Graham Maxwell (1921-2010) was emeritus professor of New Testament studies at Loma Linda University. His father was Arthur Maxwell, author of the well-known children’s series Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories.
Graham Maxwell, I believe, made a big contribution in advancing an understanding of God’s true character.
Maxwell defined sin as a “breakdown of trust in God” and wrote the book Servants or Friends in which he said:
“The fact that God’s friends are not so preoccupied with their legal standing does not mean that they take sin lightly. Precisely the opposite is true! Whereas servants are concerned about breaking the rules, friends are concerned about anything that would undermine trust and damage their relationship with God. Most of all, they are concerned about anything that would in any way misrepresent God—whether or not the details have been spelled out in any law.
Friends understand salvation as the healing of the damage sin has done. And sin’s damage, if not healed, is nothing less than fatal. Disorderly, irresponsible behavior, if persisted in, can totally destroy the capacity for trust and trustworthiness.
To the servant, what makes sin most dangerous is that it angers God.
To the friend, what makes sin most dangerous is what it does to the sinner. To persist in sin is to destroy oneself.”
A favorite quote of his is “All God wants from us is our trust.”
There are many recordings of messages by Graham available the PineKnoll site.