Saturday, December 13, 2014

Taking aim at the Seven Deadly Sins

After reading Brian G. Hedges’s Licensed to Kill: A Field Guide to Mortifying Sin, I knew that I’d have to pick up a copy of his follow up title, Hit List: Taking Aim at the Seven Deadly Sins. The first book was equally scriptural and practical, and I knew that if the sequel was anything like it, I’d walk away a little wiser and a little better prepared to wage war on my sin and put it to death.

Although these titles sound a like a collection of lost Steven Seagal movies, Hit List is light on macho war references and heavy on Scripture and its practical application to our life. Hedges says early on, “One driving conviction of this book is that all our moral, behavioral, and relational problems are really the results of much deeper spiritual issues.” He uses illustrations that bring out his points so well that I’m a little jealous; I wish I could use illustrations in my preaching and teaching as well as he does (envy is the second of the Seven Deadly Sins, so it’s a good thing I’m reading this book!).

The Seven Deadly Sins have been recognized by Christians and non-Christians since medieval times, and it’s not hard to see why they’re relevant today. We all have to fight them to some extent in our lives. Even if we think we’re not tempted to sin in all seven ways, Hedges shows us with Scripture how subtle these sins can be and shows us how to identify and kill each of the seven:
  1. Pride
  2. Envy
  3. Wrath
  4. Sloth
  5. Greed
  6. Gluttony
  7. Lust

I would recommend getting both Licensed to Kill and Hit List to read one right after the other. “If Licensed to Kill was a field manual for how to kill sin,” the author says, “Hit List provides detailed dossiers on seven of our most dangerous enemies.” With helpful and introspective questions that follow each chapter, the stage is set for working through this “hit list” with a friend or small group. This book will show you how to take aim at these sins in your life, and rather than simply exercising greater will power, Hedges calls us to “draw on the resources  that are already ours through our union with Christ in his death and resurrection.”

I received this book from Cruciform Press for the purpose of review.

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