Evagrius: The Seven Deadly Sins, Origins


Traditionally, our language has been about good and evil; sin is breaking the law;  God is our judge; we are guilty; innocent Christ receives the sentence of death; we were imprisoned by death and Christ sets us free; he is our advocate in heaven before we come before God's judgment seat; stems from Isaiah 53.5; substitutionary punishment; we have erred and strayed like lost sheep; God is angry with us and needs to be reminded of Christ's sacrificial death.

A contemporary shift to the all-forgiving god. The stress on structural sin leads to banality. People will not bring their concerns to a church but more likely to go to a therapist.

Evagrius: our deep urges pre-date language and are so deep we can hardly control them; what is needed is a process of recognition and healing: the most important truth is that we are created in God's image; there is an 'original innocence', the nobility and beauty of humanity in the mind of God; against this, there is inner chaos and outer temptation. His approach accords with Jesus.

We do not always do as we would be done by but as we have been done by; healing for myself is bound up with healing for my neighbour. The link between personal and structural sin is false. The goal to achieve Apatheia, passionlessness.