Against God and Nature: The Doctrine of Sin

By Thomas H. McCall, Series edited by John S. Feinberg

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Against God and Nature: The Doctrine of Sin

By Thomas H. McCall, Series edited by John S. Feinberg

... Show All

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.

Read Chapter 1


Thomas H. McCall

Thomas H. McCall (PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is professor of theology and scholar-in-residence Asbury University. He previously taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is 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. 

Product Details

Category: Commentaries & Reference
Format: Printed Caseside
Page Count: 448
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 25.99 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-0117-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-0117-3
ISBN-UPC: 9781433501173
Case Quantity: 18
Published: June 25, 2019

Table of Contents

Series Introduction

  1. Introduction
  2. Sin According to Scripture: A First Look
  3. The Origin of Sin
  4. The Doctrine of Original Sin
  5. The "Sin Nature” and the “Nature” of Sin
  6. "The Wages of Sin": The Results of Sin
  7. "Where Sin Abounded": Sin and Grace
  8. Conclusion

Appendix: The Original Sinners
Scripture Index
General Index 


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

“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.”
Marc Cortez, Professor of Theology, Wheaton College Graduate 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.”
David S. Dockery, President and Distinguished Professor of Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; President, International Alliance for Christian Education

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

“McCall has given us a work for which to give thanks. His study of the oft-overlooked topic of sin is both intensive and extensive. Reaching from a thorough examination of sin in the Bible, through the contributions of systematics, to the implications of modern science, he has explored the dimensions of this foundational topic with great erudition, but also with sensitivity and restraint. He expounds the various positions in such thorny topics as original sin in depth and with clear insight. He treats all positions fairly and sympathetically and offers measured conclusions. All who want to become informed on this topic will need to turn to this book.”
John Oswalt, author, Called to Be Holy and The NIV Application Commentary: Isaiah

“In an age when speaking of sin has become unfashionable and even evangelical churches shy away from corporate practices of confession in their liturgies, McCall offers a much-needed, comprehensive treatment of the doctrine of sin. Firmly grounded in Scripture but also drawing on the breadth and depth of the theological tradition from the Patristics to today, he weaves together a rich and varied tapestry of thought on the topic. Throughout he offers measured, fair evaluation of competing viewpoints, pointing out the biblical and theological strengths and weaknesses and defending his own position in a clear, scholarly way. This book is an excellent contribution to the literature on sin.”
Mary L. Vanden Berg, Professor of Systematic Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary

“McCall boldly takes on the challenge of explicating and defending the unfashionable doctrine of sin, armed with a command of the rich resources of biblical, systematic, and historical theology, as well as the virtue of analytic clarity of argument. The result is a robust, fair, and illuminating treatment of this dark and difficult doctrine that will be a valuable resource for Christians of all traditions.”
Jerry L. Walls, Scholar in Residence and Professor of Philosophy, Houston Baptist University