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Friday, July 12, 2013

"Tempted, Tested, True" (Arnie Cole and Michael Ross)

TITLE: Tempted, Tested, True: A Proven Path to Overcoming Soul-Robbing Choices
AUTHOR: Arnie Cole and Michael Ross
PUBLISHER: Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2013, (256 pages).

Temptations seem to be here to stay, but it certainly does not need to stay that way. In a survey of more than 100000 Christians by the Center for Bible Engagement (CBE), 85% of Americans are "defeated" by temptations of all sorts, from sexual addiction to pornography. As a result, they shrink back away from God, and huddle into an atmosphere of loneliness and shame. The authors, together with six other contributors aim to supply "ten nudges" to move people from temptation to victory. This is done in three ways. Firstly, identify the traps that robs the soul. Secondly, find a way to break free from these traps. Thirdly, execute a plan toward lasting change. The authors have also provided an online resource to supplement this book. Let me share briefly about the ten nudges toward purity.

  1. Learn God-centered Behaviours
    Exercise our freedom of choice toward the Cross. Recognize that only in Christ can we overcome our weaknesses.
  2. Pinpoint our weaknesses
    Recognize the four stages of temptations: the enticement; the conception; the gestation; and the delivery. Again, only in Christ can we overcome these temptations. Using a spiritual weakness chart, we learn about our points of weaknesses, so that we can take the necessary steps to avoid falling into them.
  3. Reconsider holiness
    Temptations come in all shapes and sizes all the time in our everyday activities. From fantasizing to gossiping, to materialistic concerns, we need to examine ourselves regularly.
  4. Change Our Brain
    Research reveals that both men and women face specific challenges. Here, three hot button issues that face men are dealt with. Knowing the different kinds of temptations can help men to train themselves to deal specifically with them.
  5. Interrupt our Heart
    Five hot buttons are identified for the female gender; like fretfulness, unkindness, consumption, gossiping and discouragement. These are then followed by specific plans to deal with each of them.
  6. Detach from Attachments
    Addiction is a real problem. Grace will help bring back the lost.
  7. Surrender Control
    There is no point in letting ourselves be drained by anxiety and fear.
  8. Shake the Shame
    When anyone turns away from sin, there is no shame in repentance.
  9. Fall in Love again
    When the liberation happens, one freely embraces a bright and hopeful future. We are then free to love God and his mission all over again.
  10. Rethink Church
    Church is essentially about ordinary people coming together in the Name of Christ, to share and to care, to meet one another's needs in Christ, and to build the community.

So What?

Recently, there have been a slew of books written to combat the rise of pornography. Heath Lambert's "Finally Free" seeks to liberate people from pornography through the power of grace. Douglas Weiss's "Clean" proposes a proven plan that can enable men to live with sexual integrity. Derek Wilson's "Magnificent Malevolence" turns the table around to see the temptation from the eyes of the tempter! The truth is, temptation is more than mere sex. It involves the distraction of people from their primary calling to their creator God, and turns them into worshipers of idols. In the words of Arnie Cole and Michael Ross, temptations entice people to make "soul-robbing choices." The question remains: Do we really need another book about temptations and the overcoming of them?

Yes of course! In an ocean of temptations, we need more rescue boats all the time not just to rescue people from drowning in sin, but to weather the storms of temptations. This two-in-one book basically gives ten overviews of the different ways temptations get at us, followed by ten helpful projects to equip us to overcome the temptations. At each step of the way, we are reminded to pray, to seek help, and to use resources widely available. My take home is this. The temptations and the sins around us are many, even daunting. We need to fret or be discouraged, for with every temptation, there is also the opportunity to overcome them. This resource is a big pillar of support for anyone wanting to weather the storm, or to help the resilient be even more resilient.

Rating: 4.75 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Bethany House Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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