In this episode John and Gregg discuss some of Gregg’s ideas about sin. John sets the discussion in the context of N. T. Wright’s Surprised by Joy, which John is reading along with his parents.
John notes how N. T. Wright’s emphasis on Jesus’ bodily resurrection is an indication that the kingdom of God has (partially) come already, and reflected on Gregg’s previous comments in episode #75 about “Jesus not coming to save us from our sins.” Gregg is quick to add that the second part of that sentence was: Jesus came to inaugurate the kingdom of God.
To John’s surprise Gregg explains that he sees deliverance from / forgiveness of sin as being very important, but sees this as something that happens within or subsequent to the inauguration of God’s kingdom. So Gregg explains that the coming of God’s kingdom represents not simply the fulfillment of the covenant but the fulfillment of everything, in the sense that all things are God’s and that God is re-claiming all things.
John also considers the nature of sin: what is it, and sin “the same” from the Old and New Testament. Gregg understands sin as a barrier between human beings and God, such that sin represents things that one does or fails to do, consciously or pre-consciously, that impedes humans from being able rightly to relate with God.
John wonders what this looks like for Gregg, personally. Gregg offers the contrast that while God continues to love us irrespective of what we do and who we become our own, human ability to relate rightly to God is deeply affected by the choices we make and / or fail to make. From Gregg’s perspective a major issue is that Christians do not make the connection between sin as something that one should not do and the reasons why a particular action is problematic / why God would want us to act in other ways instead.