it is also in us.” 11 likes
“Sin also carries on its war by entangling the affections and drawing them into an alliance against the mind. Grace may be enthroned in the mind, but if sin controls the affections, it has seized a fort from which it will continually assault the soul. Hence, as we shall see, mortification is chiefly directed to take place upon the affections.” 6 likes
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