Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk
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Baker Books / 2017 / Paperback

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Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk

Baker Books / 2017 / Paperback

In Stock
Stock No: WW075186

Product Description

Reimagine your work as service to God and others! Best-selling author Raynor helps artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and other creative professionals tackle difficult questions of importance, reputation, discipleship, and eternal significance as he discusses calling,creating, challenges, and Jesus' command. Includes stories from the Christian founders of TOMS Shoes, Chic-fil-A, Sevenly, and others.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 234
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0801075181
ISBN-13: 9780801075186

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Publisher's Description

We were created by an infinitely creative God to reflect his love and character to the world. One way we do that is by continuing his creative work. In this energizing book, serial entrepreneur and bestselling author Jordan Raynor helps artists, entrepreneurs, writers, and other creatives reimagine our work as service to God and others, addressing such penetrating questions as

- Is my work as a creative really as God-honoring as that of a pastor or missionary?
- What does it look like to create not to make a name for myself but to glorify God and serve others?
- How can I use my work to fulfill Jesus's command to create disciples?
- Will what I make today matter in eternity?

To answer these questions, Raynor shares compelling stories from an eclectic group of 40+ Christian entrepreneurs, including the founders of TOMS Shoes, Charity: Water, Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, Guinness, HTC, and Sevenly, as well as nontraditional entrepreneurs such as C. S. Lewis, Johann Sebastian Bach, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Raynor's "show" rather than "tell," story-driven style makes you feel as if you are sitting at the feet of some of the godliest and most successful entrepreneurs of all time.

Perfectly poised to reach today's growing creative class, this unique work restores God's position as the first entrepreneur, helping readers see the eternal value in the work they do today.

Author Bio

Jordan Raynor is a serial entrepreneur and bestselling author who leads a growing community of Christians following God's call to create. He currently serves as the CEO of the venture-backed tech startup, Threshold 360. He is also a cofounder of Citizinvestor, the world's largest crowdfunding platform for government projects. His book Startup Stories debuted in the #1 bestseller spot in multiple Amazon categories, including entrepreneurship and Christian business. Jordan has twice been selected as a Google Fellow and served in the Bush White House in 2006. He lives in Tampa, Florida, with his wife and their two young daughters.

Product Reviews

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  1. JK Turner
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Misses the mark
    December 13, 2017
    JK Turner
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Rating -If you are looking for something

    Level -Easy, moderate length


    The book is basically an argument that all Christian are called to create in come way or another. For the hypothesis to work, Raynor needs to play around with definitions and stretch a little bit to make everyone 'fit' the mold. He considering entrepreneurship to be equivalent to creating, and defines it as 'taking a risk for a general good'. I have a few issues with this definition and his attempt to expand the meaning to cover all forms of creating, but he does make good arguments as to why Christians should work and are called to do so.

    The book is broken into four parts - calling, creating, challenges, and charge - of three chapters each with a short intro chapter. At just over 200 pages, it is a 'medium' length book but reads pretty well. He gets a little overly repetitive, especially with certain phrases, such as, 'called to create'.

    My Thoughts

    I wanted to like this book more, and overall thought it was pretty good, at least at pushing people to work and having a good understanding of the 'Christian' view of work, but disagree/dislike two major aspects of this book. First, unfortunately, I think the whole premise of this book, as far as the way to argues his point, is misguided. You do not have to be 'called' to create; you can just go create. God doesn't have to 'call' you to start a business, you can just do it. Raynor is obviously a gifted and brilliant entrepreneur, but he doesn't have to backdoor theology into it.

    He somewhat touches on this a bit in his chapter about pastors/missionaries. He pointed out what Luther did during the Reformation as far as saying all work in meaningful and pastors aren't better other people simply by virtue of their profession. I think this is an issue again in our time, at least among Christians, that people hold up pastors as 'holier' or better than other. I actually heard someone ask a lady the other day, what she did to have two of her (three) sons become pastors. The lady said that she didn't do anything and seemed somewhat surprised by the question, because in the question was the implication that the goal of parent is to raise a pastor or that all other careers are less important. The corollary would mean that she failed with the third son.

    Back to the book, while that chapter is great and important for our time, he contradicts the sentiment by writing the rest of the book. I'm sure many people feel 'called to create', but maybe some other just like paint, and enjoy it as a hobby. Or maybe some people, as he talks about business owners often, just want to work for themselves.

    Related to that, and my second issue with the book - his definition of creating and entrepreneurship. It is very much in the American ethos to see business owners as great and noble, they are the job creators, risk taker, the backbone of our economy; except that almost none of that is true. I've never seen a survey of business owners that even listed 'create' jobs as a reason to start a business. The number on response to why someone started a business is basically control/lifestyle. People want to be their own bosses. I know that the only reason I'd ever start my own business is so that I wouldn't have to work 7-5 for someone else. His definition of entrepreneur includes 'for the general good' almost no private business are started for this reason. People either thing they can offer a new or better product or want to make a lot of money, if not for the reasons above.

    So, I think his whole basis is off, so much so, that he has to circle back and try to inject theology into it. He calls God the 'first entrepreneur' to justify everyone else needing to be one. There is no way God meets either part of his definition. God did not create for general good, but for His own glory. Likewise, He did not take a risk - God is all-knowing (omniscient) and all-powerful (omnipotent). By definition, He cannot 'risk' anything.

    All that said, if you are an entrepreneurial type person, or perhaps a creative person who is thinking of maybe a side hustle or career change, this could be an interesting book. There are cool stories and interviews with people who have started businesses and non-profits. His theology on work is great. Overall, you will get hyped reading this book because the author is such a positive and enthusiastic writer. This is especially true if you are techy or looking into new ways of doing non-profits (in which case, you could look even more in to Charity Water). However, if you are like friends of mine - she writes songs because she likes writing songs, he runs his own business because he wanted to work for himself - I'm just not sure it is the best for you. To me, his entire hypothesis is off-base and ill-defined, however, as I said above, if you are already wanting to start a business and just want some encouragement and are looking for something to read, this is probably a good book for you.

    * I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    More review -
  2. Lex De Weese
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Inspiration and Empowerment for Christian Creators
    November 27, 2017
    Lex De Weese
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    As a creator and aspiring entrepreneur who gets to work a day job supporting other creators, I was so excited to get my hands on Jordan Raynor's book Called to Create, out this month from Baker Publishing.

    Raynor presents the biblical case for creators, innovators, and risk takers to fulfill their callings not just in service, but in the marketplace.

    I have been blessed to be part of creative Christian community that has fostered many of the concepts Raynor discusses as I've developed as a writer and content creator. Many are not as fortunate because, frankly, the evangelical church is not always the most encouraging a creative pursuits. The misconception that to serve God, you must be in full time ministry is tossed out Raynor's front door on it's ear before his introduction really gets rolling. What replaces it is the beautiful truth that God is a creator and therefore, we are also called to create.

    Raynor writes in a simple and to-the-point fashion that can easily encourage and equip those for whom the discussion of creativity and innovation are not as encouraged, especially from a Christian perspective.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the interviews and input from the likes of classic writers as well as successful business people and entrepreneurs. C.S. Lewis and Chick-Fil-A in the same book is always a win.

    The book is broken up into four parts: calling, creating, challenges, and charge. Each unpacks a discussion about the philosophy and reality of the creative life. He addresses the need for risk-takers and innovators from the church. The book is a call to rally, renew, and flourish as artists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and world-changers. I was encouraged and empowered by Raynor's book and I am so thankful.

    I would recommend Called to Create for those who don't yet have or are looking to foster a creative Christian community. I also think Raynor speaks firmly but encouragingly to the struggling innovator.

    Filled with inspiration, experience, and evidence, Called to Create will have you ready to dig your hands into your next project.
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