Book Review: Tempted and Tried

Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ
by Russell D. Moore

Temptation and the Christian life is a “tricky” issue.  Get it?  We all face temptation, but many times we do not know how to deal with temptation.  In fact, many times we don’t even know how to think about temptation.  This is why Russell Moore’s book, Tempted and Tried, is so helpful.  Rather than providing his readers with some kind of mechanical “resist the devil” check list, Moore helps his readers to understand temptation from a biblical perspective.  He accomplishes this by examining what was no doubt the most intense temptation ever, the temptation of Christ in the wilderness.

Moore’s examination of the temptation of Christ is helpful for a few reasons:

  1. He does a great job of explaining how Satan’s temptations would have actually been tempting to Christ.  This aspect alone make the book worth the read.
  2. He explains how temptation works, and the difference between being tempted and acting on your temptation.  Many times we feel guilty for being tempted, but in reality it is a good thing that we recognized the temptation.  Otherwise we would simply act on our lustful desire.
  3. He explains how Jesus dealt with temptation and remained holy.
  4. Finally, he does an excellent job of explaining the satanic/demonic element of temptation.  This is a tricky issue because there are excess on both sides.  There is the “devil made me do it” error, and the “who’s the devil” error.  Moore strikes an excellent balance and highlight the spiritual warfare Christians are truly engaged in.

Overall the book is an excellent read.  At times Moore can be a bit verbose, and lead you down some paths that seem far removed from his point.  However, this is no reason not to pick up this book.  In fact, I can’t think of any reasons for you not to pick up this book.