The Trinity of Sin


You cannot kill a tree by cutting off its branches; you need to dig down and cut off its roots.

In this book, Professor Yusufu Turaki uses the Holy Scriptures as spade and axe as he digs down to examine the roots of sin. His knowledge of traditional African beliefs an dvalues adds depth to his discussion of the origin, nature, effects and power of sin in our lives. He shows the relevance of each member of the Holy Trinity to our struggle against the root sins of self-centredness...

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The Trinity of Sin

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You cannot kill a tree by cutting off its branches; you need to dig down and cut off its roots.

In this book, Professor Yusufu Turaki uses the Holy Scriptures as spade and axe as he digs down to examine the roots of sin. His knowledge of traditional African beliefs an dvalues adds depth to his discussion of the origin, nature, effects and power of sin in our lives. He shows the relevance of each member of the Holy Trinity to our struggle against the root sins of self-centredness and pride, greed and lust, and anxiety and fear.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789966003188
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Series: Hippo Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Yusufu Turaki is professor of Theology and Social Ethics at JETS, Jos, Nigeria, and Director of its Centre for the Study of Religion, Church and Society. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Ethics from Boston University and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Yale Divinity School. He and his wife, Deborah, have four children. Professor Turaki has written extensively on the subjects of ethics, theology, missions, development, colonialism, Islam, African contemporary socio-political issues and African Traditional Religion and culture.

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Table of Contents

Preface xiii

1 Introduction 1

My Interest in Sin 1

Structure of the Book 4

Part I Theological Background

2 Traditional African Beliefs 9

Fundamental Theological Beliefs 10

Belief in impersonal powers 10

Belief in spirit beings 11

Belief in many divinities 12

Belief in a Supreme Being 13

Belief in a hierarchy of spiritual beings 13

Fundamental Psychological Beliefs 14

Fundamental Philosophical Beliefs 15

Holism 16

Spiritualism 17

Dynamism 18

Communalism 19

Fatalism 21

Fundamental Moral and Ethical Beliefs 21

Law of harmony 22

Law of the spirit 22

Law of power 23

Law of kinship 24

Summary 24

3 God and Sin 25

God's Nature 26

God is a Trinity 27

God is sovereign 28

God is eternal 28

God is the eternal Word 29

God is eternal spirit 29

God is good 30

God is wise 30

God is holy 31

God is righteous 32

God is just 32

God is angry 33

God is true 33

God is faithful 34

God's Laws 35

God's universal physical laws 35

God's universal moral laws 35

Why a Right Understanding of God Matters 36

4 Creation: Good or Bad? 37

The View of World Religions 37

The View of African Religions 38

The Christian View 39

Why a Right Understanding of Creation Matters 41

5 Evil, Sin and Free Will 42

The Nature of Evil 43

Evil and Free Will 43

Why We Were Created 44

Our Original Condition 45

God's First Covenant with Adam and Eve 46

What Happened in Eden 47

Who was Satan? 47

What was the temptation? 47

The Fall and God's Second Covenant with Adam and Eve 49

Why Understanding Free Will Matters 50

6 The Power of Temptation 52

The Power of Temptation 53

The Context of Temptation 54

The Instrument of Temptation 54

Rebellion and Disobedience 54

The Consequences of the Fall 56

Inherited guilt 58

Inherited corruption 59

God's Judgement and Punishment 59

God's judgement on the serpent 60

God's judgement on Eve 60

God's judgement on Adam 61

Living in exile 62

Conclusion 62

7 Human Nature 64

Traditional African View of Human Nature 64

Biblical View of Human Nature 67

Spirit, Soul and Body 67

Sin and the spirit 69

Sin and the soul 71

Sin and the body 73

Conclusion 74

Part II The Trinity of Sin

8 Self-centredness and Pride 77

Defining Pride 77

The Sin of Pride in Satan 79

Pride and the Fall 79

Self and Sin 81

Heart and sin 82

Flesh and sin 84

Sins Related to Self-Centredness and Pride 85

Dealing with the Sins of Self-Centredness and Pride 87

Summary 87

9 Greed and Lust 89

Denning Greed and Lust 89

Greed, Lust and the Fall 90

Greed 91

Lust 91

Self-centredness and Pride and Greed and Lust 92

Sins Related to Greed and Lust 92

Dealing with the Sins of Greed and Lust 93

10 Anxiety and Fear 95

Anxiety, Fear and the Fall 95

Defining Anxiety and Fear 97

Self-Centredness and Pride, Greed and Lust and Anxiety and Fear 98

Sins Related to Anxiety and Fear 98

Dealing with the Sins of Anxiety and Fear 101

Part III God's Solution to the Problem of Sin

11 Redemption in Jesus Christ 105

The Cross: God's Response to the Fall 106

Adam and the Second Adam 108

God's Plan of Salvation and Redemption 109

All believers are chosen by the Father 109

All believers are redeemed by the Son 110

All believers are sealed by the Spirit 111

Christ's Work of Reconciliation 112

The Resurrection Power of Jesus 113

The Church, the Body of Christ 114

12 Applying the Power of the Cross of Christ 117

Sins and Sin 117

Sins and personal guilt 118

Sin and inherited corruption 119

Spiritual Death and Resurrection 121

Spiritual Death and Remarriage 123

Conclusion 124

13 Self-Centredness, Pride and the Cross 125

Dealing with the Self 125

Denying ourselves 125

Mortifying the flesh 126

Dealing with Pride 127

Confessing our pride 127

Becoming a servant 128

Imitating Christ 128

Summary 129

14 Greed, Lust and the Cross 131

The Holy Spirit and Regeneration 132

Regeneration and faith 132

Regeneration and new life 133

Regeneration and eternal life 134

Nurturing New Life 134

Greed and the bread of life 135

Greed and living water 135

Lust and the light of the world 136

Putting off the works of the flesh 137

Sanctification and Putting on Christ 138

Walking in the Spirit 139

Summary 140

15 Anxiety, Fear and the Cross 141

Realization of Our Creaturehood 141

Restoration and Reconciliation in the Cross of Christ 143

God's Sovereignty 144

Worship of God 146

The Resurrection Power of Jesus 147

Jesus' Teachings on Worry 148

Summary 149

Part IV Sin Issues in Modern Africa

16 Spiritual Idolatry in Modern Africa 153

An African Ancestor in the Garden of Eden 154

Western Neopagan Spirituality 154

Idolatry 156

Syncretism 159

Examples of Modern Spiritual Idolatry in Africa 160

Quest for spiritual and mystical power 162

Quest for life force and spiritual powers 163

Quest to control the spirit world 164

Quest to communicate with the spirit world 165

Quest to maintain harmony with the spirit world 166

Observance of taboos 167

Consultation of African Specialists 168

Joining secret cults 168

Spiritual Powers and Warfare 168

17 Social and Communal Sins in Africa 170

Foundations of Attitudes, Behaviour and Social Practice 170

Kinship and Communal Morality 173

The place of outsiders and strangers 174

Biblical teachings on outsiders and strangers 175

Sin, Shame and Guilt in Africa 176

Creating a Just, Participatory and Sustainable Society 179

Sustainability 181

Justice 181

Participation 182

Application to Africa 183

Summary 184

18 Conclusion 186

Bibliography 187

Notes 191

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