Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Book Review: Arnie Cole and Michael Ross' Tempted, Tested, True

If you're human you are proof that life is full of temptation. Arnie Cole and Michael Ross cover the temptations that may not seem obvious to us though, and other temptations that many deal with. The book veers off path a bit from sometimes explaining how to overcome temptation to more getting onto theological explanations instead, and repeating the same thing at the end of every chapter. While it has some lovely points, it gets weighed down by a lot of advertisement for websites and other books the author have written, plus some theological guidance that doesn't suit the theme.

Summary:  You've probably dealt with some temptations that seem like a commonality among people, like sexual, or overindulging, but some others that people commonly partake in like arrogance, laziness, and gossiping get overlooked. This book brings to light the sins that maybe we are very aware we commit, and the others we may not think on, and gives us people who contribute to each chapter to discuss their struggles. At the end of each chapter after discussing their battle they then give steps regarding being tempted, tested, and staying true.

Characters: I like how the authors try to involve others to make the book seem more real to those reading, and wanting to feel they can relate to the temptation in the stories. The thing is it leaves the book feeling very disjointed though. The authors contribute to the beginning of the book, but then the book lets a round of other people get involved. I thought their stories were interesting, and I'm sure it will resonate with people, but the ending where they go through the step process just felt like a repeat. I would have preferred a more personal account all the way through from the people they had contributing, because they did get me to thinking with realizations in their own life.

Writing: The writing was good, but as I said some of it felt like a huge advertisement for other sites, resources, or books instead of just focusing on the topic at hand. Also, the ending does repeat the same thing over at each chapter, and wasn't diverse enough each time. I did like the unique way the authors tried to get reassurance and steps across to helping overcome temptations more and more though. They make word clouds, and other discussion questions to help people.

Plot: The book meshes people's real life stories with Biblical accounts of people. I guess the thing for me is that being a faith based novel, there weren't as many accounts as I thought there would be of people from the Bible who had their own amount of temptations to deal with. So far what I've read in a past few non-fiction books regarding faith is how they bring in Biblical characters to relate to. I feel it's more easy to relate to than accounts of people I don't know myself. I'm sure that really depends on the person though. Where the book really veered off for me is when at the end the book turns more into a book driving people into certain denominations. I get that people have denominations they adhere to that are different than mine, and that is fine, but I could tell this book really was against Calvinist, and using this book as a platform to have people think less of the theology. At least that is what I felt when they used a quote referring to Calvinism as a perversion.

If you're dealing with temptation then this seems like a good book to begin the steps to trying to work on letting those rule your life as much. I did begin thinking over temptations such as gossiping, that I seem to do with almost no thought now, and how I can lessen than in my life. There were parts that seemed like points made a few times, and then the end gets into a rant that just makes the book seem like it's made to point people in a theological path without proper respect given to the different denominations.

Rating 6 of 10.

This book was provided by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.  

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