This book addresses one of the heaviest problems of postmodern Christianity. Worldliness isn't overtly sinful and depraved: it's a far more subtle acceptance of the world's priorities and standards. Unchecked worldliness will always end up in overt wickedness, but it starts out looking like no wickedness at all.
We often pay lip-service to Jesus' statements that His kingdom is not of this world, but do we take them seriously? Do we identify the ways we've surrendered to the enemy through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life? Do we heed the attitudes foisted on us through movies, books, and the music we constantly hear?
The essays in Worldliness, written by pastors and theologians, warn Christians of these dangerous attitudes and call them to Christlike living. Each chapter is relevant and accessible, but none are easy—they're convicting and honest.
C. J. Mahaney writes the first essay, exhortating us to affirm the whole counsel of God, and not to ignore Bible passages that get in the way of our materialism and self-centeredness. Subsequent chapters deal with our attitudes toward media, music, clothes, and "stuff."
Each reader will have their own most difficult essay to get through. Audiophiles will be convicted by the chapter on music and its ability to alter thinking subconsciously; the chapter on "stuff" will cause shopaholics either to stumble or change; web-surfers will find the media-themed chapter the hardest.
This is a convicting and difficult book, but if you love God and your witness, you need to read it. Affluence is the disease of postmodern humanity, and the only cure is a biblical perspective that accepts no excuses and no compromises.
Does this mean we ought to become monks? On the contrary. The final essay, "How to Love the World," is a call to enjoying God's creation in a way that will motivate us to care for it and to evangelize the lost, while keeping ourselves unstained by the effects of fallenness and sin. The book wraps up with two appendixes about worldliness and modesty that are much-needed.
This is kind of a long review for a book not even 200 pages long, but that's because the message of Worldliness is so crucial for our age. The temptations and snares warned against are present in every era, but today we not only give in to those temptations far too often, we have the ability to do so through affluence and wealth. If you would protect your faith in and relationship with the living God, we greatly encourage you to read this book.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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