Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be : A Breviary of Sin presents a short but important theological discussion of what is becoming a less well-understood but still very important facet of Christian belief.
Our culture is uncomfortable with the notion of sin. We have a vague sense that things are not they way they are supposed to be, but little apprehension of or willingness to admit to why we are anxious, restless, and locked into cycles of damaging behavior.
The answer, author Plantinga believes, begins with renewing our understanding of what sin is, how it feeds on itself, and how its power over us is broken. There are a lot of important things to think about in the book, although it’s written in an accessible style. Plantinga touches on common questions about sin, subtle facets of sin that we have grown comfortable and thus overlook, and the implications for that forgetting. I found the chapter on how sin and evil are represented in and responded to in literature particularly interesting and helpful.
As I read I found myself feeling increasingly uncomfortable and disturbed by sin, which I think speaks to the effectiveness of the volume. Sin, rightly understood, should make us uncomfortable and disturbed, should grieve us, and should drive us toward repentance not toward making excuses or shrugging it off. As Plantinga concludes at the end of the book, rightly understanding sin is the only way to rightly understand grace and the glorious gift of salvation.
I found Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be a helpful and thought-provoking book, and I would recommend it.
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