28 February 2010

Piper's intro to "Overcoming Sin and Temptation" for "Kill or Be Killed"

My buddy Anthony Alvarado gave me the heads up on this intro from an Owen compilation (which includes "Mortification of Sin" and "Of Temptation") published by Crossway in 2006. It is a great starting point for anyone encountering Owen for the first time.
As I look across the Christian landscape, I think it is fair to say concerning sin, “They have healed the wound of my people lightly” (Jer. 6:14; 8:11, ESV). I take this to refer to leaders who should be helping the church know and feel the seriousness of indwelling sin (Rom. 7:20), and how to fight it and kill it (Rom. 8:13). Instead the depth and complexity and ugliness and danger of sin in professing Christians is either minimized—since we are already justified—or psychologized as a symptom of woundedness rather than corruption. This is a tragically light healing. I call it a tragedy because by making life easier for ourselves in minimizing the nature and seriousness of our sin, we become greater victims of it. We are in fact not healing ourselves. Those who say that they already feel bad enough without being told about the corruptions of indwelling sin misread the path to peace. When our people have not been taught well about the real nature of sin and how it works and how to put it to death, most of the miseries people report are not owing to the disease but its symptoms. They feel a general malaise and don’t know why, their marriages are at the breaking point, they feel weak in their spiritual witness and devotion, their workplace is embattled, their church is tense with unrest, their fuse is short with the children, etc. They report these miseries as if they were the disease. And they want the symptoms removed. We proceed to heal the wound of the people lightly. We look first and mainly for circumstantial causes for the misery—present or past. If we’re good at it, we can find partial causes and give some relief. But the healing is light. We have not done the kind of soul surgery that is possible only when the soul doctor knows the kind of things Owen talks about in these books, and when the patient is willing to let the doctor’s scalpel go deep.
Read the whole thing here.

Additional Resources
Intro to "Kill or Be Killed"

1 comment:

  1. I'll add this is a good into to Owen as well, it's Piper's biographical overview of Owen he gave at his Pastor's conference in 1994. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Biographies/1466_The_Chief_Design_of_My_Life_Mortification_and_Universal_Holiness/