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Read before you judge…..

Over at GospelFutures, Williams suggests thinking of sin as “relational failure.” Sure, this is not exactly how Christians have thought of sin in the past, but,

“Sin has a varied history. The way people have understood sin has changed over time. Views on sin have morphed according to the culture and what made sense at that time.”

Seeing sin as relational failure, Williams says,

“…exposes a legal understanding of sin as inadequate. It is quite easy to follow a set of rules and be mean about it. It also indicts those that use religion or theology to sabotage or destroy relationships. Heretics are now the ones who have used their theology to promote themselves and exclude others.”

That should give you all something to chew on, I think.

As you react, and I’m sure some will, try to assume the best of Williams, namely that he understands the traditional views of sin as expressed in various forms of Christianity. He is not oblivious. You might also want to take leave comments at GospelFutures where this post originated.

[Neil Williams (D.Th., University of South Africa and author of The Maleness of Jesus: Is It Good News for Women?) has begun a new book project Chasing the Wind: The Quest for Relational Transformation that develops the theme of this and other posts at Gospel Futures.]



Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.