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date: 17 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Evangelical theology focuses on sin as the key aspect of the human predicament, and so do evangelical preaching and piety. Doing away with sin was Christ's mission: he repeatedly stated that he had come for sinners, precisely to shed his blood as the ransom-price that could secure their forgiveness. Cornelius Plantinga forcefully reminds us that “speaking of grace without sin...is to trivialize the cross of Jesus Christ, to skate past all the struggling by good people down the ages to forgive, accept, and rehabilitate sinners, including themselves, and therefore to cheapen the grace of God that always comes to us with blood on it.” Preoccupation with sin is no monopoly of evangelicals. Its insistence distinguishes Christianity from other main religions. Pietism and Puritanism, the proximate sources of the evangelical movement, and the revivals that followed in their train, concentrated on personal sin and guilt, and the sanctification struggle against them.

Keywords: Jesus Christ, sin, evangelical preaching, Christianity, pietism, Puritanism, guilt, sanctification

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