I have kept it no secret that I am a Jerry Bridges fan. His books are not only enlightening and challenging and filled with spiritual truths in laymen’s terms, but they are also downright honest and real. Jerry is honest: he picks himself apart more than anyone else I have ever read, only to sew himself back together with the thread of Christ’s redeeming holiness. I have never walked away from a Bridges book feeling like I gained nothing, and Respectable Sins is no different.
In this book, Bridges zones in on roughly forty common sins in thirteen chapters, sins that Christians overlook as mere personality flaws, bad habits and sentiments that are really “no big deal.” Bridges calls these sins “respectable,” “accceptable,” and “sublte,” because we Christians find them so often in our churches and homes that we figure they are normal and nothing to worry about. Some examples of these sins include these with which I found I struggle the most: ungodliness (living my day as if there is no God), selfishness with my time, inconsiderateness, irritability, harsh words, and lack of self control in eating, watching TV, and enjoying hobbies. Such a list may throw someone who has not yet read the book: “What’s so wrong with spending too much time on a hobby?” and “Isn’t calling such living ‘ungodliness’ going a bit far?” To such responses I say the following: “Read the book!” Highlight it. Pray over it. Study it as a group or alone. Just do not think you are above such subtle sins as these until you honestly study this book for out yourself.
Jerry Bridges has written another winner with Respectable Sins. It is no nail-biter and some day it might sound dated—but I am certain that history will look back at all of Jerry Bridges’s books and count them as classics of the Christian genre.
© 2010 E.T.