Posted by: William | December 26, 2007

The Sinfulness of Sin

I have recently finished what, is to date, one of the most influential books I have ever read: The Sinfulness of Sin by Ralph Venning. In his book first published in 1669, then republished in the 1960’s by the Banner of Truth Trust, Mr. Venning sets out to prove from various sources that sin is completely detestable in every way, shape and form.

I must recommend this book to anyone who is willing to try to chew it. It is not always easy to read. By today’s standards it’s a bit tricky being that the book is broken up in somewhat awkward ways (sections, subsections, subsections of subsections). Although, once you get used it, it actually makes it easier to pick it up and only read for however long you have, then put it down. Mr. Venning does a great job of pointing the finger at sin and calling it out for what it is; not only in a defining and general sense, but very, very, very specifically.

God has used this book to impart understanding on me that it is unlikely would have befallen me otherwise. He systematically explores very many of sin’s lies and usual tactics. He regularly is quoting and responding to scripture and is often referring the reader back to the bible, allowing us to build our faith in the Word of God, instead of the Word of Venning. “Read the text,” as he writes it, appears on numerous occasions.

But for me it has not been the intellectual understanding of sin (which I first anticipated) that has made this book so powerful. It has been the book’s highlighting the true condition of mine and everyone else’s heart. It is not merely information he speaks of, it is truth that is affecting to the spirit, the comfort of our spirit and often our bodies, our presence in eternity, and most importantly the suffering of God. It’s probably more than I can actually explain in words. The truth that Mr. Venning highlights from the Word has enabled in me, truly by the grace of God, a hatred and defection from sin. Along side of that it has also illuminated my heart and mind’s inability to actually do anything about it and so has brought new vigor to my reliance on God’s grace through his Spirit in me.

Anyone willing to trek slowly and prayerfully though this book may find that the Lord has much for them in its pages. It is not a quick fix. There is no magic system for “beating” sin, or living in Christ for that matter. It will always come back to faith and trust in a sovereign and loving God. Read this book prayerfully asking the Lord how it is applied, but do not expect to apply it with success yourself or for the book to do it for you; you do not have the will or ability and the book has not the power, but only God and God alone.



  1. Thanks for the review. I will add the book to my ever growing list of must reads.

  2. AHHHHH! Your last paragraph is phenominal! Stop. Stop blogging right now because your done!

  3. I must say this is a really interesting blog. is a great dating and social networking site where you can meet fellow christians. Go to to join.

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