Jamen Walker | Category: Library Resources
For the book review this month, I have chosen Jerry Bridges’ Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate. This volume is a short and easy read. However, it is a book dedicated to pointing out the more subtle sins that we allow ourselves to commit. Jerry Bridges is known for his writings on holiness, and this one doesn’t disappoint.
Jerry asks us what happened to sin. This used to be something that people knew about. Even those not involved in a church had an idea of what sin is. Regrettably, this word is disappearing from our society. He goes on to explain how sin is like a cancer and it spreads so easily like a disease. We can often feel like it so easily defeats us or that we are powerless to resist it. Thankfully, Bridges points out that there is a remedy for sin and that the Holy Spirit has the power to help us gain the upper hand on this troublesome foe. Before starting on the specific sins that we tolerate, he gives us some practical directions on how we can use the Spirit, the Bible, and the gospel to counteract the sin in our lives.
The sins that Bridges discusses are ungodliness, anxiety and frustration, discontentment, unthankfulness, pride, selfishness, lack of self control, impatience and irritability, anger, judgmentalism, envy and jealousy, sins of the tongue, and worldliness. He spends no more than about ten pages defining and talking about the problems with these sins.
One of the strengths of this book is that it deals with many of the most common sins that we allow to slip through the cracks, thinking along the lines that some of the other sins we commit are much more serious in the nature of offense than some of these listed. Another strength of the book is that Bridges takes some time to show what constitutes committing these sins. For example, we are told in the Bible to be angry in some situations but to not sin. With regard to most of the sins Bridges talks about, few are dealt with in any other works. The few exceptions are ungodliness, sins of the tongue, and worldliness, dealt with by Jerry Bridges, Paul Tripp, and C. J. Mahaney respectively.
Anyone interested in this book can just turn to the sins that they struggle with or can familiarize themselves with them all. The chapters are very short, allowing easy time windows to manage if you are busy and have to work around a tight schedule. You could even read a chapter over a short break at work! Bridges is a very clear and thoughtful writer. He presents this critical topic in a very easy to understand way.
Look for this book in the Christian Living section of our church library. I recommend it to you as an invaluable resource to encourage you in your pursuit of holiness.
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