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Fallen: A Theology of Sin (Theology in Community) Paperback – September 30, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: Theology in Community (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (September 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433522128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433522123
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“These essays provide a very thorough mapping of sin’s ugly reality. Rarely do we meet such realism as we find here.”
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College

“In this fine little volume, Morgan and Peterson provide an excellent one-stop treatment of the doctrine of sin. As we have come to expect with all of the volumes in the Theology in Community Series, Fallen treats the doctrine of sin biblically, theologically, historically, and pastorally. This text should work very nicely for undergraduate or graduate students.”
Bruce Riley Ashford, Provost and Associate Professor of Theology and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Sin is serious—that’s the thrust of this timely collection of essays and, more importantly, the teaching of the Scriptures. But in our postmodern society where there are no absolutes, and in an effort not to offend anyone concerning the issue of sin, we sometimes use other language: ‘done wrong,’ ‘erred,’ or ‘made a mistake.’ Here is a bold book that encourages us not to be afraid to talk, preach, or teach concerning the Bible’s understanding of sin and its effects both personally and societally. The Puritans were right—it is only when we have first grasped the depravity of the human heart that can we ever fully appreciate the greatness of the love of God in salvation.”
Trevor J. Burke, Lecturer in New Testament and Greek, Oak Hill Theological College, London

“Sin is the great spoiler. It spoils our relation to God, each other, ourselves, and our environment. This important volume shows not only that sin is the great spoiler but also how to understand sin biblically and to face the temptation that comes with it. Without this dark backdrop, the coming and cross of Christ make little sense. A team of excellent scholars has served the church so well in this work. I commend it highly.”
Graham A. Cole, Anglican Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School

“Homiletical in arrangement, exegetical in essence, theological in content, and contemporary in expression, Fallen meets the need of the contemporary church to reflect on an often overlooked essential of the biblical story line and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Starting with a fresh note of application, the contributors skillfully and pastorally move through the topic, showing biblical foundations and offering fresh applications for the church today. Fallen helps believers rejoice in sin’s defeat through the cross of Christ, discern sin’s traces and impact on contemporary society, and warn us as believers, as Luther did, that we are at the same time just and sinner. A must-read for pastors, seminary students, and lay persons eager to learn more about the foundations of the faith.”
John D. Massey, Associate Professor of Missions, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

“The doctrine of sin has never been a very popular teaching, but it is an irreducible essential for every generation to grasp or else the gospel will be redefined or rejected. Counterfeit Christianity heralds a message about a God without wrath bringing people without sin into a kingdom without judgment. The removal of sin removes the very guts of what makes the gospel good news. The book you hold in your hands is the most far-reaching, well-rounded modern treatment of sin that I have ever read. I commend it very highly.”
Jason C. Meyer, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Sin is the inconvenient truth, the bad news that we are tempted to hurry past in our rush to get to the good news of the gospel. The authors of Fallen do not rush past this hard subject; they examine it carefully, patiently, and thoroughly, in all its biblical, historical, systematic, and practical implications. Exceptionally well unified for a multi-author work, Fallen may be the most complete resource on the doctrine of sin in this generation and will certainly serve well as a comprehensive introduction to this neglected topic.”
Fred Sanders, Associate Professor of Theology, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University

About the Author

Christopher W. Morgan (PhD, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of theology and dean of the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University. He is the author and editor of several books, including Suffering and the Goodness of God.

Robert A. Peterson (PhD, Drew University) is professor of systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, including The Glory of God and The Deity of Christ.

Gerald Bray (DLitt, University of Paris-Sorbonne) is research professor at Beeson Divinity School and director of research for the Latimer Trust. He is a prolific writer and has authored or edited numerous books, including The Doctrine of GodBiblical Interpretation, God Is Love, and God Has Spoken.

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is president of The Gospel Coalition, and has written or edited nearly 60 books including Scandalous, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, and The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

Bryan Chapell (PhD, Southern Illinois University) is senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Peoria, Illinois. He is also president emeritus and adjunct professor of practical theology at Covenant Theological Seminary, as well as distinguished professor of preaching at Knox Theological Seminary. Chapell has authored numerous books, including Christ-Centered Preaching and Holiness by Grace.

Paul R. House (PhD, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as a professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School and has been a pastor-teacher in churches, Christian colleges, and seminaries for over 30 years. He is a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society and an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature. House is the author of Bonhoeffer's Seminary Vision and lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Perhaps a good example of this regards the origin of sin and evil.
Kyle E. Mcdanell
He must – against his will – serve God (245).” Just as Carson stated earlier, sin is all throughout the plotline of the Bible, but Christ is more.
Jeff Manning
Excellent book, very well done how all the authors complimented each other by subject matter and how the chapters were arranged.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kyle E. Mcdanell VINE VOICE on October 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
"There is no subject of grater importance to Christian theology than its understanding of the concept of sin and its effects. that may seem like an odd statement to make, but if we think about what the Christian gospel is, we shall quickly see why this is o. The gospel is a message of salvation from sin, achieved for us by Jesus Christ. To do that, he became sin for us, although he was himself sinless, and gave us his Holy Spirit so that we might be able to overcome sin and its effects in our own lives. Had there been no sin to begin with, there would have been no gospel and no Christianity because they would not have been necessary. Paradoxical as it sounds, sin and its consequences are the immediate cause of the coming of Christ in the world and of the work that he has done on our behalf. For that reason, we need to know what sin is in order to understand what that work accomplished. Just as a disease cannot be cured unless it is properly diagnosed, so salvation has no meaning unless we understand what it is that we have been saved from and why salvation is necessary in the first place. Knowing the nature and effects of sin is the essential preliminary to understanding what Christ did to defeat it. If we get that wrong, our appreciation of salvation will be distorted and the gospel will be lost. Understanding sin is not enough in itself to save us, but it can be said with complete certainty that failure to understand it will ensure that we shall never come to the knowledge of Christ and his salvation that God wants us to have." (163)

The above argument, taken from the pen of Dr. Gerald Bray, certainly is not new but might be surprising to many readers. Orthodoxy, in many ways, swings on an orthodox view of sin.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marc Cortez on January 29, 2014
Format: Paperback
Part of Crossway’s Theology in Community Series, editors Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson have put together a nice collection on a range of issues relative to the doctrine of sin, trying to help people develop a strong biblical-theological framework for understanding sin. And despite some unevenness, they largely succeed.

Fallen includes eleven essays from a range of biblical scholars and theologians. After an introductory chapter from D. A. Carson on “Sin’s Contemporary Significance,” the following five chapters offer a biblical theology of sin. Four of them tackle different parts of the canon: the pentateuch (chapter 2), the rest of the OT (chapter 3), the Gospel, Acts, and Heb-Rev (chapter 4), and Paul (chapter 5). Then Christopher Morgan offers a more synthetic look at skin in the biblical story as a whole (chapter 6). The next chapter offers a historical perspective, tracing the development of the theology of sin throughout church history. And then John Mahony tackles the challenge of offering a chapter-length summary of “A Theology of Sin for Today.” The final three chapters look at sin in relation to specific topics: Satan, sin, and evil (chapter 9), sin and temptation (chapter 10), and repentance (chapter 11).

As you can see just from the distribution of chapters, the book is particularly strong on tracing a biblical theology of sin. As Carson points out in the introduction, sin is a prominent motif throughout the biblical story. So nearly half of the book focuses on summarizing that material. Doug Moo’s chapter on “Sin in Paul” was a particularly fine summary of the material, usefully pulling together much of what Paul has to say and how it impacts a theology of sin.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luke Geraty on October 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
When is the last time you read a book all about sin? You know, that icky stuff that a lot of television preachers don’t like to talk about much. The last book I read that was almost exclusively on the topic of sin was John Piper’s Spectacular Sins and that was in 2008. In seminary and Bible college I had to read a few treatments, but that was a number of years ago (and counting!). Truth be told, I don’t often read systematic treatments of what those of us who are Reformed like to say is a foundation for much of our anthropology and soteriological convictions. Enter Fallen: A Theology of Sin, edited by Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson, one of the most comprehensive and engaging books I’ve read on the doctrine of sin.

Let’s be honest. When you edit a book and have contributors like D. A. Carson, Douglas Moo, and Robert W. Yarbrough, you raise this New Testament freak’s interests. Add Gerald Bray and I’m basically guaranteed to read your book. Fallen is the fifth book in the Theology in Community series, which I have thus far enjoyed immensely.

Fallen, after a brief introduction, features eleven chapters focused on the doctrine of sin and its significance to the global church. After the introduction lays a framework off of Reinhold Neibuhr’s famous statement that “the doctrine of original sin is the only empirically verifiable doctrine of the Christian faith,” the follow chapters handle a number of biblical, theological, historical, and practical issues related to sin. Here are a few of the standouts:

Carson’s first essay, “Sin’s Contemporary Significance,” is a great way to start the conversation.
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