Three Free Sins: A New Perspective on Sin and Grace
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Simon & Schuster / 2012 / Paperback

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Three Free Sins: A New Perspective on Sin and Grace

Simon & Schuster / 2012 / Paperback

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CBD Stock No: WW612264

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Product Description

If you've been trying really hard to be good for God and you keep messing it up, then this book is for you!You know, the reason we're so bad is we're trying so hard to be good. We've missed what God's grace is all about. That's the message of Three Free Sins—how to get free from the misguided obsession with sin management that binds so many Christians. The only people who find true peace and happiness find it as they relax in God's love and forgiveness, knowing that, if they never get any better, God will still love them.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.44 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1451612265
ISBN-13: 9781451612264

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Publisher's Description

From a popular pastor and radio host—Three Free Sins teaches that the only people who make any progress toward being better are those who know that God will still love them, regardless of how good they are.

This book is about the misguided obsession with the management of sin that cripples too many Christians. It’s about the view that religion is all about sin…about how to hide side sin or how to stop sinning all together.

In the Introduction, the author toys good-naturedly with an agitated caller on his radio program, teasing him in a segment where he offers three free sins. The offer is real. Not that Steve has the power to forgive sins, but he wants to make the point that Jesus has made the offer to cover all of our sins – not just three.

Chapter one, titled “Teaching Frogs to Fly,” is even better. The gist of this chapter is that you can’t teach frogs to fly, just like you can’t teach people not to sin. Steve tells a story about a guy who has a frog, and he’s convinced he can teach the frog how to fly. The man keeps throwing the frog up in the air or up against walls – all to the poor frog’s demise. The message is that even though people can be better, they can never not sin—just like a frog can never learn to fly, no matter how much pressure is put on it.

Steve continues through the book to show readers that while they can never manage sin, they can relax in knowing that they are completely forgiven—not just of three, but of all.

Author Bio

Steve Brown is a radio broadcaster, seminary professor, and author. He previously served as a pastor for twenty-five years and now serves as professor of preaching at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and sits on the board of National Religious Broadcasters and Harvest USA. He is the author of numerous books, including Approaching God, Scandalous Freedom, and When Your Rope Breaks. Steve and his wife, Anna, live in Florida.

Publisher's Weekly

Brown (What Was I Thinking?) intends his approach to be controversial. He tells how he has used the gimmick of “three free sins” to engage listeners to his radio show and has been rewarded with no shortage of unkind remarks. Brown explains his unorthodox delivery in this way: “I decided to ditch the theological and religious words, and to be as outrageous as God was in his giving of himself for us.” While the title may appear brash, its underlying concept is certainly orthodox Protestant Christian teaching. Brown asserts that all sins are “free” for Christian believers because Jesus paid the price for them at his crucifixion. Brown proposes that, instead of trying to be holy, Christians admit and embrace what they really are: forgiven. The book is peppered with humorous tales and personal testimonies that Brown has collected over more than 25 years as a Christian pastor, radio host, and seminary professor, to prove his point. The result is a refreshingly candid view of how Brown sees humans and their relationship with God. Agent: Wolgemuth & Associates. (Feb.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

“My stepfather, Jack, once said, ‘We don't need more people writing Christian books, what we need is more Christians writing good books,’ and I agree with him. Steve has written a good book that is also Christian. I have both learned from it and enjoyed it. You can't get better than that.” —Douglas Gresham, C.S. Lewis's stepson and producer of the Narnia movies
“If you are looking for a book that’s fun to read and, at the same time, able to lead you into deep reflection on how the grace of God lifts the burdens of sin and guilt, you’re going to love Steve Brown’s book. I give it four stars!” —Tony Campolo, Ph.D., Eastern University
"Like me, Steve wholeheartedly believes that the gospel of grace is way more drastic, way more offensive, way more liberating, way more shocking, and way more counterintuitive than any of us realize. Everything here is vintage Steve Brown--the 'ole white guy at his best. Enjoy!" —Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and author of Jesus + Nothing = Everything
“After reading Steve Brown's Three Free Sins, this rotten girl redeemed put on a pair of red stilettos and did a happy dance. Three Free Sins is like an old Three Dog Night tune—it'll make you sing along, crazy and loud, happy as all get-out. Steve Brown isn't the old bald guy he claims to be—he's all heart, graceful and true, and his message is indeed Joy to the World.” —Karen Spears Zacharias, author of Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide?
“Once again Steve Brown has done what he does best. He’s pushed the grace envelope. He’s inviting us, no, forcing us to think through the radical implications of the gospel. As I read Three Free Sins, I got the clear impression that Steve wants us to take the command in 1 John 3:1 very seriously: ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!’ ‘Look, see, behold! God loves you so outrageously more than all you could ask or imagine, all because of what Jesus has done for you!’ This book isn’t about how the gospel gives us a grace card to live like moral morons, but as those who are radically transformed by the only love that will never let us go.” —Scott Smith, founding pastor of Christ Community Church, author of Objects of His Affection and Everyday Prayers
“If Mark Twain had ever gotten over his cynicism long enough to believe the Gospel, he probably would have written a book like this. This is the kind of book that helps cynics like myself to actually hear the Gospel in the midst of all the social, religious, and political clap-trap that surrounds me. Thank God for friends and audacious preachers like Steve Brown. I am elated that he's still at it, to wit, upsetting the religious gatekeepers by throwing open the Gospel door so that all the riff-raff like me can actually see inside. Wow, there's a party going on! Who woulda thought?” —Buddy Greene, singer/songwriter, entertainer, recording artist
"Steve Brown hates self-help books. Thank God. Three Free Sins is hilarious, honest, and full of the hard-won wisdom only an old guy knows. At its core is this truth: real change only happens when we realize God loves us whether we change or not. Do you know that in your knower? Read this book. It won’t self-help you into frustration. It will change your game. And if you are like me, you’ll laugh out loud, cry a little, and shout, 'Amen! Preach it, Old White Guy!'" —Susan E. Isaacs, author of Angry Conversations With God
"While the title may appear brash, its underlying concept is certainly orthodox Protestant Christian teaching. . . . The book is peppered with humorous tales and personal testimonies that Brown has collected over more than 25 years as a Christian pastor, radio host, and seminary professor, to prove his point. The result is a refreshingly candid view of how Brown sees humans and their relationship with God." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Product Reviews

4.2 Stars Out Of 5
4.2 out of 5
3.6 out Of 5
(3.6 out of 5)
4.4 out Of 5
(4.4 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
Page 1 of 1
  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great book
    February 13, 2013
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read. It almost seems that it is written from a pastor to a pastor, but I feel any Christian would do well to hear the message of true grace. In a time when I had just about given up on modern Christian authors due to prosperity preaching, Steve Brown comes out with this book and Scandelous Freedom. If you are all about works, you will hate this book, but if you want to hear the grace of God in Jesus Christ like never before, buy this book. God bless you.
  2. Rome, GA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Love the Book - problems with the required reader.
    July 21, 2012
    SilverCreek GA
    Rome, GA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 1
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I really Like Steve Brown and I have purchased his books before. The only negative I have is that the purchaser is required to use the Adobe E-reader which is not compatable with by audio reader software...I have a vision problem and I buy audio books or use a text reading program.
  3. Virginia
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 9, 2012
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book shakes up my preconceived notions and helps me understand my relationship with our God in new and better ways. And it's Bible-based and written by somebody who's been walking the walk for a long, long time. What more could you want?!
  4. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    quit trying to live a life worthy of the gospel
    February 22, 2012
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Preachers are supposed to keep people from sinning, Brown says. He's been trying for forty years and hasn't been very successful so far. We have a proclivity to sin. We are drawn to it.

    The church is in serious trouble, Brown claims. It's not because we don't have the latest program. The problem is that we've taken the good news and made it bad news.

    If you are tired of trying not to sin, of trying to live the victorious Christian life, Brown has good news for you.

    Like Luther, Brown writes, "Sin boldly!" (42) "We are serious sinners," Brown says. (81) We are not nearly as righteous as we think we are.

    He gives you permission to be human and forgiven. If you have free sins, you don't have to wear a mask any more. You don't have to please anybody but Jesus (and He is already pleased). You have "unlimited free sins." (150)

    "The gospel of free sins makes getting better sort of irrelevant." (115) "You don't have to get better. This first truth is the essence of the gospel and this book." (118) You don't have to get better to make God love you, to maintain his love, to witness, to make a difference, to be sanctified or holy. But you will get better, Brown says. God will do it. You probably won't even know it.

    This is a disturbing book. Oh, it's not disturbing because Brown announces that all my sins are forgiven, past, present and future. I've understood that since my youth and don't try to make God love me more by behavior. I got that a long time ago.

    What makes this book disturbing is how Brown describes himself. "I tried to work at [getting better]," he writes, "and I got worse." (225) So he quit trying. "I already have enough trouble getting through the day without screwing it up so badly I can't fix it." (106) He calls himself "a cynical old preacher." (139) He says, "...I'm about as messed up as anybody I know." (131)

    His attitude seems to be, we are sinners, we are going to sin no matter how hard we try not to, we are forgiven by God, so just consider all your sins free. Just stop worrying about sin and live your life with gusto.

    This book is disturbing because Brown seems to ignore the commands in the New Testament to "be better," as he calls it. Commands to renew your mind, to put on compassion, abstaining from every form of evil, putting away anger, etc.

    He ignores concepts like knowing people by their fruit, or Paul beating his body so he would not be disqualified, or church discipline, or caring for the needs of others more than your own, of being transformed from glory to glory. I think you get my point.

    This book is disturbing because sometimes Brown writes things just to shock us, I think. "And the more you are sanctified, the less you will feel close to God..." (130) On whether he is getting better or not: "Either way, it doesn't matter, because that isn't the issue. Jesus loves me big either way!" (131) "Repentance isn't changing; it's God's way of changing us if that is what he wants." (38) "...[Y]our sin - is the greatest gift God has given you if you know it. _ Your obedience...your getting better is the most dangerous place you can be when you know it." (39)

    The book is disturbing because Brown says he honestly thinks that, "...Satan has a plan of deception that might have something to do with your unease about the concept of free sins." (161) Ah, the ultimate trump card in theological debate. If I don't agree with Brown, it is because I am being deceived by Satan.

    And perhaps, for me, the most disturbing of all is how he describes our relationship to God. God is part of our DNA. "...[T]his God thing in us is not altogether different from hunger, sexual desire, or the drive for peace and security; only it's far bigger." (215) I think likening God in me to hunger or sexual desire is doing God a great injustice, to put it mildly.

    If you have been taught that God will love you only when you are behaving the way He wants, then this book will be very freeing for you. But if you have any maturity at all in your Christian walk, if you at all understand that your sins are forgiven and you have been called to live a life worthy of the gospel, I think you will find this book disturbing too. And not in a good way.

    Paul admonished the Philippians to "be better" (as Brown calls it) so that they would be blameless and innocent, "children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world..." (Phil. 2:14-15). And if that seems impossible, the really good news is that as you "work out your own salvation with fear and is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Phil. 2:12-13) For me, the really good news of the gospel is not to quit trying. The really good news is that if I try to please God (please Him, not make Him love me more), He is right there in me, making it happen!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
  5. Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A refreshing insight into a Christian life!
    February 5, 2012
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "When Christians get to the point where they read only Christian books, go only to Christian movies hang out only with other Christians, eat only Christian cookies, and wear only Christian underwear, it's time for a reality check. That's sick, and it is a sickness unto death.

    Once we are free from the need to defend, protect and hide, we have the freedom to show up in places where proper Christians don't go for fear of getting dirty. And it is in our showing up that the authenticity of who we are becomes the "flavor" that attracts others to the ice cream maker." (pg 192).

    In the latest book by Steve Brown, Three Free Sins, is an exceptional read that for once, frees Christians and non-Christians alike from the stereotype that in order to live once saved, we have to walk a perfect and holy life. Do you really think that's possible? God knows we can't be perfect and nothing we do will pay for the gift of our salvation in Christ, so we need to stop being weighed down by the fact, we will all fall short sometimes. We need this to be about what God thinks, than what the world thinks and start living a life worthy of God.

    In this book, Steve admits he crosses into uncomfortable territory is not acting or even sounding like your typical preacher, because after so many years of being like that, he realizes that isn't what people want when they want to know God. They need to know the walk will be difficult and that God doesn't always seem to play fair, especially when things happen to good people and if we are truly honest with ourselves and who we really are deep down inside, then people can be changed.

    "If you're a Christian, you probably have, as I have winced at the revelations of the horrible sin of some of our leaders. Every time a Christian leader falls morally, runs a Ponzi scheme on unsuspecting brothers and sisters in Christ, builds a mansion, or buys a Mercedes from the tithe money from Social Security recipients, or creates an empire that begins to crumble, the rest of us want to run away and become Buddhists. Every time the curtain rolls back, and we see the hypocrisy, the greed, and the shallowness of the church, we are embarrassed and are less arrogant bout the church against which Jesus said, " the gates of hell shall not prevail." (Matthew 16:18). It's hard to be triumphant with that much dirty underwear hanging out in public.

    Listen up! Don't waste the dirt! Don't hide the sinners! They're ours. Do you think God is doing something in our midst that we've all missed. Everybody who is reading this has secrets, and if those secrets were publicly revealed, you would flee in embarrassment from friends, neighbors and fellow church members. God, for his own reasons, has revealed a few of the dirty secrets of a few of us. But that is only the surface. A mother lode of secrets has already been uncovered; but I fear that, if we don't start getting this thing right, God won't just stop with them." (pg 180).

    I received Three Free Sins compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review and feel a breath of fresh air has come. What a wonderful insight into the way God planned for us to live and for us to treat others. I applaud Steve Brown for being willing to step over the threshold and cause a few to be a bit uncomfortable, but in the end, there is a freedom waiting for us that can not be explained until you live it! A perfect 5 out of 5 stars!
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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