Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Book Review: Respectable Sins

Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate
Reviewed by Deb Welch At Treasures of Encouragement>>>

To persevere in the faith and become a mature, Biblically-grounded believer is an honorable goal for any woman in this life, yet it is so easy to veer off the narrow path into what I like to sometimes called “elder sister” territory.

Having experienced freedom in the Gospel from society's most obvious sins, such as sexual immorality, murder, abortion, theft, and the like, we can become, like the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-31), oblivious to the insidious and subtleness of our remaining sin because it seems more socially acceptable. Rather than engaging in faith’s fight against these more “respectable sins,” we make peace with and tolerate our sin tendencies as if they were cuddly pets or mere personality types, instead of deadly offenses against our holy, just and loving God.

Perennial author, Jerry Bridges, known for other books such as The Pursuit of Holiness, The Discipline of Grace, and Transforming Grace, offers conviction, hope, and sound Gospel help for believers to identify and overcome these more subtle, daily sins. Even seasoned saints still struggle with anxiety, unthankfulness, pride, selfishness, impatience, judgmentalism, envy, jealousy, worldliness, and sins of the tongue, which wage war against our souls and rage in cosmic treason against God's majesty.

With the precision of a surgeon, Bridges will cut to the quick with scriptures and every day examples of how these sins still manifest in our lives. The goal of the author is not to condemn or to merely convict, leaving his reader in a mire of woe, but to exhort us to put off sin and to put on Christ. The remedy is the same for elder siblings who suffer from "respectable sins" as it was for the prodigal son in Luke 15, that God, in His sovereign good pleasure, has graciously paid for our sin by the death, resurrection and ascension of His son Jesus Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit, He works in and with us to cleanse us from our sin, enabling us to “be what we are” in Christ.

This is exactly the type of book that I need as a guide to help get the plank out of my own “elder sister" eye, before examining my “younger sister’s” speck. After all, we know that God hates all sin, no matter how “refined” or “respectable” it may seem to us and the society at a large.

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