The Biblical Understanding of Sin (Horton)

Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology For Pilgrims on The Way When it comes to the topic of sin, we for sure want a biblical view of it. We want to understand sin in the way that the Bible defines and describes it. It is a big topic, of course, since the Bible talks about it very often. The following paragraph from Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith is a helpful brief summary of a bigger topic:

“The tendency of fundamentalism is to reduce sin to sinful acts and behaviors, while liberalism reduces sin to evil social structures that impede the realization of the ethical kingdom. In contrast to both forms of reductionism, the biblical understanding of sin is far deeper in its analysis. Sin is first of all a condition that is simultaneously judicial and moral, legal and relational. Accordingly, we sin because we are sinners rather than vice versa. Standing before God as transgressors in Adam, we exhibit our guilt and corruption in actual thoughts and actions. If we cut off one diseased branch, another one – pregnant with the fruit of unrighteousness – grows in its place.”

Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, p. 427.

Shane Lems
Hammond, WI, 54105

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