Freed From Sin, A Primer on Holiness is, as the title suggests, an exploration of what holiness is and is not as well as a scriptural manual on how to grow into it. This is not a little book, and I do not apologize for that. I have no interest in being another source of independent Baptist fluff. Its forty-nine chapters spread over 438 pages are divided into eight sections discussing and applying nearly 1,000 Scripture references. I have not written it because I think it will sell; in fact, I doubt it will. Who reads entire books about holiness these days? I have written it because it cries to be written. I have written it because God's people in this generation are under what is perhaps a fiercer assault of the devil than any generation has ever been. I have written it because the truths I learned changed my life foundationally, philosophically, and practically; and that change was for the better. In short, I have written it to help you because the truths in it have helped me so very much.
Almost a century ago the independent Baptist movement was born. From its beginning it was deeply marked and widely identified with doctrinal orthodoxy and a vigorous practice. Over the last thirty years that vigorous practice has seriously degenerated in a number of rather alarming ways. The results of this degeneration are increasingly seen in two mistakes. The first mistake is the tendency on behalf of the brethren to dig in, to admit nothing publicly, and to attack any who assert that something is wrong. In so doing they are simply exacerbating the problem. The second mistake is to overreact. Some overreact by leaving the independent Baptist movement altogether for contemporary Christianity. Others are attempting to transition to some "new" kind of independent Baptist model. In so doing they are abandoning much that is good and ingesting much that is dangerous.
Schizophrenic seeks to take a balanced approach. On the one hand it boldly shouts, "We're right!" On the other hand it unhesitatingly confesses, "We're wrong." It points to the banners of our strengths and calls on us to lift them high. At the same time, it lifts the rug covering our dirt and calls on us to clean it up. At all times, it seeks to do this with a careful adherence to Scripture and a well-researched eye on the facts all bathed in a spirit of charity.
Jesus was the greatest preacher who ever lived. His greatest sermon was given on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee toward the beginning of His ministry. Over the course of three chapters early in the New Testament it offers us both a connection to the Old Testament and an explicit appeal to a new kind of life. It balances inward calls to self-examination with eminently practical instructions relating to daily life.
This book is both an explanation of and an application of that great sermon. Over the course of thirty chapters the author walks through its sections and emphases. He lays before us the intent of Jesus' message by immersing us in His day while at the same time relating that message to our own. In the process he directly challenges us to live, inwardly and outwardly, the truths found in the greatest sermon ever preached.