Moore, Russell D. Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2011. 208 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Westminster Books for much less.
Dr. Russell Moore is the dean of the School of Theology as well as the vice president for Academic Administration at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as the editor of the journal Touchstone and is a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He has also authored Crossway’s The Kingdom of Christ among other books.
He has also written the paradigm-shifting work, Adopted for Life. You can read my review of that great work here.
This resource is divided into seven chapters. The first chapter sets the tone for the entire work and explains why temptation matters. The second chapter warns that we should always be aware of temptation and that if we are not, we are practically dooming ourselves. Chapters three and four look at why we would rather be fed than fathered in the sense that we shy away from being disciplined and also why our pride (see, sin) keeps us from admitting when we need help from error.
In all cases of temptation, we fight and fight and often times we lose because we are blinded by our selfish desires. Chapter five looks at Christ in the desert and how we, apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, would rather be exalted ourselves instead of being crucified unto Christ so that we can better fight against the devil. The sixth chapter explains why you cannot resist temptation and why you need a Helper. The last chapter is aptly titled (Not a) Conclusion. Here, the reader is told why the battle must rage on indefinitely this side of eternity.
It seems as though Dr. Moore continues to call the saints to the obvious though not often discussed doctrines of the church. Tempted and Tried is a much needed resource for the church today. There is much in the way of self-loathing and pity today as many are seeing their sin as egregious before the Lord but never really getting beyond that fact except to cry out for salvation. Russell Moore shows us how temptation is a part of our life just as it was Christ’s. He helps us to see that the sin is not in the temptation but in our giving in to the temptation. He further explains to us that we cannot fight against these temptations on our own. We need Christ more than just for an entrance to salvation. Rather, we need the power of Christ for everyday living and for the everyday battle.
If there is one critique I have on this work it is the chapters are a bit long. I only say that because there is so much to digest that each chapter takes a few evenings to digest! By the time you get through one chapter, you find that you want to go back and re-read the chapter in one sitting.
There is much for the thirsty soul in this work. I highly recommend to all Christians Tempted and Tried. You will certainly be a better follower of Christ and a more effective witness of his grace and mercy in your life as you learn what it means to be tempted and tried and then Who it was that faced the same temptations and trials and never gave in. What encouragement to come to the cross daily for your sustenance! What encouragement to live a victorious life in the power of Christ (and that is not a charismatic phrase)!