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How to Encourage Honesty About Sin without Excusing It

Written by Ryan Troglin on . Posted in The Gospel Coalition Blog

Article by: Ryan Troglin

How can our churches encourage honesty about sin and temptation without excusing it?

Life together in the body of Christ requires a healthy degree of openness and honesty about sin and temptation. “Confess your sins to one another,” the apostle James writes (5:16). But how do we be vulnerable about our sin without simply excusing it?

That’s the question Rosaria Butterfield (author of Openness Unhindered), Sam Allberry (author of Is God Anti-Gay? and Why Bother with Church?), and Jackie Hill Perry (hip-hop and spoken word artist) tackle in this new nine-minute roundtable. Butterfield encourages churches to develop a robust grasp of the doctrine of sin and to cultivate the kind of community where openness about personal struggle naturally unfolds through “the rhythms of life.” Allberry presses us to consider the need not only to confess, but to repent to one another. Perry reflects on how both the fear and the love of God lead her into confession and repentance with joy.

Watch this video (or listen) as you and your church work to fight sin, not excuse it, and to foster candor with one another that God’s Word calls us to embody. 

Ryan Troglin (MDiv, Southern Seminary) serves as an assistant editor for The Gospel Coalition and as an editorial assistant in the office of the president at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also teaches English at Providence Classical Christian School in Northwest Arkansas. He and his wife, Stacey, are members at University Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. 

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