Published on June 28, 2019 by Joshua R Monroe

Crossway, 2019 | 448 pages

A Brief Book Notice from Books at a Glance


Without a proper understanding of sin, there can never be a proper understanding of the gospel. Sin is opposed both to God’s will and to nature, leaving us in need of God’s grace and redemption. This comprehensive exploration of the doctrine of sin looks at what the Bible teaches about sin’s origin, nature, and consequences, engaging with historical and contemporary movements. Dealing with difficult issues such as original sin, angelic sin, corporate sin, greater and lesser sins, and more, this book ends with a discussion on divine grace, which is the only hope for the problem of sin.


About the Author

Thomas H. McCall(PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and the director of the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding. He is also professorial fellow in analytic and exegetical theology at the University of St. Andrews. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including many on the Trinity.



C. John Collins, Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary:

Thomas McCall proves himself a knowledgeable, reliable, and congenial guide to the sad subject of human sin. Here you will find a vigorous and invigorating loyalty to, and defense of, the orthodox Christian tradition. McCall’s argument is firmly rooted in the biblical storyline, well conversant with the history of discussion, and philosophically careful. He shows respect to the various branches of Christianity, offering advice on how they can refine and improve their positions on issues where they differ from one another, and he strengthens their confidence in the large swaths of agreement between them. You can tell as well that McCall, the serious scholar, also loves God and his people, and wants us to aspire to holiness.

Marc Cortez, Professor of Theology, Wheaton College Graduate School:

This book is a gift. Dealing with one of the more contentious issues in theology today, McCall offers a discussion that is judicious, clear, and thought-provoking from beginning to end. It comprehensively surveys the biblical material and historical discussions, deals fairly with a broad range of theological perspectives, and constructively addresses the most difficult questions raised by this much-maligned doctrine. And yet somehow it does all of this while remaining thoroughly readable throughout. I have long hoped to find a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the doctrine of sin and its significance for theology today, and I think this is it.

David S. Dockery, President, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School:

In Against God and Nature, Thomas McCall invites us to join him as he thoughtfully guides us through a thorough, careful, and insightful exploration of the doctrine of sin from biblical, historical, philosophical, theological, pastoral, and practical perspectives. Wide-ranging in his interaction with the biblical text and with other thinkers through the centuries, this first-rate theologian wrestles with the personal, societal, private, and public aspects of this oft-neglected area of theology. Offering careful exegesis of the central biblical texts on this subject, our author serves as a judicious and astute guide through the issues of original sin, guilt, corruption, and the multiple dimensions of sin. In doing so, he avoids the trap of popular psychobabble while, with pastoral sensitivity, leading readers to a deeper and more thoroughly biblical understanding of the awfulness of sin, idolatry, transgression, and depravity. He helps us all to gain a more theologically informed grasp of the important issues of humanity and our desperate need for rescue, redemption, forgiveness, and salvation. Against God and Nature is an extremely valuable work that I am delighted to recommend.

Thomas A. Noble, Professor of Theology, Nazarene Theological Seminary; Senior Research Fellow, Nazarene Theological College, Manchester, United Kingdom:

No area of Christian theology is more obscure, complex, confused, and convoluted than the doctrine of sin. It is therefore splendid to have such a clear, thorough, erudite, and comprehensive examination of the doctrine by Thomas McCall. Beginning with Scripture, McCall takes into account the varying approaches within the great central tradition of the church, not only on sin as action but also the knotty problems of original sin and fallenness, and helps us to wrestle with the issues in the light of the gospel. This is a tour de force.

Buy the books

Against God and Nature: The Doctrine of Sin (Foundations of Evangelical Theology)

Crossway, 2019 | 448 pages

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