Dr. Tim Griffin, university pastor and dean of students, initiates this installment of Trending Faith by asking Dr. Jason Hiles, dean of the College of Theology, about unforgivable sin. Dr. Hiles responds by stating that this question is a difficult one, due to the many potential misunderstandings that surround the concept of an unforgiveable sin.
If you focus on the idea of an act that is completely unforgiveable, then this can be quite jarring, if done out of context. You may ask yourself “What would that be?” or “If I did it, would I be doomed forever?”
In the larger context of the gospels of Mark and Matthew, there is a persistence on the part of religious leaders who continually challenge Jesus and reject what he is saying. In the story, the religious leaders bring this resistance to a head while watching Jesus perform a miracle by the power of God. After observing something that no man can do, the religious leaders accuse Jesus of performing the miracle through the power of Satan.
Dr. Hiles goes on to explain that as Jesus witnesses a continual resistance unfold before him, including the use of sacrilegious words, he reacts by asserting that continually resisting the Spirit of God is unforgiveable. In the context of scripture, it is the continual persistence to the point of crossing that line and having no flexibility that is unforgiveable.
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