Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: Our Favorite Sins



The Sins We Commit & How You Can Quit
Todd D. Hunter
Thomas Nelson, 2012

I was excited to receive this book after requesting it from BookSneeze. It’s got a great design and the review makes it out to be the best new book on battling against daily struggles with sin. But, it’s not. I cannot, and will not, recommend this book.

Maybe I should have read the endorsements, particularly who they were from, before getting my hopes up. Our Favorite Sins reads little better than a twist on self-help which Hunter seemingly does not like… At the end of his book he recommends his readers to leave the realm of self-help requiring me to conclude that he does not want anyone to read this book either.

Don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t think Hunter is a heretic or as far off the deep end as someone like Joel Osteen, but he’s certainly not concerned with a biblical sense of fighting against sin. Why do I say that? Simply put, every recommendation or suggestion he gives throughout the book depends on human effort. There is little to no indication that he believes Christians are completely dependent upon God for genuine transformation.

Another aspect of the book I have a problem with is that Hunter also states that temptations change with time. In other words, we are facing new temptations today that have never been faced in the past. There is a sense in which he is right if you only look at prevalent sin that his developed with time, but the heart of the issues are no different.

For example, he mentions that certain characters in the Old Testament did not deal with the temptation of looking at a centerfold model or even have the awareness of what that meant. Sure they did… maybe not in the surface definition of a magazine, but lust and sexual desire was rampant in the Old Testament. This is one of many examples Hunter points to claiming we are dealing with new sins. But, it simply isn’t true.

Lastly, Hunter’s examples of sins are painted too vividly. I fear that the degree in which he explains various sins (particularly sexual ones in nature) will kindle the desire for readers to fall into temptation. He reminisces on various times throughout his life in which he fell into particular sins and why he enjoyed them. The detail is too great if the point of the book is to avoid temptation and sin.

As an aside, his use of statistics is not worth the purchase of the book. While they were gained through surveys and studies, he draws on them with assumptions and inferences that they do not allow. Explaining statistics with words like “I think it means…” or “given my experience, ‘x’ probably accounts ‘y’...”

BookSneeze has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review. In no way was I required to give positive feedback.

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