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Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  518 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Contemporary culture trivializes the "seven deadly sins," or vices, as if they have no serious moral or spiritual implications. Glittering Vices clears this misconception by exploring the traditional meanings of gluttony, sloth, lust, and others. It offers a brief history of how the vices were compiled and an eye-opening explication of how each sin manifests itself in ...more
Paperback, 205 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Brazos Press
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Matthew A LaPine
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is on the short list of books that I recommend for all Christians, a fantastic book.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
DeYoung in Glittering Vices brings her research and classroom explorations of the capital vices/deadly sins to life in thoughtful and engaging prose. It is a book about sin that focuses on what humans have fallen away from and what Christ has restored in the Christian. It is about habit that creates vices and habits that reflect the new person in Christ. DeYoung quotes heavily from the desert fathers, from Augustine and Aquinas, but also from Buechner and other modern commentators (and ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
It is decently interesting to see this origins of these seven vices. Also to see how they affect a person. Though you shouldn't read this at all because the only answer she gives is trust god. For every vice. Since this book is in spiritual help sections, yet offers very little help I'm giving it one star. Do not read it I'll rather sum the book up. "Is this vice really bad" "yes" "god will make it better"
Jes Drew
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a Protestant, I never really gave much thought to the Seven Deadly Vices. But Rebecca DeYoung was very helpful showing the pragmatic and idealogical uses of knowing how to define and defy the Seven Deadly Vices with the Seven Cardinal Virtues. I recommend it to anyone not afraid of getting their toes stomped on a bit.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Timely, succinct, convicting, encouraging. Highly recommend!
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A helpful introduction to the vices, especially for Protestants like myself who have not grown up hearing much on the vices in ecclesiastical settings. The writing style is suitable for a layperson, with some scholarly references thrown in.

The chapters feel at times like separate lectures and less like a cohesive book, which makes sense as this was the origin of the material of the book. I also thought the several pop culture references detracted from the book as a whole, but that is personal
Eileen Mulshine
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don’t think I would have chosen this book had it not been for me being a new member this year of Renouve book club. But it was just what I needed. To sum the book’s purpose is a quote from the book. “The more we understand the dynamics of sin in the deep network of its combined forces in us, however, the more amazing we will find the grace and power promised to us to help us change. The Christian tradition is a centuries-long witness to the hope and promise of our transformation from vice to ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Convicting, humbling, edifying, and extremely accessible and practical. A book every Christian should read in our contemporary culture that “trivializes, psychologizes, or even dismisses the seven deadly sins as if they have no serious moral or spiritual implications.”
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
I first read about this book on Scot McKnight's blog, Jesus Creed, about four years ago. Intrigued, I ordered a copy, which I promptly placed in a stack of books I was meaning to read.

A couple false starts later, I began to make real progress through "Glittering Vices" about a year ago, and finally turned the last page this afternoon. It's not a long book, but it was a crazy year, and since each chapter can almost stand alone, it was an easy title to pick up and put down as time allowed.

[Review from 2009] I've presently got about 100 sticky notes in this book, so let me see if I can collect my thoughts! Rebecca DeYoung wrote this book for her students at Calvin College, and it definitely belongs in the genre of thoughtful general reading suitable for teens, adults, and communities.

Like the prior reviewer (J. Woestman) says, DeYoung draws heavily from Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas' ideas about a middle path of virtue being situated between two 'disordered' extremes, or
Harmony Zimmerman
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I actually really liked this and how it elaborated on some common misconceptions I had about vices. I also had to read this for school but unlike pretty much all other times I had to read books for school, this book was actually enjoyable.
Rick Mcgarry
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it

Rebecca DeYoung’s thoughtful book helped me to think about sin in new ways. I was intrigued at the ways different sins can be related to each other, and pleased to see helpful creative strategies for dealing with different kinds of sin. I also enjoyed perspectives from different times and traditions.

I was amused to see Thomas Aquinas cited in the chapter on gluttony. According to Myron Shibley of the Franciscan University, "St. Thomas Aquinas was a compulsive overeater who was not just fat but
Jeffrey Backlin
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
As I began reading this book I was slightly disappointed, thinking that is would simply catalogue the list of the seven capital vices (deadly sins) and discuss their history - a three star book at best. But as I began reading further, the author made a very interesting connection between these vices being twisted natural human existential/psychological needs: being a human being of worth –envy, to be known-vainglory, a relationship with God-sloth, to have security-avarice/greed, justice-anger, ...more
Amy Koehler
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book took me a long time to read, mostly because of busyness and choosing not to get focused when I did have a moment. That said, I spent a lot of time thinking about the book. The author takes you through each of the 7 deadly sins and redefines them by stripping away the pop culture definitions and reinstating those of the early church tradition. She provides contemporary examples of the sins even as she discusses their almost infinite nuances and applications. But it is not a book that ...more
Lisa Beaulieu
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Based in readings of the desert fathers, as well as Augustine and Aquinas. She did all the hard reading so you don't have to, and presents it in a very easy to read but still deep way. Her chapter on sloth was amazing, a take I have never seen elsewhere. The only downside was I came thinking I had some work to do, but it turns out I am actually in terrible shape, convicted of all seven.
Eric Black
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read along with Will Willimon’s Sinning Like a Christian and Jeff Cook’s Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes in preparation for a series of sermons on the seven deadly sins. Glittering Vices is far and away the best of the three books. Willimon is too clever, and Cook stretches a bit too far to make the Beatitudes a corollary to the seven sins.
Tim Callicutt
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My dad and I picked this one up as part of Renovare's spiritual formation book club. It immediately piqued my interest due to its academic bent and flirtation with patristics. After finishing the book, we both agreed that it had exceeded already high expectations.

The focus on the seven deadly sins (or as DeYoung prefers, capital vices) may be surprising to some since Renovare is an evangelical organization, but DeYoung seems game since she gears her presentation to an evangelical audience.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am grateful to Rebecca K DeYoung for writing this book. I really didn't know what to expect, going into it. Sure I had heard of the "seven deadly sins" before. But Rebecca has taken them and, going back to some classic interpretations, given them a fresh look for our culture.

In this book, the seven "capital vices," as Rebecca chooses to call them, are envy, vainglory, sloth, avarice, anger, gluttony, and lust. Ms. DeYoung, a philosophy teacher at Calvin College, has brought new life to these
This books does a good job at defining each of the commonly identified “Seven Deadly Sins”, and very helpfully consults historical theologians like Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, John Cassian, Evangrius, and others on each topic.

One of the things the book does very well is note the ways that a certain sin can manifest itself in a way we do not expect. For example, DeYoung has a chapter on sloth in which she talks about spiritual sloth (Acedia), which is a neglect of our spiritual duties. In this
Jerome Pitts
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clear, relevant, practical, entertaining

I knew a needed a better examination of a conscience. A friend recommended this book. I feared that it would overspiritualize morality; it didn’t.
Her treatment of each vice was systematic and clear: define the term and clarify questions; then place it in the context of the Christian life and offer practical advice on living the opposite virtue. This movement of reason-to-faith helped make the claims of faith clearer for me.
Also, the relevance and
Brian Hutzell
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
The best part of this book is the first chapter, which presents a brief history of what we have come to know as the list of “seven capital vices.” I could have used a more expansive treatment of this history. The weakest aspects of the book are the author’s advice on overcoming the vices. Much of her advice, especially in the chapter on Lust, seems as naïvely simplistic as Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” anti-drug campaign. Konyndyk De Young’s advice for resisting lust is to install an internet ...more
Bridget Bernstein
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-for-school
2018 Reading Challenge: 2/10

I found the authors interpretation of some of the sins to be incredibly outdated and completely lacking any real reflection. The chapter on lust, in particular, was incredibly frustrating because DeYoung bemoaned young adults exploring their sexuality but made no mention of rape, toxic masculinity, sexual assault/harassment, etc. If this book is supposed to be the vices explained in the modern era, I think there should be bigger fish to fry than a 15-year-old boy
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
The professor I TA for is using this book in his introduction to theology class. It's well-suited for that task—it gets students thinking and talking about a system of ethics that they may be unfamiliar with (i.e., virtue ethics).

I'm not sure I wholly agree with each treatment of each vice, and sometimes the remedies seem to go underdeveloped. But it's a useful intro text for thinking about virtue ethics and how behavior affects our character.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read Glittering Vices in conjunction with my high school's Christian Foundations class. DeYoung presented her thoughts on the seven vices in a generally entertaining (but occasionally excessively verbose) manner. It was entertaining to learn about the vices and how they unexpectedly play out in our everyday lives.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. The author does a wonderful job exploring the roots of the virtues and vices tradition and shows how the “seven deadly sins”—better understood as capital vices—help us understand the nature of sanctification and discipleship. Could be a good book to read and discuss with certain church groups.
Bruce D
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! What a fantastically challenging reminder of the dehumanizing effects of habitual sin. DeYoung writes in an easy to read and understand manner while maintaining a depth of content that keeps one on the edge of their seat. Recommended to anyone who wants to take a good look at themselves through the eyes of Scripture and Ancient Christian thought.
Ron Mackey
Good, not great.

I was glad to read it, but wished for more content to help with countering these sins. The book is more descriptive than prescriptive. It is full of solid content, but it doesn't call or inspire the reader to anything.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Vice happens when our pursuit of good things gets twisted, that is, when we try to make them fill gaps and needs in our hearts that only God can fill, and when we define happiness in terms of them, rather than appreciating them as (finite) blessings from God.”
As Sharon Garlough Brown says, this book is heart surgery. It's presented in a fantastic and well-written way. She suggests we have all these vices, not just one. Very interesting and helpful for self-awareness for sure.
Carolanne wollin
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Since I read his book for the class am taking. I would like to read it again without a highlighter (no longer need to pull out parts for citation ).
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“The slothful like the comforting thought of being saved by love, of being God’s own, but balk at facing the discomfort of transformation—the slow putting to death of the old sinful nature—and the discipline it takes to sustain that transforming relationship of love over the long haul.” 0 likes
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