Sin: Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be

Lots of North Americans use the word sin only on dessert menus and when telling an inside joke. If they hear the word used seriously, they might conclude that they are in the presence of a Puritan. There are few contexts left in which the word is said and heard straight. Even preachers often mumble when it comes to sin. Yet most people would widely agree that the world is broken—that things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be. This essay describes sin, its real effects on humanity, and how Christians can contribute to human flourishing.
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Watch the Interview with Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Cornelius Plantinga Jr. served as president of Calvin College from 2002–2011. He has degrees from Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor and on the faculties of two colleges and three seminaries. An author and editor, his publications include Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary on Sin (Eerdmans, 1995); Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living (Eerdmans, 2002); and Reading for Preaching: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists (Eerdmans, 2013).