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Christian’s pocket guide to sin

By Iain D Campbell
March 2016 | Review by Bob Davey
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-78191-647-6
  • Pages: 106
  • Price: 4.99
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This is a much-needed book on the subject, sensitively handled by a trustworthy guide. It is for the serious seeker after truth and for those who want to find their feet in Bible teaching.

We are given several reasons why the subject needs to be studied. The doctrine of sin does justice to the Bible’s revelation of God and helps us to explain what has gone wrong with the world. It is vital to grasp, if we are to preach the gospel, and it is necessary to know, if we are to live a successful and fruitful Christian life.

The first chapter is worth the whole price of the book. It is a masterpiece. In the author’s words: ‘The Bible is an extended commentary on the sin of man, revealing to us the consequences of sin that took place in the garden of Eden, and developing the promise of a Saviour, through the generations until Jesus appears, to destroy the devil’ (p.11).

This survey by the author runs from Genesis to Revelation. It is a masterwork of brevity and accuracy. The seasoned theologian misses no important point; the sensitive pastor succeeds triumphantly in keeping things simple.

Using sickness as a metaphor for sin (Isaiah 1:5-6, Luke 5:31-32), we are taken methodically through the subject, identifying the nature of sin and its effects. This thorough exposure of sin highlights Christ as the only cure. The glory of Jesus and his atonement for sin is handled well and warms the heart.

A further strength is the selection of over 230 proof texts dispersed throughout the book. These are always carefully chosen, expand the mind and thinking, and never get in the way of the flow of the narrative.

I harbour only one criticism. Was it necessary to give a whole chapter to the question of why God allowed sin? The Bible does not give a direct answer to that question, but rests on an appeal to the sovereignty of God and his revealed character, as infinitely wise, just, and good. This chapter, in contrast to the rest of the book, cites hardly any Scripture proofs.

Bob Davey



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