Anyone who identifies himself as an “accidental Anglican” has my interest from the start. Such is the case with Todd Hunter, author of Our Favorite Sins. In it, Hunter tackles the issue of tempatation and overcoming the seduction of the path that leads to sin.
Sin, confess. Sin, confess. If you’ve been in the church for a number of years, you’re probably familiar with the “cycle of sin” and maybe even have tried some ways to get out of the cycle. Our Favorite Sins, is like a guidebook for overcoming sin and fleeing from temptation. If you’re not in the church, don’t let that scare you. Hunter writes for the churched and the unchurched, drawing from research conducted by the Barna Group of more than 1,000 Americans of various ages and their temptation tendencies. He also writes from experience. Hunter doesn’t hide his own sin issues of the past and present nor is the book all numbers and theory. Hunter offers practical ways to nurture spiritual transformation and victory over sin and temptation.
FAVORITES: At the end of each chapter, Hunter includes what he calls an “ancient and fruitful” practice, such as a prayer from an ancient text like the Book of Common Prayer. He encourages meditation on the texts and reflection on their meanings. I was most uplifted by this portion of the book, and I’m excited to go back to these texts, either the excerpts Hunter gives or the full texts themselves, and pore over them. As a member of an evangelical church, I would have told you a few years ago that this was nonsense, but I’ve begun to see the richness of these prayers and blessings of saints throughout church history.
FAULTS: At times, I was more interested in the books Hunter quoted from than the one he was writing. It’s a little slow to start as he establishes his reason for writing and summarizes the findings from the survey. However, the second half of the book was enriching and life-giving. I’m interested in more of what Hunter has written.
IN A WORD: Affirming. Since my husband has been in seminary, and through the influence of respected teachers at our local church, I’ve been drawn to the faith practices of the ancients. I find liturgy beautiful and written prayers meaningful. Hunter repeatedly talks about how we’re to join God’s story, a theme that’s been at the forefront of my learning lately. I was blessed by Hunter’s inclusion of high church prayers and practices, and I’m eager to learn more about ways of worship that differ from my own.
I received a free copy of Our Favorite Sins from Thomas Nelson through the Booksneeze Program.