Sunday, October 11, 2015

Review: Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide

Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide by Lawrence S. Cunningham, November 26, 2012. 128 pages. Published by Ave Maria Press. Source: publisher.
Lawrence Cunningham guides readers on a tour of and personal inquiry into the seven deadly sins--their roots in the mystic experiences of the desert fathers, their modern manifestations, and how to supplant these invasive, destructive habits with virtue.

Sloth, envy, gluttony, greed, anger, lust, and pride: when and how were they first identified? Who grouped them together? Can we truly resist their pull? Renowned theologian Lawrence Cunningham explores these questions and others in his newest book. He traces the roots of the seven deadly sins to the mystic experiences of the desert fathers, who--in total solitude--experienced and identified these corrupt inner desires as forces that twist us away from God. He offers examples and insights from scripture, Christian tradition, and modern life, helping readers meet each of the seven deadly sins with a corresponding virtue.
First Sentence:
Although I confess to a mild predilection for watching sports on television, certain events cause me to reach immediately for the remote because of their sheer capacity to bore.


The title alone, well that and the cover, were enough to pique my interesting in Lawrence S. Cunningham's The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide. Yet what really piqued my interest with the book was his take on the seven deadly sins and how to move beyond them and towards the corresponding virtues that combat them.

Well, what can I say, other than that I knew I was going to like this book the moment the first chapter, the one on gluttony, began talking about something that was just weird when it comes to television shows-that of eating competitions. While this is neither here nor there in regards to actual thoughts upon the book, it really was just something that stood out to me because his thoughts on it kind of mirrored my own.

That aside, I really enjoyed the way he looked at the Seven Deadly Sins and how to combat them with virtues. It was really one of those books that makes you think over some of how you deal with thing/see the world...in a way that makes you want to reevaluate things (in a good way). I'm doing a poor job here, but, I found his take to be a refreshing look at a topic that has been around for ages upon ages. Also, it was interesting to see him take a more modern look at the Cardinal Sins in a way that, you know, is more comprehensible for the modern reader.

While he didn't pull any punches with why these certain things were bad, I liked that he tempered what he was saying about sins with how you can turn your bad/weak points and turn them around. I would say that writing wise, this book is less chastising and more about helping the reader open their eyes to things they may want/need to change in order to live a more happy life.

Overall, Lawrence S. Cunningham's writing is pretty spot-on. I thought he managed a great balance between writing about the seven deadly sins, their corresponding virtues, all while keeping things moving forward without the writing getting bogged down. Which is a pretty fantastic feat if you ask me. I'm recommending The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide because it was both interesting and well written. Also, I really liked that it was repetitive in regards to being similar to other books written upon the same topic. It is definitely a book that will stand out if you're looking to know more about combating the seven deadlies that may be holding you back from living a more happy life. Plus, it is an  enjoyable read, so...

Final Verdict: The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide- It was different than what I was expecting. Yet it was the different-ness that made it all the more compelling of a read.

The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide earns
 this book was receive din consideration for review from Ave Maria Press. All thoughts are my own.

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