Chesterton and Pascal on Original Sin

Chesterton original sin quote

Original sin is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved. G.K. Chesterton

Pascal original sin quote

Certainly nothing offends us more rudely than this doctrine (of original sin), and yet without this mystery, the most incomprehensible of all, we are incomprehensible, to ourselves. Pascal

Pascal and Chesterton tell us two (at least) things about original sin.

Alcoholism - Not a Spectator Sport

alcoholism quote

Alcoholism isn't a spectator sport.
Eventually the whole family gets to play.

Joyce Rebeta-Burditt

Some "wry humor" but penetrating in its truth. Most sins turn out not to be solo sports. Most sins don't keep others seated as spectators. Most sins pull others, family and friends especially, into the game. This is above all true - with the addictions.

You are going to play the game. Your only choice is how you will play the game.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International


Perception, Reality and Other Messy Things

Karl Menninger, it's not the event that does us in it's how we perceive it"It's not the event itself that does us in, it's how we perceive it."  Karl Menninger

Karl Menninger was a psychiatrist and author, famous for his book, Whatever Became of Sin? Click here to read a very nice essay on it in the Huffington Post.

There is reality. And there is our perception of our reality. They are not the same thing.

Reality is REAL reality and perception is perception and PERCEIVED reality.

The perceived reality may have more power over you then does the real reality. 

Envy: The Sin We Can't Talk About

The Really Ugly Sin!
As if they are all not really ugly... but this one is really, really yucky. Which is why we never talk about it. Which is why we rarely make progress in it. As Dennis Okholm shows us in Dangerous Passions Deadly Sins, the ancients had penetrated deeply into the nature of this deadly vice. Here are some scattered statements from chapter six, Envy: The Silent Killer.

1.  Aquinas: Envy is a kind of sorrow for another's good that the envier perceives to be harmful to her or him self.

2.  Envy is grieving over another's good when it seems to lessen the envier's own good name.

The Seven Deadly Sins

Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins
In his extraordinarily insightful book, Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins: Learnng from the Psychology of Ancient Monks, Dennis Okholm has done a great service, especially for those called to roles of ministry and leadership.


Dangerous Passions Deadly Sins Learning From the Psychology of the Ancient MonksThese are the dangerous passions that beset all of humanity, but which are additionally destructive when they are manifest in the lives of those called to places and positions of influencing others.

My Own Worst Enemy

my own worst enemyI rarely have less then a dozen appointments a week. Some weeks it can be quite a few more. I am privileged to spend a lot of my time working with peope who are growing, pressing on, hungry for more, invested in the process, committed to the journey, open and curious learners. Therefore, these conversations are usually some type of mentoring. Either leadership coaching, life coaching, spiritual direction, skill training, supervision. Occasionally I have conversations that enter into the deep brokenness and dysfuction of the other. Occasionally there is full blown resistance in one of these conversations... occasionally (fortunately).

A Look at Our Worldview


Since I was first introduced to the 'Waterline Model' several years ago I have been fascinated by many of the 'below the waterline' issues that have such a strong influence on our lives.  One of those, our worldview, has been a front burner issue for me as I come to grips with how my secular worldview has infected my spirituality.  The influence is often sneaky, subtle, and even insidious.  It usually invites me to glorify myself and forget about God.  My sin patterns are bolstered by these influences causing me to fall to temptations with alarming regularity.

The Sin of Pride

Sin is such a devious aspect of our spirituality.  Although there are times when I am very aware of my sin at other times it is so subtle and deceptive.  Pride is one of the worst sins because it capitalizes not just on my failures but even more on my successes.  Just when I think I am making progress in some other area of sin, pride sneaks in and tells me what a fine person I am for avoiding this other failure.  Jeff Cook, in "Seven; The Deadly Sins and Beatitudes" writes "Pride is not thinking too much of myself; pride is thinking of myself too much." 

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