Knowing Sin: Seeing a Neglected Doctrine Through the Eyes of the Puritans (Paperback)
The first rule of combat is: know your enemy.
We don’t talk a lot about sin these days. But maybe we should. The Puritans sure did—because they understood sin’s deceptive power and wanted to root it out of their lives. Shouldn’t we want the same?
Though many books have been written on the “doctrine of sin,” few are as practical and applicable as this one. In Knowing Sin, Mark Jones puts his expertise in the Puritans to work by distilling the vast wisdom of our Christian forebears into a single volume that summarizes their thought on this vital subject. The result isn’t a theological tome to sit on your shelf and gather dust, but a surprisingly relevant book to keep by your bedside and refer to again and again. You’ll come to understand topics like:
- Sin’s Origin
- Sin’s Grief
- Sin’s Thoughts
- Sin’s Temptations
- Sin’s Misery
- Sin’s Secrecy
- and of course . . . Sin’s Defeat!
None of us is free from the struggle with sin. The question isn’t whether we’re sinful, it’s what we’re doing about it. Thanks be to God, there is a path to overcoming sin. And the first step on that path to victory is knowing what we’re up against. Start Knowing Sin today!
Paperback, 208 pages
Publication Date: February 2022
“In this book, the author of Knowing Sin, steeped in the tradition of the Puritans, teaches us not only the what and whence of sin, but also how the faith, hope, and love given to us by the Father in Jesus Christ and sealed upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit guide us in the daily mortification of sin. I know of no other contemporary volume on sin that sets forth orthodox doctrine with such precision while searching the heart of the reader at such depth.”
—SHAO KAI “ALEX” TSENG, Department of Philosophy, Zhejiang University, China
“Sin: the reality of its universality is evident to all, yet modern men and women so frequently refuse to own up to this hard-core fact of human existence. But what is even more devastating is that far too many professing Christians today downplay the seriousness of what the Puritans rightly regarded as the plague of sin. In this incisive examination of what these very same Puritans can teach us about sin, Mark Jones has produced a much-needed, solidly biblical study for our modern dilemma of ostrich-like denial. A necessary read!”
—MICHAEL A. G. HAYKIN, chair and professor of church history, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“In a world where depressing news abounds, why pick up a book that tells us how bad we really are? After reading Mark Jones’s Knowing Sin, the answer will be obvious: because we need to. Knowing Sin made me uncomfortable. It’s methodically specific. It’s agonizingly comprehensive. It’s personal. It’s unrelenting. And it’s biblical. Aided by some long-departed Puritan friends, Mark identifies the origins of our sin problem, clears up a multitude of misunderstandings about sin, gives us fresh reasons to hate sin’s sinfulness, and opens our eyes to sins we should be fighting but are probably ignoring. Most importantly, he leads us to embrace the joyful truth that forgiveness and righteousness are found in Christ’s perfect life, substitutionary death, and triumphant resurrection alone. I’ve pondered and quoted Mark’s book to others for weeks, and expect I’ll do so for years to come. It’s that good.”
—BOB KAUFLIN, director of Sovereign Grace Music
“You need this book as much as I do. We both need this book because we are both sinners, both natural haters of God and haters of our fellow man. If we are to obey God’s call on our lives to put sin to death and come alive to righteousness, we must wage war against that mortal enemy, sin. But to successfully battle our enemy we need to know our enemy. In the pages of this book, you will come to know sin, learn to hate it even more, and learn why (and how) you must become free from its captivity.”
—TIM CHALLIES, blogger, author, and book reviewer
“I genuinely think that Knowing Sin will be the most critical book that faithful Christians will be reading for many years to come.”
—ROSARIA BUTTERFIELD (from the foreword), homeschooling mother and writer, author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Openness Unhindered, and The Gospel Comes with a House Key
“What doctor would receive our respect if he offered a cure without a careful diagnosis? Yet we shy away from a thorough diagnosis of the deadly illness of our souls—the inward evil of sin. Mark Jones takes God’s holy Word, which penetrates and reveals with far more accuracy than any medical scan, and shows us the heinousness of sin so that we may find healing from the Great Physician. This book draws from the biblical wisdom of the Puritans and other classic Reformed writers to offer radical insight into the nature of sin and a great help to those who want to mortify the enemy within.”
—JOEL R. BEEKE, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI
“Reading Knowing Sin by Mark Jones was difficult, though not at the fault of the author. Indeed, Dr. Jones is a clear writer whose pithy and memorable turns of phrase make this a book that is easy to digest. He is also an excellent interpreter of the Puritan tradition and uses those sources with great effect. The problem with the book has more to do with me, the reader. Reading about my own sin and the impact it has both on myself and those I love brought with it conviction. This is the greatest benefit of Dr. Jones’s insights, that the gospel is a true balm to sin-weary souls. I’m very thankful that this book is being published, and I pray that it will have its desired result in the church as Christians live lives of constant repentance before a very merciful God.”
—IAN CLARY, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, CO
“In the best Puritan style, Mark Jones dissects sin with the sharp scalpel of God’s Word and shows us, in-depth, the vileness, power, and malignity of sin. The content is dense but well explained in plain language, with timely quotes from godly men. At the end of each chapter, the author makes very interesting applications that bring the doctrine to practical life. This is a book that deepens our knowledge of sin and, at the same time, generates in us the desire to seek sanctification more intensely.”
—AGEU MAGALHÃES, Principal of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary Rev. José Manoel da Conceição in São Paulo, Brazil
Rev. Dr. Mark Jones (PhD, Leiden Universiteit) has been the Minister at Faith Vancouver Church (PCA) since 2007. He speaks worldwide on many different topics and is currently starting a seminary in Cape Town called Reformed Theological College that will seek to provide free theological education to the continent of Africa and beyond.