Sourcing the 7 Deadly Sins

As was mentioned in the sermon last Sunday (and as evidenced on the map below), the 7 Deadly Sins show up everywhere – from Dante to Gilligan’s Island. So far a handful of books have been most helpful in lending a sense of direction to our study. If you’re interested in reading more on your own, the following (in alphabetical order) serve as good entry points:

GlitteringVices Glittering Vices
“…along with Aquinas and many others in the Christian tradition, the present study will examine the vices within the context of spiritual formation. This book, based on his inspiration and insights, offers the conceptual tools to illuminate our personal stories, enable penetrating diagnoses of our struggles, and – more importantly – give us a glimpse of life beyond the entrapments of sin.” (from the intro., pp. 10-11)

SSinsToday The Seven Deadly Sins Today
“When a theologian says that 'in each of the sins, a man acts in such a way as to make his relationship to God precarious, frightened, suspicion-laden, deceitful,' it is not impossible for the irreligious to understand what he is saying, as they can also understand when he adds that 'sin is what a man is compelled to confess to God because his action has placed him in a crisis before God.' Certainly if one has no inkling of what he is talking about, one will understand why sin is more than moral evil, why it is commonly described as infidelity, why it has been said that sin is less like the act of a criminal than the act of a traitor.”  (intro. p. 4)

SinningLikeAChristian Sinning Like a Christian
“Our human situation is not that we are all dressed up with a will to power and transcendence with nowhere to go but finitude and failure. Our situation is that we view our lives through a set of lies about ourselves, false stories of who we are and are meant to be, never getting an accurate picture of ourselves. Through the 'lens' of the story of Jesus we are able to see ourselves truthfully and call things by their proper names. Only through the story of the cross of Christ do we see the utter depth and seriousness of sin. Only through this story that combines cross and resurrection do we see the utter resourcefulness and love of a God who is determined to save sinners (Romans 3:21-25). Thus Barth could claim that 'there is no knowledge of sin except in the light of Christ’s cross.'”  (intro.  p. 11)

SteeringThroughChaos Steering Through Chaos
“Not So Much A Book As a Way of Thinking – Thinkers from the time of Socrates to our own day have believed that the unexamined life is not worth living. Today’s unique challenge is to lead an examined life in an unexamining age. Adult in seriousness and tone, yet popular rather than scholarly in style…the Trinity Forum Study Series explores the issues of our day in the context of faith…presents the perspective of faith in the context of the sweep of Western civilization, recognizing the vital place of the past in the lives of nations as well as individuals…presents the perspective of faith in the context of the challenge of other faiths…is unashamed about the necessity of tough-minded thinking…recognizes that many of the urgent public issues of our day are cultural rather than political…assumes the special need for, and the possibility of, a social and cultural renaissance in our time.”  (Preface, pp. 7-11)

We’ll have some of these at the book table this Sunday. You can also track them down yourself. Most can be ordered online using the links on the booklist at the right side of this blog.