Published by Zondervan 2010
[I]n their scheme of spirituality, in one way or another, contemplatives are forced to deny the sin nature … Any denial of a sin nature affirms the “self” and the “self” neither wants nor needs a Savior!
Book Review by Larry DeBruyn
The “Spiritual Secret” of Greg Boyd.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8, KJV
On the cover of Gregory A. Boyd’s recently published book, Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now, this endorsement appears:
“Discover a spiritual secret that is as simple as it is profound. Highly recommended.”—Brian D. McLaren, author, speaker, and activist
One “spiritual secret” in Boyd’s book may be discovered in a footnote to the second chapter, Finding Home. The secret is: “We no longer have a ‘sinful nature’.” Wow! Assuming the author is writing about Christians, the author asserts they no longer have a sinful nature (i.e., nature equals the essential properties of a thing). In other words, our nature is “perfect now”! Within the Christian psyche there no longer resides an inner disposition to sin, a “sinful nature.” Possessing inner immunity against sinning, Christians can conduct their lives in the present perfect. As with Roman Catholics Brother Lawrence (c. 1614-1691) and Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751), and the evangelical Frank Laubach (1884-1970), there is no inner barrier that hinders Christians from contemplating God 24/7. They can sense God’s presence in everything they do throughout every minute of the day, which is what Boyd’s book is all about.
At the base of the contemplative experience lies the assertion, “We no longer have a “sin nature.” The assumption becomes necessary because Scripture states that sin is a barrier between people and God. The prophet Isaiah stated: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2, KJV). Granted, what the prophet denounces in this instance are specific acts of sin, but these sins stemmed out of a sin nature. The prophet Habakkuk also said to the Lord: “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Habakkuk 1:13). So to insure there’s no roadblock to contemplating God, the existence of a sin nature within Christians must be denied, something Boyd’s statement does. Click here to continue reading.