The rector of The Church of the Ascension in New York City, formerly chaplain at Columbia University, undertakes a restatement of the central importance of the doctrine of sin in a Biblical understanding of man's nature and behavior. He recognizes that the idea of sin is not in vogue today, but claims that in the past it has been Christians who have dealt most ably with man's problems. This conviction provides the justification for the author's addressing himself to the subject, intending his remarks for his ""Christian contemporaries."" This limitation of audience is well advised, for the discussion proceeds in fairly traditional terms, supported by allusions to Camus, Eliot, and other writers who have been more or less taken over by the theologians today who wish to give the impression of being up with the times. The treatment lacks the sense of urgency, of crisis, of the tragic, which has made earlier statement of the doctrine compelling. Perhaps the title itself gives the cue: being a sinner can be an ""art,"" and so brought under control. Despite this, it seems unlikely that this book will gain much of a hearing from younger readers in contemporary society.