This is the best contemporary book about fighting sin.
While this sounds like a pretty bold statement, it can be supported in two ways. First, author Kris Lundgaard bases The Enemy Within on two books by the English Puritan John Owen, arguably the best Christian writer on the topic ever (with the exception of St. Paul): The Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalancy of the Remainders of Indwelling Sin in Believers and The Mortification of Sin.
Second, Lundgaard puts his subject in the starkest terms, spares his readers no pains, and doesn't bother setting up a theological premise for the need of Christians to eradicate sin in their lives. Too many authors these days think they need to convince us that sin really does need to be fought; Lundgaard assumes this is true, and his book is stronger for it.
In the preface he makes a kind of apology for his project (distilling two Puritan classics into a slim little volume). While reading Owen completely changed his attitude toward sin, he says, the English divine is pretty difficult for modern readers to wade through, so he wanted to present the same content in modern idiom, along with contemporary examples.
The result is a book that tells us why we struggle with repeated sins, how we ought to combat them, and that we as God's children can expect ultimate triumph through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lundgaard never gets trapped by dealing with specific sins. Putting sin to death in ourselves is an all-encompassing effort that takes the same form and requires the same tactics no matter what we struggle with particularly. That doesn't mean, however, that any of this is gentle: readers of this book, prepare to be convicted, even to the point of horror.
But also don't be discouraged or fall into despair, for these too are sinful attitudes. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit given to us by the blood of Christ, we can put on-going sin to death for the glory and honor of God the Father. Read this, Christian, and rejoice, letting disgust at your own sin drive you to repentance, peace, and holiness in our Blessed Savior.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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