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Of Temptation - Enhanced Version

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  31 reviews
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matt. 26:41). These words, which Jesus spoke to his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, serve as the foundation for John Owen's treatise Of Temptation. Owen preached on the subject of temptation frequently during his many years of service as the dean and vice chance ...more
Kindle Edition
Published July 30th 2010 by Christian Classics Ethereal Library (first published 1658)
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An Idler
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you need a book you can hold in one hand, finish in a few readings, and find edification in. This paraphrase of Owen is just the ticket - it's a five-hour energy shot of orthodox pastoral advice on fighting temptation. You'll smack your forehead and say "how have I never heard/thought of this?" Considering the length of this pocket version... It's just insanely rich. It was a delight to read this with my wife and discuss it as we went, and I've already seen some fruit in my Christian w ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: puritan
Probably my fifth or sixth time through this book which is perhaps even better than the earlier treatise on Mortification. Owen, in my opinion, is the greatest of the Puritan authors for three reasons: (1) his psychological insight (when you read Owen, you feel like he's been reading your thoughts); (2) his heart-oriented practicality (he gives you very practical strategies, but always with a focus on the heart); (3) his gospel-centeredness (he casts you not upon yourself, but upon Christ). Real ...more
Samuel Bierig
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good stuff
Rafael Salazar
Simply stunning. Though this is the shortest, it is by far the best volume of Owen's trilogy on overcoming sin. It features a well-rounded analysis of the subtle dangers of temptation and explores in detail the remedy found in gospel grace.

I wish I had read this book sooner, and mean to read it again in the future. If you can read only one of Owen's books on sin, this is it.
Christian Barrett
The great Puritan John Owen masterfully breaks down how Christians are to flee from all temptation. Using Matthew 26:41 Owen calls Christians to watch and pray as they live in a fallen world where sin abounds. He walks through the temptations of Christ, the temptations of every believer, the role of temptation, and how Christians are to fight temptation. Ultimately concluding the battle of not falling into sin is done by the power of the Holy Spirit. Owen is a convicting writer that uses the Wor ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and convicting. I benefited from discussing this with my husband as we read together as, probably due to the abridgment of the book, the material is very dense and Owen's points come fast. I'm sure reading the full version would be preferable, but this little book was more spiritually beneficial and convicting than many contemporary Christian Living type books I have read and was a great introduction to Owen as an author. Highly recommend. ...more
Matt Crawford
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Owen’s work on temptation shows his pastoral heart. He is favored by academic theologians but he is a maturing elder for the least of these. It is evident in this perfect companion to the Mortification of Sin. He does not merely define temptation but helps the reader to understand it. He reveals why it catches us by surprise and how to remedy it. The best example of are he stresses on is of course to keep your eyes on the Cross.
Jacob Navey
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I would recommend reading this one prior to "Mortification". Both valuable, but I think this one strikes at the root of all sin earlier, before it has opportunity to become sin. "All sin is from temptation (James 1:14). Sin is a fruit that comes only from that root."

"Fire and things combustible may more easily be induced to lie together without affecting each other than peculiar lusts and suitable objects or occasions for their exercise."
Matt Boezinger
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best and most thorough (yet still concise) resource of any kind that I’ve come across on the nature of temptation. Owen simply, but masterfully, draws out truth from Scripture and invites the reader to see more of the excellencies of the Gospel as it pertains to this complex and often amorphous subject. If you want to begin understanding what it really means to experience and battle temptation according to the scriptures, read the Bible. But also read this book.
Joshua Reichard
John Owen’s second book on Overcoming Sin and Temptation was helpful and insightful in my daily walk with the Lord. He has helped me observe and think through things in my life that i should be fleeing from. Owen helped reveal to me that the only true way to over come sin and temptation is by watching and praying. Watching being reading the Word of God. And praying being communicating with God daily. Though you may be of great status, though you may be of wealthy nature, you are always one step ...more
Nicholas Maulucci
another excellent book by John Owen. more convicting than his book on pastors. also, I noted that his writing seemed like early 20th century - well, try 1658. that is when he wrote this book. excellent analogies. good book. enjoyable if you like longer, more obsolete words. these two books are the first I've read by Owen, but will probably read others if he has written them. recommended book! ...more
John Yelverton
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short, but well done overview of temptation, and how to avoid and combat it. John Owen has the uncanny knack of always driving his points straight to the reader's heart, and he certainly does this here. ...more
Alex Stroshine
Didn't get much from chapters 1-3 but everything after is good. ...more
Kristopher Schaal
Essentially an extended sermon on the words of Christ, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41).

According to Owen, we enter into temptation when the temptation “grows to its greatest force, when it is most vigorous, active, operative, and prevalent” (15).

Watching includes knowing yourself and your own sin tendencies as well as being sober-minded and aware of potential dangers.

My biggest takeaway from this book was not to underestimate the power of temptation. Things that
John Owen’s work on temptation was originally published in 1658. That’s over 360 years ago, and yet when reading it I found that it was timeless in its assessment of our struggles with temptations toward sin. It truly illustrates the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9b, “….. there is no new thing under the sun.” The surroundings may change, but the problems remain the same. Scriptures diagnosis of the problem of sin, and the solution of a Savior, is found as true today as it was in the day it ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much here!

There is so much practical, Biblical advice here! I plan to read it again and again! Like a rich meal, I can’t digest it all at once. Thanks for making Owen’s advice to accessible!
Seth Nelson
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff.
Mirel-Andrei Neacsu
One of the best books! It's a must read! ...more
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Books on such topics today that deal with sin and temptation tend to take a sort of 12-Step approach to the issue. If that is what you expect from this book, you will be heartily disappointed. Owen rather, in sum, directs us to consider the beauty and glory of Christ as he is offered to us in the gospel, along with all that our Trinitarian God gives to us in the preserving of us against temptation. We are to make use of all the means that God has given us in Christ, that we may stand in that gre ...more
Anthony Alvarado
Owen is probably my favorite Puritan and dead guy to read so I admit my bias, but his insight into the Word is unparalleled. He sees things and makes connections that 99% of us struggle to. This book is just another example of that. Making the distinction of "entering temptation" as different than entering sin is a paradigm shift. And then simplifying the fight and centering on the gospel was so helpful. A very very worthwhile read. ...more
Mark A Powell
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Owen’s centuries-old work on temptation (abridged and adapted in this format for easier reading) remains a potent look at its dangers and devices. At the core, Owen claims, the issue of temptation is one of the heart—unless we root out the lusts and desires deep within us, we will be unable to ultimately resist temptations in those areas. This heart-cleansing work can only be done by Christ but, mercifully, He has provided a willing Helper.
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: puritan
I don't know how many times I've returned to this book, but it is simply one of the most important and helpful books on Christian living that I've read. Owen not only addresses temptation itself; he also explains the means God has provided against it, namely watchfulness and prayer. Owen is hard-hitting, but not discouraging. This book is full of gospel-infused hope. Read it. ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: puritan
Another great book by John Owen, with tons of practical application. This particular edition is from Banner of Truth, and the editor has simplified the work without compromising the content. Good work on how to avoid entering into temptation.
Crazycalvinist O'flaherty
Well worth a read. And rather than dealing with temptation as far as falling into sin, it deals with rather more the aspect of "entering into temptation" ...more
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Both insightful and practical. Owen is a beast!
Joe Fogarty
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Owen is good for the soul!
Rod Jetton
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Great book that really offers some great advice from Jesus on how to resist temptation. Easy to red and easy to understand.
Connie Porter
Required reading for Christians

Short enough to get through quickly; profound enough to make you slow down and ponder its truths. Very good read.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my 2nd Owen book completed and I expect him to become easier to follow with time. Excellent biblical study of what it means to "enter into temptation". Very helpful ...more
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read! We should hear this from the pulpit every Sunday! Written in 1658 yet still relevant today because it is full of Biblical truths...
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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

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“Let the heart, then commune with itself and say, “I am poor and weak; Satan is subtle, cunning, powerful, watching constantly for advantages against my soul; the world earnest, pressing, and full of specious pleas, innumerable pretences, and ways of deceit; my own corruption violent and tumultuating, enticing, entangling, conceiving sin, and warring in me, against me; occasions and advantages of temptation innumerable in all things I have done or suffer, in all businesses and persons with whom I converse; the first beginnings of temptation insensible and plausible, so that, left unto myself, I shall not know I am ensnared, until my bonds be made strong, and sin hath got ground in my heart: therefore on God alone will I rely for preservation, and continually will I look up to him on that account.” 1 likes
“I am crucified to them; my heart is mortified to them. I have no desire after them or affection for them or delight in them; they are crucified to me. The crowns, glories, thrones, pleasures, and profits of the world, I see nothing desirable in them. The lusts, sensual pleasures, loves, respects, and honors of men, name, and reputation among them, they are all nothing to me. I do not value or esteem them.” 0 likes
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