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Seven

The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes
By: Jeff Cook
Narrated by: Jeff Cook
Length: 5 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

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.

©2008 Jeff Cook (P)2011 Zondervan

Critic reviews

"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. It's not just good; it's striking. It doesn't just say all the things you've heard a thousand times before. And yet it's totally in sync with both the saints and the scholars." (Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, and author of over 45 books, including Fundamentals of the Faith).

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Profile Image for Rev. P. R. Miller
  • Rev. P. R. Miller
  • 23-07-19

Weak on the content side

Most of my gripes with this book are stylistic and related to the presentation of the information. Despite the name, the book doesn't grapple with the seven deadly sins from a historical standpoint, so don't go into it thinking you're going to learn much about the seven's historical significance.

My first gripe (and my top stylistic complaint) is the author's voice - it's not suited for audiobooks. I usually appreciate an author reading their work for purposes of inflection to understand the content, but in ministry, it rarely comes across correctly. Cook is like so many Christian speakers and pastors that like to read their works for audiobooks, and they read it with the inflection of a Sunday morning sermon or a thirty-minute speaking engagement. It works well in short bursts, but for 5 hours, it's overwhelming, and frankly, over the top. Cook is one of those speakers whose voice can't "come down from the pulpit."

The second (and my top content complaint) is that the sins aren't handled in order (and by extension, neither are the beatitudes). There is a reason for the order of the seven which the author disregards for purposes of their own desire for teaching. Now, this is a stylistic choice, and I get that, but when I saw a book on the seven, I thought for sure there'd be some relation to the classical definitions and numbering of the seven.

Thirdly (on the border of style and exegesis), when Cook elaborates on topics taken from the biblical narrative, he puts in flavor that isn't in the text to heighten the story. Early in the book, when Cook talks about Jesus' healing the leper, he adds in so much flavor that the story becomes more about the man's affliction than it does the power of Christ. Details are thrown in about the man's day-in and day-out thoughts, his lost family, his livelihood, and his day-to-day experience of rejection, which in all fairness could be accurate, but it certainly isn't part of the biblical text. Building a message around hope from an imagined and fabricated backstory is weak preaching. Granted, the seven deadly sins are not talked about in the bible, so this should be a minor gripe in terms of the topic of the book.

Enjoy this book for its devotional work, but don't expect much more. It wasn't for me, especially as someone looking into the seven from a historical and theological perspective.

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Profile Image for Neeltje Wasmuth
  • Neeltje Wasmuth
  • 26-02-19

Must read

Once started, i could not leave it... so much information given in context, learned a lot!!
now it is time to read it again.... and to share this book. Many people can benefit from this book. it might even be possible to form a small group for discussions.
loved it!

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  • Marco
  • 03-04-18

Good explanation of the seven sins

Great explanation of the seven deadly sins and great insights into how they affect our lives

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Profile Image for Burt Polson
  • Burt Polson
  • 25-02-13

Good perspective - learned a few things

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, I was looking for the relationship between sin and how we are suppose to live. Even though the seven deadly sins are not Biblical this book does give an interesting relationship.

Do you think Seven needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, all was covered well.

Any additional comments?

I would recommmend.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Stuart
  • Stuart
  • 21-08-12

Thought provoking

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

In so many ways this book makes you realize how flawed how absolutely lost we are, including those of us like me who feel we are a Christian. This book shows how we all fail in any test of honoring God and the sacrifice made by Christ. The book makes you dig deep and ask difficult questions about your own relationship with God and His Creation.

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Profile Image for Atlas
  • Atlas
  • 15-12-11

Most original Audiobook I've listen to recently

Would you listen to Seven again? Why?

Fluid, always interesting, and the original music by Tim Coons that flows in and out of the recording is brilliant.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Seven?

The last chapter is a live recording of the author, an amazing conclusion to the book. I haven't heard anyone else do this before.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful