When it comes to sin we are all guilty. Furthermore, we know we are not supposed to sin but yet we so often fall prey to falling short of God’s expectations for us. Our daily list of sins is likely rather lengthy. The question is do we understand the how and why of sin’s entanglement into so many areas of our lives and more importantly, how to sever its hold and influence. Brian Hedges, in his latest book Hit List, explores the seven deadly sins which form the crux of where all sins find their root.
First off, let me say I do not often make the statement that a book is a must read, other than the Bible of course. With that said, let me begin this review by stating that out of the more than 100 books I have read and reviewed this year, Hedges’ effort tops them all. From the first page to the final thoughts in this book, I found myself informed, challenged, and spurred to deal with the pernicious seven deadly sins and their progeny. Hedges masterfully guides the reader through each of the seven deadly sins, exploring in a scholarly manner what each sin is all about while providing the reader with biblical truth on how to deal with those issues in their life.
I was truly amazed at how much information is packed into this little over 100 page book. Hedges engages a number of respected authors, digging into the history of theological insight regarding the seven deadly sins of pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. While the seven deadly sins was something I had heard of for quite some time, I was honestly quite clueless as to the background of how this list was created and why these particular sins were considered by many to be the gateway drug if you will to so many of the sinful behaviors we observe and participate in on a daily basis. Essentially, these seven deadly sins are the most wanted when it comes to rebellious actions against a holy God.
Since Hedges’ entire book is so excellent, let me focus on a couple of highlights, the first being as noted earlier, the obvious research that went into writing this book. Hedges does a marvelous job of weaving some valuable quotes into his presentation of the material. What this demonstrates is that he reveals to the reader the consistent opinion of theologians both present and from days past on the issue of the seven deadly sins. The only issue I have with that is now I want to go out and purchase all of the books Hedges cites! Of course that is not necessarily a bad thing now is it?
Second, there is no fluff in this book. Every page contains hard hitting, informative and useful information. After reading what Hedges has to say, the reader will have received a history lesson on the seven deadly sins, a primer on what each sin is all about, why we should avoid those sins at all costs, and what Scripture says we are to do about these particular sins. For instance, in the case of sloth, Hedges aptly notes “As an untilled field lying fallow becomes a seedbed for a wild crop of weeds, so a slothful heart becomes fertile ground for vice.” I would submit most believe slothfulness only applies to lazy people, those who sit on the couch and watch television all day long. Hedges smashes that incorrect perception, declaring “sloth is dangerous because it stunts our growth in Christ – so much so, in fact, that were it not for God’s preserving and sanctifying grace, it could actually cause us to quit and thus fall away from faith in Christ. Make no mistake; sloth can do real and serious harm to your faith.” This means that all of us have to do war with this particular sin of physical and spiritual laziness.
I highly recommend this book for all believers. As Christians, we are called to do battle with sin, what the Puritans called mortifying sin. If you are truly serious about dealing with sin in your life, I recommend you read this book and apply the sound biblical truths Hedges shares. As noted by one of the endorsers of this book, outside of John Owen’s thoughts on the mortification of sin, Hedges book is a clarion call for the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to cut to the root of sin in your life. Give this a book a read as soon as possible!
This book is available for purchase from Cruciform Press by clicking here.
I received this book for free from Cruciform Press for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”