Our first “book of the month” post gave some background info, this one gives some teaser quotes, and our detailed review will begin next week. Enjoy!
Temptation is so strong in our lives precisely because it’s not about us. Temptation is an assault by the demonic powers on the rival empire of the Messiah. That’s why conversion to Christ doesn’t diminish the power of temptation—as we often assume—but actually, counterintuitively, ratchets it up. If you bear the Spirit of the One the powers rage against, they will seek to tear down the icon of the Crucified they see embedded in you (1 Pet. 4:14; Rev. 12:17). Ultimately, the agony of temptation is not about you or me. We’re targeted because we resemble Jesus, our firstborn brother. We all, whether believers or not, bear some resemblance to Jesus because we share with him a human nature in the image of God. As we come to find peace with God through Jesus, though, we begin a journey of being conformed more and more into the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). The demons shriek in the increasing glory of that light, and they’ll seek even more frenetically to put it out of their sight.—pg 21
The Devil doesn’t mind “family values” as long as what you ultimately value is the family. Satan doesn’t mind “social justice” as long as you see justice as most importantly social. Satan does not tremble at a “Christian worldview” as long as your ultimate goal is to view the world. Satan doesn’t even mind born-again Christianity as long as the new birth is preached apart from the blood of the cross and the life of the resurrection… the only power that cancels condemnation—the gospel of Christ crucified. Satan so fears that gospel, he was willing to surrender his entire empire just to stave it off. He still is.—pg 154.
The satanic powers are watching you. They’re peering into your life to see what catches your attention, what puffs up your ego. They’re evaluating what kind of Babylon you want to build for yourself, and they’ll make sure you get it. Satan is as ambitious for your goals as you are, maybe more so. He’ll give you the power you want, the glory you crave, as long as you will fall down and obtain it his way. The powers don’t care if we are respected or influential or moral or conservative, as long as we’d rather be magnified than crucified. Satan doesn’t mind if our values are right side up, so long as our crosses are upside-down.—pg 161
Russell D. Moore, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, (Crossway 2011)