Here is the forward of Diehard Sins: How to Fight Wisely against Destructive Daily Habits by Rush Witt.
I don’t know how many people routinely read book forewords. I myself sometimes skip them in order to plunge right into the introduction. You won’t offend me if you do the same. But if you’re hesitating to read this book and need some preview and perspective, let me help you.
Why a book on sin? Because—despite myriads of theories by philosophers, sociologists, and psychologists—sin, in all its depth, remains the most fundamental explanation for human problems. I recall reading, many years ago, before heated gun-control debates or #MeToo movements, a newspaper article decrying our society’s deterioration. The gist: with all the modern developments of our age, why can’t we come up with a program to solve the problem of societal violence?
The Bible, of course, provides both the deepest diagnosis and the most profound cure for all who will heed its message. In this book, Dr. Rush Witt gives us a theologically sound, gospel-soaked treatment of sin and grace, lacing it with insightful quotes from various voices throughout church history. This is a safe book for you and for those you love.
So why another book on sin? I could list a half-dozen other solid evangelical treatments of this doctrine. But this one is different. Rush writes as a lead pastor who is on the ground with his people and as a trained biblical counselor who counsels men and women in both his church and his community. With the case wisdom of an active shepherd, he tells us (pseudonymously) about Janet, Rob, Kristen, and others and about their struggles to fight against their remaining sin.
Yet this book is not about sin in general but about a particular type—what the writer calls diehard sins. Don’t think about Bruce Willis. Think about your long-term, stubborn, unyielding patterns of sin—not the biggies like murder or adultery but the entrenched ones that don’t lie down and die quickly. Rush shows how these diehard sins manifest themselves in daily ways, dishonoring our Lord and debilitating our Christian walk. Yet he also tells us how the active, saving work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit brings real answers to real people like Janet, you, and me.
But why another book on sin by a writer you don’t know? Because Dr. Rush Witt is worth knowing. I met Rush in 2004 when he served as an associate minister at Open Door Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was completing his MDiv degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. As a new professor at Southeastern, I joined Open Door and in time became a part-time staff member with Rush. His biblical wisdom and relational skills were immediately evident. After Rush graduated, the Lord called him to a pastoral staff position in a large church in Florida. We reconnected when he became one of my doctoral students in counseling at Southeastern and then when our church sent him to plant the church he now pastors in Columbus, Ohio. More recently I had the privilege of supervising Rush through his certification process with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, where his pastoral wisdom again emerged.
It is my hope that this book will gain a wide readership—not only among laypeople and those who pastor and counsel them, but also among Bible college and seminary professors who, like me, crave books that blend sound Bible doctrine with practical life application. With graduate training in both disciplines, and a heart that loves people, Rush models for us how to do this.
Robert D. Jones
Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary