A comprehensive theology of sin published in a single volume is not something you see every day anyway, but I don’t know that we’ve ever seen a book of this scope. As part of Crossway’s Theology in Community Series, in their Fallen: A Theology of Sin Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson, with their team of outstanding scholars from various biblical disciplines, have set a new high-water mark for this pervasively important area of doctrine which is here displayed within the dimensions of biblical theology, historical theology, systematic theology, pastoral theology, and even contemporary culture and society. Each chapter is remarkably rewarding, with D.A. Carson’s “big picture” glimpse of the significance of sin in Scripture and society (chapter 1), Doug Moo’s insightful analysis of sin in the Pauline corpus (chapter 5), and Gerald Bray’s enlightening survey of “Sin in Historical Theology” (chapter 7) among the most outstanding.
Within this excellent collection of essays one could wish that a more robust systematic theology of sin would have been included. And for penetrating personal examination and the unveiling of the human heart affected by sin, works such as that of John Owen on sin, temptation, and mortification will of course never be displaced. And we will always need fresh application of biblical teaching regarding God’s particular demands of us and the consequences of our disobedience. But Fallen’s breadth of grasp and its display of sin in its many-dimensional significance is unique and will not likely be surpassed soon.
Fred G. Zaspel
Note: See our executive summary of Fallen here.