This is a book about God. Not just any God, but a God worth believing in. It's a book about wrestling with death and fear and doubt--and hoping to find something bigger. It's a book about heaven. Often when we think of heaven, what comes to mind is escape. According to Medieval art and modern cartoons, "heaven" is about leaving this world. Heaven is about getting as far away from what we and others have broken as possible. But this is a move of despair, and despair isn't healthy. This is a book about hell. Sometimes we believe ridiculous ideas so long they no longer seem ridiculous. But we need to reimagine hell. The real God would not choose a world that could contain an everlasting torture chamber. Most of all this is a book about Jesus. Not the Jesus we see in bad Christian art, but the Jesus who emerges from a dark corner of history and can't help illuminating everything he touches. In this Jesus, we see a new kind of God. In this Jesus, we see a new future.
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Our world is charged with both the grandeur of God and the void of his absence. The seven deadly sins are the force causing that hole. They are at work in each of us. They decimate our relationships, our souls, and our world. These deadly sins often seem pleasing and good for gaining what we desire, but they are thoroughly poisonous. Conversely, the Beatitudes are Jesus' pictures of a restored creation.
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