In "Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes," author and philosophy professor Jeff Cook takes a close look at these two seemingly paradoxical lists. Comparing the seven deadly sins and the beatitudes we see two offers--one that leads to life, and the other to death. Sin may make a strong case, but only following Jesus and His teaching will bring true happiness and fulfillment.
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Our world is charged with both the grandeur of God and the void of his absence. The seven deadly sins are the force causing that hole. They are at work in each of us. They decimate our relationships, our souls and our world. These deadly sins often seem pleasing and good for gaining what we desire, but they are thoroughly poisonous. Conversely, the Beatitudes are Jesus' pictures of a restored creation. The Beatitudes introduced what Jesus said to his earliest followers about a life strong and fruitful. In fact, the Beatitudes give us a glimpse of a world empty of evil and filled to the edges with God's life. Looking at the Beatitudes and the seven deadly sins in turn, we see two paths, two sets of invitations. Both call to deep places within us to come and taste. Both invite us to take up residence. Both present themselves as life as it actually is. But only one will draw us further into reality. And only one will make us happy. Of the many, many books about the Gospels, or about Jesus, or about Christian morality, only one in a thousand gives us a real breakthrough, a new big picture. Most are just nice little candles on the cake. Seven is a bonfire. Its not just good; its striking. It doesnt just say all the things youve heard a thousand times before. And yet its totally in sync with both the saints and the scholars. --Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, and author of over forty-five books, including Fundamentals of the Faith.
Jeff Cook teaches philosophy at the University of Northern Colorado. He is the author of Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes. He pastors Atlas Church and longs to front a funk band again. He lives with his wife and two sons in Greeley, Colorado.
The seven deadly sins and the New Testaments seven beatitudes spoken by Jesus play against each other in this philosophy professors first book. Although both the beatitudes and the seven deadly sins are well-mined territory, the contribution of this book is the curious way they serve as foils for one another. They are two realities, each vying for our affection. Cook offers unique pairings throughoutenvy and the mourner, gluttony and the persecuted, for exampleas well as discussion that goes far beyond platitude and easy explanation. Greed isnt about money, Cook says, but about accumulation; mercy, conversely, is breathing out. Lust is a substitute for real life, while purity is about freedom. Readers will find new ways to think about sin and its summons into a dead life, as well as the beatitudes and their invitation to life. Cook overwrites occasionally, making readers decipher his meaning, but overall he creates a unique comparison between living a life of hell and living a life of heaven. Study questions are provided. (Sept.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.