Not the Way It's Supposed to Be
Cornelius Plantinga JrJUN95 Christians used to hate sin, but now it has dimmed inour consciousness. Plantinga retrieves the old awareness ofsin and renews our knowledge of its persistent reality. Heshowsus how a deeper understanding of sin facilitates afullergraspofGodsgrace.202pages,fromEerdmans.A timely reminder...
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Cornelius Plantinga JrJUN95 Christians used to hate sin, but now it has dimmed inour consciousness. Plantinga retrieves the old awareness ofsin and renews our knowledge of its persistent reality. Heshowsus how a deeper understanding of sin facilitates afullergraspofGodsgrace.202pages,fromEerdmans.A timely reminder in the current moral climate that it isvitalforChristianstobeawareoftherealityofsinanditsdestructiveconsequencesinourlives.Plantingashowsushow a deeper understanding of sin facilitates a fuller graspofGodsgrace.202pages,fromEerdmans.
Not the way it's supposed to be retrieves an old awareness that has slipped and changed in recent decades. The awareness of sin used to be our shadow. Christians hated sin, feared it, fled from it - and grieved over it. But in part because modern society does not encourage moral reproach - particularly self-reproach - the shadow of sin has now dimmed in our consciousness. Teachers, politicians, and other public guardians of morality seek less judgmental descriptions of wayward human conduct. Even preachers, who once got visibly angry over a congregation's sin, now speak of sin in a mumble. Sharing Samuel Johnson's conviction that we need to be reminded more often than instructed, Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., pulls the ancient doctrine of sin out of mothballs and presents it to contemporary readers in clear language, drawing from a wide range of books, films, and other cultural resources. Plantinga's assumption is that a healthy reminder of our sin and guilt is clarifying and even reassuring. For, unlike some other identifications of human trouble, a diagnosis of sin and guilt allows hope. Something can be done for this problem. Something has been done for it. Plantinga's goal is to present a brief account - a breviary - of the nature and dynamics of sin and to renew our knowledge of a persistent reality. He defines sin as the destruction of shalom, the peace and harmony and blessedness God intended for creation. Creation is no longer the way it's supposed to be. Plantinga describes how sin corrupts what is good and how such corruption spreads. He discusses the parasitic quality of sin and the ironies and pretenses generated by this quality. He examines the relation of sin to folly and addiction. He concludes by describing two classic "postures" or movements of sin (attack and flight). An epilogue reminds us that whatever we say about sin also sharpens our eye for the beauty of grace.
Plantinga is now the Chapel at Calvin College, is President-elect of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.