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Deep Psychology of the Gospel, part 2

2009 November 21
by Tim V-B

(More notes from Paul Tripp’s talk, The Deep Psychology of the Gospel.  Part 1 here)

1.Sin is vertical.
Sin is against God.  Sin is self-sovereignty, self-worship; “I want what I want.”  But this is insanity!  We want to be God.

2.Sin as dramatically relational.
We sin in community.  Sin causes relational dysfunction.  E.g. Adam and Eve blaming each other.  Galatians 5:15 we destroy others by our sin, e.g. a child growing up in a home of violence.  Sin wrecks the lives of others.

3.Sin is environmental.
Think of Romans 8:18ff.  We see the effects of sin in diseases, physical brokenness, etc.  “Environment” means everything outside my heart.  Physical and neurological problems all flow from the Fall when the entire world was shattered.  So don’t deny that these things exist, e.g. children whose brains cannot process emotional issues.  Don’t look down on medical care.  Christians should be campaigning for good and safe working places, clean water, etc because we know these things matter.  We should be at the leading edge of things like neurobiology.

4.Sin as psychological.
Distortion and delusion and dysfunction are rooted in the depths of our thoughts and motivations and identities.  This dimension covers very broad categories, e.g. foolishness, evil desires, self-identities, motivations.
Tripp thinks that we are just scratching the surface.  The modern Biblical Counselling movement is 40-50 years old, so has a long way to go.  Don’t be arrogant!  Engage with research, culture, etc.  Learn.

5.Sin as historical.
Sin has effects down through history.  The Fall is a good example!  So don’t be scared of thinking about the historical impact of past sin.  The cause of sin is our sinful nature.  But our personal history gives tracks for our sinful nature to run on.  (Have you noticed that we all sin in different ways?)  Investigating the past is not necessarily trying to escape responsibility.

These are 5 wide-ranging areas of sin.  Do not be reductionist.  When sitting with a person all 5 dimensions need to be at play.

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