5 Wrong Ways to Talk About Sin

Derek Rishmawy | December 18, 2015

Christianity is inextricably bound up with the notion of sin. The Bible tells the story of the triune God’s rescue mission to redeem rebels out of their sin and guilt, which alienates them from his shared life of light and love. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the central message of how the Son came in the power of the Spirit to conquer sin and death through his own life, death, and resurrection. Without seriously considering the weight of sin, as Anselm so famously urged us to do, we can’t possibly understand the glory, goodness, and mercy of God’s liberation. Neither can we respond to it appropriately with repentance, faith, and worship. This is why Christians have historically spent so much time talking about sin.

If you’ve been around church long enough, though, you know there are plenty of ways to “talk about sin” that fall short of considering its full weight. I can think of at least five.

1. The ‘Youth Group’ Way 

First, there’s what we’ll call the “youth group” approach. It’s not so much about the sermons, but more what happens in the small groups. Sometimes, when the discussion moves along, people will begin to talk about areas of “struggle.” One person shares, then another identifies with the same struggle, and pretty soon you have…

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