Should we ‘Hate the sin and love the sinner’?

May 3, 2016 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo:

Over on the new-ish blog Via Media, Simon Butler has responded to a brief conversation he and I had online, in which he argues that the mantra ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner’ is not only unhelpful, but positively harmful and damaging, and unfailingly hinders the agenda of sharing God’s love. Given Simon’s intense dislike (hatred?) for this phrase, but his commitment to still seeing me as his ‘old friend’ (I take that to mean ‘long-standing’!), then it appears as though Simon is himself practising ‘Hate the slogan, love the sloganeer’. I wonder if he sees the irony in putting into the practice the very statement he is refuting.

It should be said from the outset that summary statements like this can easily be misused—which is simply a function of all language. But such ‘slogans’ must be capable of giving guidance, since Jesus packed his teaching full of such short, memorable summary statements.

Simon dismisses the saying as an ‘Evangelical nostrum’ and ‘almost an article of faith within that tradition’. If so, then this is to the credit of the evangelical tradition; as Thomas Renz points out, the saying has a long history from Ghandi all the way back to the great Augustine:

Read here



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