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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exposes the Sins We Tolerate,
This review is from: Respectable Sins (Hardcover)A wise friend once told me that "ultimately the way to combat a lot of sin is to drag it out into the ugly light." And that is exactly what Jerry Bridges accomplishes in this book.
"Respectable Sins", as is made obvious by the title, isn't about overt, audacious sin. Rather, it's about sins we tolerate and sins that even go unnoticed in our daily lives because we've become so habituated in our sinfulness. That means that this book is for everybody, especially if you don't 'feel' particularly sinful, because held next to the standard of Christ, each of us can only say along with Paul "oh wretched man that I am!"
Every chapter is full of valuable information. Bridges begins by talking about the 'cancer' that sin is in our lives, who we are in Christ and the power we have to deal with sin through His Holy Spirit, and then the rest of the book is spent helping us to drag our ugly sins out into the light.
"Respectable Sins" is particularly powerful because of its gospel centered and Christ oriented approach to sin in the life of a believer. If you read this book humbly and prayerfully I have no doubt that God will use every chapter to probe your heart and convict you of subtle sins to be rooted out by His grace.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Complaints,
This review is from: Respectable Sins (Hardcover)Excellent book. Jerry bridges is very distinct in his writing and points out some easily overlooked areas of sins in our everyday lives. Areas in life which have for the most part become acceptable in our Christian Walk.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hits, Misses, and a Load of Respect,
This review is from: Respectable Sins (Hardcover)In Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, Jerry Bridges gently focuses our attention on widespread sins in the church. Not only are they common, but they also go unchecked.
1) Bridges' confession
Before expanding on these sins, though, he makes a confession to his readers: He's not perfect, he has committed many of these sins over the years and he doesn't pretend to be any better or holier than the rest of us.
He makes this confession right at the start, helping readers to understand his humble attitude while writing this book, which ultimately helps us to accept what he has to say about these sins.
2) Seasoned Christians still have room to grow
Next, Bridges walks us through those familiar Bible verses about sin, salvation and grace. He knows he's talking to people who've heard these things a million times, but he reframes them to help us see ourselves'that is, lifelong Christians who think we've got this faith thing all worked out'in the centre of God's plan of salvation.
Even now, as seasoned believers, with years of Sunday services under our belts, countless worship songs sung, who knows how many prayers said, devotions read and volunteer hours logged, we're still sinners in need of God's grace who have lots of room left to grow.
3) Down to the nitty-gritty: Sins Christians tolerate
Bridges covers everything from anger, judgmentalism, anxiety and impatience to worldliness, pride, selfishness and lack of self-control.
Sometimes we Christians purposely ignore these 'respectable' sins. Sometimes we just don't take them seriously. Gossip and materialism are a couple examples of this.
Other times these sins are winked at or they're the subject of jokes. I can think of a few, but I'm curious which sins you (reading this review) would file under this category?
4) Bridges hits the mark
I've grown up in the church and consider myself to have been a believer most of my life, (You know, the 'asked Jesus into my heart at age 6' story), and I've seen each and every one of these sins in myself and in most 'mature' Christians around me.
Some of them, like materialism and selfishness, are shied away from in sermons, Bible studies, devotionals and especially in conversation with one another. We're so hardwired from birth to practically idolize individualism, privacy and a citizen's 'rights' to do whatever he wants with his money that we hardly distinguish them from the true sins of materialism and selfishness that God's Word tries to guide us away from.
Other sins, like anger, are sometimes wrongly interpreted. I've been angered by serious sin in the church (e.g. putting personal comfort over helping a neighbor in need), and for that I have been accused of the 'sin' of anger. We Christians don't know the difference between good anger (e.g. at cruel injustice) and sinful anger.
5) Bridges also missed a few biggies
Bridges really does justice to most sins that we Christians often let slide. He invites the reader, after reviewing each issue, to consider instances in our own lives where we have committed those sins and how we can return to a belief and a lifestyle more reflective of God's desire for us, His Bride.
There are a few sins, though, I wish he had mentioned.
- Love your neighbor: We don't do it
The second commandment, to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, seems like a biggie in Scripture. And yet, growing up I've witnessed countless times when Christians have refused to help a fellow Christian in need.
Not helping one's neighbor is often made to seem acceptable with the false teaching that people must suffer in silence, without asking for help, in order to prove that they're trusting God. Scripture, on the other hand, is full of commands and examples of Christians tangibly helping one another and that this is linked to proof of our salvation. (See John Piper's sermon on this.)
- Church: The old boys' club
I've gotta be honest. Sometimes the church resembles an old boys' club more than a family of mature, caring believers who actually live by integrity. I've seen 'mature' Christians cover up fellow Christians' sins and paving the way for that sin to continue. They also attacked anyone who brought those sins into the light.
Take the sexual abuse of children by clergy and other church leaders, for example. Consider the lengths to which 'mature' Christians have gone to cover up those sins, regardless of the fact that known pedophiles were free to continue abusing children because of the community's collective will to keep it all quiet.
- Accountability: Who's it for anyway?
Often the church patriarchs and matriarchs consider themselves above accountability. Their age and status in the community gives them a kind of immunity from it.
Jesus and Paul's clear instructions to deal with sin and conflict in the church (Matt. 5:23-24; Matt. 18:15-17, 1 Cor. 5: 11-13) are only applied to hot button sins (e.g. divorce, premarital sex, challenging 'authority,' etc.). These sins are loudly preached against and the people who committ them are publicly disciplined, cast out, or otherwise raked over the coals.
What about extreme sins, like when missionaries and elders and pastors rape children? No, we're told, we must pray for those leaders and do nothing more. If we break the code of silence, we're accused of the sin of judgmentalism, vengeance, anger and so forth.
You know in some ways, the Church is seriously screwed up. That's why these are some of the very deep and dangerous sins I wish Bridges had covered in his otherwise stellar work.
6) 4.5 out of 5
Overall, the book was a huge encouragement to me, in that Bridges' gentle treatment of these common sins paints a bright, uplifting picture of what the Church can become if we simply want to. All we need is to humble ourselves'I mean totally forget our privilege, status and years of service'and decide that our lives will not be a breeding ground for these sins anymore.
No sin is respectable.
Speaking of respect, it isn't easy taking on the attitudes of overly comfortable Christians. I respect Jerry Bridges for the courage to share this unpopular yet urgently needed message with us.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opinion regarding Respectable Sins,
This review is from: Respectable Sins (Hardcover)I first looked at the book "Respectable Sins" by Jerry Bridges online and was impressed by what I read. I then bought a copy of the book in August and asked a few other ladies in our church to have a look at it as well ... We all agreed that it would be a worthwhile book to study in our morning Bible study group so I ordered a total of 32 copies. We began our Bible study 2 weeks ago and so far I have received numerous favourable comments regarding this book.
It convicts us of sin that we didn't think of as sin previously. It is good to have this book point to Scripture telling us how much God hates sin and therefore He sent His Son to take the punishment for man's sin. Praise the Lord for His mercy!
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Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges (Hardcover - Aug. 21 2007)
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