• Envy & Kindness Article by Carol Ruvolo

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    Take out a sheet of paper and number from one to seven. Now list the seven deadly sins in what you would say is their order of badness. Did you put envy last? Does it seem “less bad” to you than lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, and pride? If so, elevate it immediately to Deadly Sin number one. It has you fooled, which makes it the deadliest sin in the bunch. It probably marketed itself to you as something good (a form of admiration), or something partially good (a synonym for jealousy), instead of something thoroughly bad (frustrated self-exaltation fueled … View Resource

  • Pride & Humility Article by Robert Rayburn

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    Pride is the idolatry of the self. It is the nature of pride as competition with God — the displacing of God by the self at the center — that has led many Christian thinkers through the ages to regard pride (superbia) as the mother sin and the essential element in all sin. It is strongly suggested in the Bible that pride was Satan’s primary sin (1 Tim. 3:6), and from that pride in his case came every manner of hostility to God and man: evil desire, hatred, cruelty, and deceit. In the same way, man’s fall resulted from … View Resource

  • Dante on Virtue and Vice Article by Cornelis Venema

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    Dante ranks right up there with Shakespeare and Homer as the greatest writers of our civilization. Though the Italian poet, who lived from 1265 to 1321, embodies the High Middle Ages, he is sometimes called a proto-reformer for his bold condemnation of the popes of his day and his searing indictments of the corruption in the church of Rome. Dante’s Divine Comedy is an allegory, that is, a story consisting of symbols. His hair-raising depiction of hell in “The Inferno” symbolizes what sin is, with the punishment of the different vices giving insight into why those vices are so wrong … View Resource

  • Wrath & Patience Article by Robert Carver

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    Jesus told a parable about a king who wished to settle accounts with His servants (Matt. 18:23–35). A certain servant was brought to the king with a debt that was virtually incalculable and realistically unpayable. Facing the prospect of being sold into slavery with his whole family, he petitioned the master to have patience with him. And the master, who must have been a man of incredible patience, compassionately forgave all the debt. Sometime later this servant found a fellow-servant who owed him a substantial, but payable, debt. Taking him by the throat, he demanded payment. When that servant … View Resource

  • Sloth & Diligence Article by Ken Jones

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    When one thinks of the enduring legacy of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation, there are a number of things that come to mind — things like justification by faith alone, in Christ alone, according to God’s Word alone, and for His glory alone. But there is another Reformation landmark that is often overlooked. It has been preserved in the catchphrase “the Protestant work ethic.” This expression has come to be associated with others like “an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.” But the reason this is called the Protestant work ethic is because one of the things … View Resource

  • Greed & Liberality Article by Jonathan Leeman

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    My guess is that you can’t guess who the fastest growing debtors in America are. According to the Wall Street Journal (1/19/07, W2), it’s the super rich — not to be confused with the obscenely rich.  The wealthiest one percent of households are piling on a greater percentage of debt than any other income category as they pursue the lifestyles of the top one-tenth of one percent. Yes, it’s a tough day to be super rich when keeping up with the Jones’ doesn’t mean traveling first class but chartering a Lear Jet. Of course, it’s not just … View Resource

  • Gluttony & Temperance Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    Two mistakes accompany most discussions on gluttony. The first is that it only pertains to those with a less than shapely waistline; the second is that it always involves food. In reality, it can apply to toys, television, entertainment, sex, or relationships. It is about an excess of anything. The ancient pagans even got this right. At Delphi (in lower central Greece), the sanctuary of Apollo had inscribed upon it, wisely, “Nothing in Extremes.” The problem with this, of course, was that the judge of such excessiveness was the individual, whereas for followers of Christ it is the Creator … View Resource

  • Lust & Chastity Article by Thabiti Anyabwile

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    We often think that “our day and age” differs significantly from previous eras. We tend to think that our day presents more dangerous and stubborn problems, requiring more complex and sophisticated solutions, from wiser and nobler people, namely ourselves. Someone has dubbed this attitude “chronological snobbery.”  But one thing puts the lie to this self deception — the continuing existence and destruction of lust. Earlier Christians wisely included lust among the deadliest sins. For lust is the impregnated parent of all forms of sin. James explained that “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his … View Resource