Serious Times: Making Your Life Matter in an Urgent Day  -     By: James Emery White
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Serious Times: Making Your Life Matter in an Urgent Day

Inter-Varsity Press / 2005 / Paperback

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Weilding his degrees in theology and history like twin daggers, White (A Search for the Spiritual: Exploring Real Christianity) lays bare the zietgeist, exposing the problems of postmodernity (pluralization, relativism, humanism) while concentrating on the solutions (prayer, discipline, reading to develop the mind), and especially those which we can exhibit in our own lives. The author brings such varied voices as Bruce Cockburn and Peter Kreeft to life as he portrays the giants of intellectualism as forming a still active troupe, rather than relying on history as a tableau.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830833803
ISBN-13: 9780830833801
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Author Bio

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he previously served as the school's fourth president. Dr. White holds MDiv and PhD degrees from Southern Seminary, where he was awarded a Garrett Teaching Fellowship in both New Testament and theology. He has also done advanced university study at Vanderbilt University in American religious history, and continuing education at Oxford University in England. He currently serves on the Board of Reference at Union University, and as the adjunct professor of Christian Theology and Culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary/Charlotte. An international speaker and consultant, White is the author of over a dozen books, including such Gold Medallion nominees as and Book of the Year award-winner as well as and White also served as the consulting editor as well as contributing author to and

Pastor and professor James Emery White offers a challenge to all Christians in his book, Serious Times. The primary question that weaves like a thread throughout the book is this: “Will your life matter in this urgent day in our nation?”
Combining his knowledge of theology and history, White serves as a guide through the Middle, Renaissance, and Enlightenment ages of our ancient world to today’s Postmodern era. He illustrates how an individual Christian, standing bravely alone, can influence the culture for good amid the spiritual crisis of each period.
Moral relativism, narcissistic hedonism, pluralism and numerous other “-isms” have each had their distinctive negative effects on the Christian fiber throughout the ages. Yet, in spite of the unraveling of those moral fibers, there were men and women who wanted their lives to count for good. These Christians marched across the landscape of history carrying a torch for righteousness in the midst of darkness.
White charges that it is once again time for Christians to step forward and pledge their lives to making a difference. Just as hurricane-force ocean waves change a coastline, so the past has reshaped religion, causing America to become a divine supermarket with personal religion being whatever suits one's taste. White proclaims that “Staggering numbers of ideologies and faith options compete for attention.” The media have become the giants that shape our perceptions and our opinions, persuading us that there is no such thing as truth. Personal pleasure and fulfillment are the ultimate concerns.
But down through the ages, the voices of those who came to call the world back to a true view of humanity in relationship to God were loud and clear. William Wilberforce, C.S. Lewis, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther and others became the models for us to follow. White gives the challenge when he proclaims, “Christ is the reformer of culture but he needs transformed lives through which to work. Individuals who’ve had their lives touched must now turn around and touch others.”
The reader who desires to understand the profound effect that the past has had on our culture, and even on our lives this very day, will find the book worth the read. As a history lesson, the book’s effectiveness could have been enhanced by an artistic timeline enabling us to “connect the dots” of the ages more easily. But as a spiritual challenge, it hit the bull’s eye of my heart and begged the question, “Am I willing to give my life to something that will live on long after I am gone, that will be bigger than I am, and will affect all of history–even into eternity?” -- Char Binkley, Christian Book

Editorial Reviews

"It is quite a feat to write a reflective, historically grounded book about urgency, but James White has accomplished exactly that."
"My soul is quaking under the impact of this book. Rather than another yawning treatise on cultural demise, Jim White calls us to 'kick at the darkness till it bleeds light.' And the way we kick, he rightly assesses, is with 'deepened souls and developed minds.' Fill our churches, Lord, with such illumined saints, and start with me."
"James Emery White has done it again. In this new work, Serious Times, he has given us not only a thorough analysis of the cultural challenges we currently face but a skillfully developed response that calls for the church to deepen our souls and develop our minds as we seek to answer the call of our day. White's well-written and readable volume is indeed a serious mandate for these serious times. The theological depth and careful thinking displayed throughout the book will strengthen pastors, teachers and laypeople who engage in these important issues. I heartily commend this book."

Product Reviews

5 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. Alberta
    Age: 45-54
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 3, 2012
    Age: 45-54
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Excellent book with basic principles of what it means to be a devoted follower of Christ
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    One of the best books I have read in a long time.
    December 27, 2010
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I enjoy reading, and really liked Mr. White's style. His review of history and how we have come to where we are today in Christianity was clear and concise. He also has excellent quotes and relates historical events that I was not aware of. This book has deepened my understanding of where we are in our world today and how I can as a Christian live to glorify GOD, that was my expectation when I purchased the book, and it was met. I have purchased several more copies for friends.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 28, 2006
    Dan Panetti
    An absolutely outstanding book based on the statement from a letter written from John Adams to his good friend and colleague Thomas Jefferson near the end of both of their lives Adams wrote, My friend, you and I have lived in serious times. White begins with the premise that serious times call for serious lives and expands to the concept that the Christian life is a serious and devout journey with the Lord. Every believer, according to White, has an opportunity to live a meaningful and profound life that could impact all of human history for the glory of God and, of course, the reader is supposed to wonder why they would settle for anything less!White then turns to a brief examination of our current cultural crisis and makes that case that Christians must and should be engaged in the great debate of the day. He turns to history to demonstrate how followers of Christ have consistently been cultural agents of transformation literally allowing the God of the Universe to work in and through their lives to transform others around them. And then finally, White gives some practical guidelines to produce a life worthy of our calling to deepen our souls with a compassion for humanity and develop our minds with the sound reasoning from Scripture which combined can be a culturally-relevant tool for believers to use to engage others for the cause of Christ.Of course, White stresses the importance of reading as well as having an awareness of history as we seek to prepare ourselves for the calling of God on our lives. He also emphasizes the importance of the church as the body of Christ and our role within that institution. Finally, he concludes with the warning against apathy, against the sin of slothfulness and the lie that the problems of the world are on someones shoulders. White challenges the follower of Christ to step up, even in the face of adversity or apathy, and take their rightful place as the sons or daughters of the King of Kings!
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