February 20, 2007

Coming This April - #1 of 8 - from The Banner

A NEW Puritan Paperback
OK, let's finally get to the "sneak peek" of what's about to hit the streets from The Banner. First, let me tell you that there's a new addition coming to the beloved Puritan Paperback Series. Personally speaking, I love this series, as do many of you. I am always excited to see to grow. It continues to make great works easily accessible to many. Since these titles haven't arrived yet, let me just give you our "publisher's description" of what will soon become the 38th title in this series. It should be available on our Web site in a little more than a month, but keep watching this blog for the first announcement of its arrival in our North America warehouse.
Grace & Peace,

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Temptation: Resisted and Repulsed
by John Owen
(Abridged and made easy to read by Richard Rushing )

In this abridgement of John Owen’s classic work Of Temptation, the famous Puritan theologian opens up Matthew 26:41, carefully explaining what temptation is and what is involved in entering into it.

He then shows how Christ teaches two means for Christians to use in order to guard against this danger, namely watching and praying: ‘these two’, Owen says, ‘comprise the whole endeavour of faith for the soul’s preservation from temptation’, and he insists that it is the duty of every believer to follow diligently Christ’s instructions to prevent them falling into temptation.

Owen helpfully applies his teaching, showing us how we can know whether we have entered into temptation, what practical steps should be taken to preserve our souls from entering into it, how to identify those particular times when people tend to enter into temptation, and highlighting the best ways of watching the heart itself.

Sinclair B. Ferguson has written that ‘Many of Owen’s readers have come away from reading him on such themes as temptation and indwelling sin feeling that Owen knew them through and through.’ However, not only does Owen’s penetrating writing open up areas of need in our own hearts; it also opens up correspondingly profound assurances of grace in Jesus Christ.


D.R. Brooker said...

Great title to add, although these words break my heart: "Abridged and made easy to read by..."

Why can't we just have the original? :(

jc said...

Dear Steve,
Does this book share similar contents to "Overcoming Sin and Temptation"?

Steve Burlew said...

Well, d.r. --- Of course the original is available in the volumes of Owen's Works. I think one of the benefits of this whole series is to introduce and make available the Puritans, and many find Owen to be among the more difficult to, at first, to understand. Similarly, Banner publishes Gurnall's "Christian in Complete Armour" in the original, 1-volume clothbound, but also the 3-volume paperback that's been made "easier to read." Does that help with your question?

drbrooker said...

Hi Steve...

It is my opinion that people should be stretched in their reading. I'm not that bright a guy and I've struggled to read parts of Owen and I think I've benefitted from that struggle. I just don't think editing original works, in general, is a good thing. I know SDG does it, although they didn't do it in the beginning, so it is a relatively common practice. I'm not complaining, I just wish the practice of publishing was different. Are we really reading Owen then, or the editor? Just a thought.

jc said...

d.r. when you are reading your Bible, are you reading God, or the translator?

Russ said...

I think the idea of what Banner of Truth is trying to do is to get people, ordinary people, to read some of the great stuff that has been written and then, hopefully they'll dig deeper. I know I started with Banner of Truths easy to read version of "Mortification of Sin", and before I knew it I was digging into Owen's "Death of Death in the Death of Christ", and I can't wait to dive into Taylor and Kapic's "Overcoming Sin and Temptation", which includes Mortification of Sin, Of Temptation, and Indwelling Sin.

The question could be asked, which is the real Owen, the one presented by Lundgaard, Rushing, Taylor and Kapic, Goold, or some one else? I think there is a place for each of them, that way we're not stuck with just the original. By the way, where can I find the original?

I do apprciate your blog; I read it often, and would love to own the library you have, but...

Thank you very much for what you write here. As much as I love the books, it is your heart which comes through that really keeps me coming back.

Russ Copeland

D.R. Brooker said...

jc wrote: "d.r. when you are reading your Bible, are you reading God, or the translator?"

My comment also refers to the word "abridged". Generally that means portions are completely omitted. In SDG's reprint of Bolton's A Comfortable Walking... there is a whole entire section missing. In Banner's edition of Pink's The Sovereignty of God the entire chapter on reprobation is omitted. I believe it does a disservice to the author and reader. I understand your point about translation but my comment had the word "abridged" in mind when I wrote it.

Please...I'm not disparaging the work. I just wish these works were published as the author originally wrote them. That's all. Let discernment as to its value rest on the shoulders of the reader, rather than the editor.

Russ said...

Regarding Banner of Truth's edition of Pink's "The Sovereignty of God", just this week I was listening to an interview that 9Marks Ministries (Mark Dever) did with Iain Murray in September 2006. In it Murray explains the reasoning behind that abridgement. I don't have that edition so I don't know if it was also explained up front in the book.

I would agree that if a book is abridged, that fact should be stated and explained. I also feel that there can be valid reasons for doing so.

Steve Burlew said...

Hey, guys. I have been reading your conversation over the weekend but just haven't been in a position to participate. It's Monday a.m. now and I'm back in my office so let's see ... It looks as if there are two issues: (1) why are we publishing an abridged work with Owen in the Puritan Paperback series, and (2) why did we publish Pink's "Sovereignty of God" minus that chapter?
First, about abridged Owen ... Agree or disagree, but in the Puritan Paperback series, we are trying to do just as you said, Russ, and hoping that others will do just as you did; we're presenting that modernized abridgement of a particular work of Owen, something which keeps true to the original argument and theology of Owen but shrinks and repackages it with the modern reader in mind, the beginner, the average church member, the person who just might not be up to the task of working through anything more. It's not aimed to replace "Owen-Owen;" Banner, of course, still publishes the complete works of Owen, unabridged, as well. I do think there's a benefit to both.
Secondly, the whole issue with Pink's book surfaces from time to time. The entire last chapter of Iain Murray's book, "The Life of Arthur W. Pink," specifically explains exactly why Banner has chosen to publish the book as we have. If you don't have access to that, let me know because I'm certainly not going to explain it any better than Iain Murray!
Well, I hope that was helpful. The dialogue is great, though; I welcome it, anytime!

Evangelene said...

in comment to: d.r.brooker "great title to add, although these words break my heart: "abridged and made easy to read by.."

There is no reason that "abridged and made easy to read by" should break your heart. You can buy the original book. how do you think the abridger abridged it. he had the original book. Besides this abridger does a great job! Just check out Mortification of sins abridged by richard rushing. Dont down it or attack the abridger until you read this book!

D.R. Brooker said...


You miss the point. I'm not interested in another abridger's edit. If I want to read a puritan, I want it to be how the puritan wrote it (unless of course it was in Latin and needed language translation). If you look at what I wrote I made the point that whole sections of books have been omitted in the past due to unfortunate editorial decisions, IMO. For some this may be adequate. For others, it's disappointing. It's only an opinion.

Evangelene said...

I am just saying don't knock this abridged version until you read it. Other abridged versions may not be as good as the first one. But give this one a chance at least until you read it.

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