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Book Review: Respectable Sins

Christians often identify "sin" with the "really bad" stuff like murder, adultery, and theft. Avoid those things, and you're doing fine. But in Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, Bridges shows that sin is far deeper and more pervasive than we would like to admit. Most sins, for believers, are far more subtle - what Bridges calls "acceptable" or "respectable" sins. Yet these sins are also evil and offensive to God.

Why devote a whole book to the subject of sin? "The motivation for this book stems from a growing conviction that those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society around us that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own more 'refined' or subtle sins" (p. 9).

In Respectable Sins, Bridges first deals with general principles of sin, forgiveness, and obedience. Then, beginning in Chapter 7, he looks as common sins that believers tolerate like anxiety, unthankfulness, pride, selfishness, impatience, judgmentalism, and sins of the tongue. The author concludes with a chapter on worldliness and then some practical help on where to go from here.

Having already written several Christian classics like the Pursuit of Holiness and Trusting God, Bridges has done it again with Respectable Sins. I found this to be a very fresh and convicting book. Every chapter gives a brutally honest exposure of my own sin. Bridges deals with issues in a practical way, sometimes giving personal examples of struggles in his own life. Most chapters were short and easy to read. The only drawback is that the Study Guide does not follow the same chapter order as the book. But whether you buy the study guide or use this as a stand-alone book, Respectable Sins is highly recommended.

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