Bad News

Tim Ward turns a spotlight on the ways in which we characteristically preach about sin to unbelievers and believers.


Tim Ward has served as Associate Director of The Proclamation Trust Cornhill Training Course since 2013. Before that he was in pastoral ministry for 14 years as an ordained Anglican.

Ideas for further thought and discussion

1. Try to remember the last time you explained sin to an unbeliever or heard a preacher doing that. How was it explained? And how persuasive was that?

2. Why do you think idolatry has become such a popular way of defining sin? What are the strengths and weaknesses of that approach?

For further reflection on this, you might like to check out chapter 6 of Heath Lambert’s very helpful book The Biblical Counselling Movement After Adams.

3. What do you make of Tim’s concern that we speak about Christians as “sinners” far more than the Bible does?

4. If you were discipling a new Christian, how would you help them to understand their relationship to sin now?

One of the key issues in taking this further is to how we interpret Romans 7 and the question of whether it speaks of the experience of a believer or not. So many of our expectations of the Christian life have been formed by the way that chapter is interpreted. An excellent recent resource to help with that is: Terry L. Wilder and Chad Brand, eds., Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin: Three Views of Romans 7 (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2011).