Wednesday, July 01, 2009

How to tame our sins

Somehow we seen to teach less and less about sin and more and more about self-fulfillment in churches nowadays. So it is heartening to read an article about sin from John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.

The Sin Tamer
Do we ever get to stop fighting against the evil within?
John Ortberg | posted 6/29/2009

The Sin Tamer

How much sin should we expect in the church? We have gauges for other elements of church life. We generally monitor attendance. We know how many people are in small groups. Somebody counts the offerings. And often we don't just measure what we're interested in—we set goals.

Anybody hear of a church that set a goal for a 5-percent sin reduction next year?

I don't mean to be glib about this. Sin is, somehow, at the root of all human misery. Sin is what keeps us from God and from life. It is in the face of every battered woman, the cry of every neglected child, the despair of every addict, the death of every victim of every war.

Pastors have historically understood their primary battle to be not the battle to build a big church, but the battle against the power of sin. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood … ." Christians have measured the seriousness of the battle by the suffering and bleeding of Calvary.

And sin doesn't seem to be going away, either outside or inside the church. So how should we be thinking about sin, in our congregations and in ourselves?

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Blogger sp lim said...

Recommended readings

John Owen's Mortification of Sin, Temptations & Indwelling Sin.

The unabridged versions may be difficult to read. Recommend the one edited by James Houston.

Alternatively read Kris Lundgaard's 'The Enemy Within' which draws heavily from Owen's works

10:56 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi SP Lim,

Thanks for your recommendation. Puritan John Owen's books are always worth reading. I agree with you that James Houston reworking of that book is easier to use.

I have not read Kris Lundgaard's book and will try to get a copy. Thanks again for the recommendation.

4:00 PM  

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