Camden Theological Library

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Ancient Sins … Modern Addictions

Posted on 9 May 2014 Gavin Glenn

A Fresh look at the Seven Deadly Sins

There is a virtual epidemic of addiction in the United States, both traditional addictions to drugs and alcohol but also newer addictions, like sex, gambling, rage, work, and food/eating. Some authorities have labelled addictions the number one mental health problem in America. We are spending millions of dollars annually trying to prevent, understand, and treat this epidemic – and yet by any measure of success we are losing this ”war”. In this cultural context Dr. Sullender invites us to look again at the spiritually-based scheme of the Seven Deadly Sins, which originated at the dawn of Western civilization. He suggests that what our spiritual forebears meant by “deadly” is best captured in the modern concept of “addiction”. Based on this thesis, this book explores what is addictive about the sins of pride, envy, anger, greed, gluttony, sloth, and lust, and suggests that these sins are all obsessive, and as such become the mental component in the addictive cycle. Each chapter concludes by offering some spiritual resources, practices, and insights that can help us win the battle against addiction, which is ultimately won or lost on a mental or spiritual plane.

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