ECPA Top Shelf Book Cover 2021 Winner
Has the World Confused Evil with Righteousness?
When sin is disguised as virtue, the path to cultivating righteousness becomes impossible. Such is the challenge Christians face in the modern age. Not long ago, most people would agree that the seven deadly sins are in fact deadly. But ask them today, and you'll hear a different answer. Today, “anger” is often considered an admirable emotion, “lust” the only expression of love, and “greed” the unassailable right to “get what's yours.” The world can rebrand sin all it wants and declare the death of truth, but it has no power against the truth of the Scripture. What God calls sin is sin—no matter what the world says. And sin always has the same destination—death and destruction.
Dangerous Virtues examines how to recognize these seven deadly sins as they are subtly disguised in today's culture. Dr. John Koessler provides a theology of sin and why the Christian must develop a prayerful heart and discerning eye to identify where sin exists in a world where good is called evil and evil called good.
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Praise for Dangerous Virtues
We live in an upside-down world where good is rebranded as evil, and wrong is celebrated as right. John Koessler's bracing, relatable book is meant to reorient us to God's goodness so we can live with clarity, obedience, and true joy. Dangerous Virtues is a modern exploration of the seven deadly sins, calling readers to ask hard questions of the cultural norms that form our lives and churches while pointing us toward everyday moral choices that reflect the character of God.
—MICHELLE VAN LOON
Author of Becoming Sage: Cultivating Maturity, Purpose, and Spirituality at Midlife
John Koessler, professor emeritus of pastoral studies at Moody Bible Institute, pens an honest, unsettling, and helpful book for all who have ears to hear. Dangerous Virtues shows its author to be experienced in the cure of souls. The good doctor makes a difficult but needed diagnosis of our culture: what we used to regard as vice is now virtue; "the seven deadly sins are now the seven dangerous virtues." Koessler's prescription is clear, attractive, and full of wisdom. Does he have a remedy for Christians? Christian virtue is choosing to live according to God's Word. But before we do this, we must embrace the gospel to learn who we are. Then, even though God in Christ has forgiven believers, sin is still very much with us. This medicine is not new, but it is biblical: we must put sin to death through the power of Jesus's death as we walk by faith relying on the Holy Spirit.
—ROBERT A. PETERSON
Theologian and author of The Assurance of Salvation: Biblical Hope for Our Struggles
Everyone should read a book on the seven deadly sins, sins often sentimentalized, or, as John Koessler wisely notes, "rehabilitated." Our chronic hungers, encouraged by cultural erosion and technological obsession, must be recognized for what they are, then converted, retrained, and limited for the sake of Christian virtue. Gluttony, not just overeating, can also be overly careful eating; leisure used thoughtlessly easily becomes sloth, prosperity slips into greed, and a vision for social justice may fuel anger. As this colorfully written, biblically founded, well-researched book argues, sin, dressed respectably, infects everything. To be truly Christian, we need to know ourselves. This book is the opening to conviction.
—ROSALIE DE ROSSET
Professor of Communications and Literature, Moody Bible Institute