Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Feb 6, 1996 - Religion - 216 pages
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This timely book 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 the shadow of sin has now dimmed in our consciousness. Even preachers, who once got visibly angry over a congregation's sin, now speak of sin in a mumble.

Cornelius Plantinga 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. In smoothly flowing prose 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 describes two classic "postures" or movements of sin -- attack and flight. And in an epilogue he reminds us that whatever we say about sin also sharpens our eye for the beauty of grace.

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User Review  - Andrew -

Outstanding study on the various nuances of sin and its invasion in our lives. Plantinga does an exceptional job in covering the topic of sin with class, scholarship, and a razor sharp skill to expose ... Read full review

Selected pages


Vandalism of Shalom
Spiritual Hygiene and Corruption
Perversion Pollution and Disintegration
The Progress of Corruption
Sin and Folly
The Tragedy of Addiction

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Page 13 - Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin!
Page 21 - You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Page 10 - The days will come, in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in each one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five and twenty metretes of wine.

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About the author (1996)

Cornelius Plantinga Jr. is president emeritus of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Senior Research Fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship . His previous books include Beyond Doubt, and Engaging God's World, and his many articles and essays have appeared in such periodicals as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, and The Christian Century.

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