Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World
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Number of Pages: 160
Publication Date: 2008
|Dimensions: 7.00 X 5.00 (inches)|
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Worldliness equips you to search your heart for the presence of worldliness and gives practical help for resisting the world's influence in the areas of media, modesty, music, and material possessions.
C. J. Mahaney is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He has written, edited and contributed to numerous books, including Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology; Don't Waste Your Sports; and Sex, Romance and the Glory of God. C. J. and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of three married daughters and one son, and the happy grandparents to twelve grandchildren.
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Dont Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?
Dave Harvey (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is the pastor of preaching at Four Oaks Community Church in Tallahassee, Florida. Dave has over 25 years of pastoral experience and has traveled nationally and internationally teaching Christians, equipping pastors, and training church planters. He is the Executive Director of Sojourn Network, founder of AmICalled.com, and serves on the board of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). Dave is the author of Am I Called?, Rescuing Ambition, and When Sinners Say I Do, as well as a contributing author to Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.
Bob Kauflin is a pastor, songwriter, worship leader, and author with over thirty-five years experience. After pastoring for 12 years, he became director of Sovereign Grace Music in 1997. He oversees the production of their albums and teaches on congregational worship through WorshipGod conferences, seminars, and his blog, worshipmatters.com. He is currently an elder at Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife, Julie, have six children and an ever-growing number of grandchildren.
Randy Alcorn, author, Heaven and The Grace and Truth Paradox
"Biblical, practical, pastoral, and wise. It is honest about the authors' own temptations, and it is so specific it will be controversial! But such a book is greatly needed as a challenge today for all of us."
Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Bibleand Theology, Phoenix Seminary
People today are saturated in technology and prosperity. They are bombarded with endless luxuries: clothes to wear, cars to buy, vacations to take, entertainment to enjoy. Yet this world, which offers so many pleasures, is actively opposed to God and the truth of His Word. How, then, is the believer to relate to the world in which he or she lives?
Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World uncovers the presence of worldlinessthe cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has or does. Worldliness then reveals how Christians are to engage a fallen world and boldly preach the gospel, yet not be conformed and ultimately seduced by the system of this world.
As readers learn to identify the presence of worldliness in the areas of media, modesty, music, and material possessions, they can begin to resist its influence in their lives and instead pursue eternal godliness.
Bob HaytonSt. Paul, MNAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Great treatment of a controversial topicMay 16, 2011Bob HaytonSt. Paul, MNAge: 25-34Gender: maleAny book entitled Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World promises not to be your average book on the shelf of today's Christian bookstore. The subject of worldliness, or love for the values of this fallen world, is not a popular theme.
The contributors of this book, start off by asking if 1 John 2:15 ["Do not love the world or anything in the world":], is really in most Christian's Bibles. All of us are guilty of worldliness. But how do we go about avoiding this sin? C.J. Mahaney explains:
"Some people try to define worldliness as living outside a specific set of rules or conservative standards. If you listen to music with a certain beat, dress in fashionable clothes, watch movies with a certain rating...surely you must be worldly.
Others, irritated and repulsed by rules that seem arbitrary, react to definitions of worldliness, assuming it's impossible to define. Or they think legalism will inevitably be the result, so we shouldn't even try.
...Both views are wrong. For by focusing exclusively on externals or dismissing the importance of externals, we've missed the point.... the real location of worldliness is internal. It resides in our hearts."
The book goes on to try to navigate between these two extremes and call today's church to a healthy carefulness about how we interact with the world at large. With chapters on movies, music, money and modesty, the book aims to guide believers as they think critically about the myriad of choices facing us in today's culture.
As one who came out of a very strict fundamentalist background, this book especially interested me. I was encouraged to see contemporary evangelical Christians warning about the social dangers that abound. And I noted that the book did not offer a list of rules which I should follow more closely than Scripture. Instead the authors were careful to encourage discernment and teach general guiding principles.
To some the book will seem quite strict. Think "radical", instead. The authors aim to glorify God in everything they do. That will come across as totally radical, and will require a unique focus on the temptations and opportunities that surround us.
While the discussion on media (movies) and music was quite good, the chapter on money and modesty wasn't quite as captivating for me. I'd heard a lot of Mahaney's stuff on modesty before, so maybe that's why. But any lull in those chapters was more than made up by Mahaney's opening chapter and the closing one by Jeff Purswell.
That final chapter focused on how to love the world. We are to love God's creation and the people He has made. We are placed within His world and called to serve for its good. Perhaps since externals were over emphasized in my fundamentalist roots, this chapter on healthy interaction with the world resonated with me so well. In any case, Purswell paints a glorious picture of God's covenant dealings with all the earth.
Moving from God's overarching redemption plan, he elevates our mundane day-to-day duties as part of that plan. He closes his section on work with this appeal:
"So don't just "go to work" and "do your job"--see your job as a way to imitate God, serve God, and love others. This doesn't mean work will never be difficult or frustrating or tedious; the curse ensures that it will be at times. But God's creational purposes and Christ's redeeming work infuse our work with meaning, and promise God-glorifying fruit as a result."
Purswell calls us to enjoy, engage and evangelize the world. "We receive God's earthly gifts, pursue God's purposes in earthly life, and work for the salvation of people made in God's image. All of life lived for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31)".
The final chapter exposes the tension once again. While we are to be in the world and working for its good, we are also not to love what it loves and prize what it prizes. Once again, the book stresses two bents which typify Christians:
"Some have strictly spiritual preoccupations. For them the present is of little consequence, pleasures are periolous, spirituality means self-denial...
Others relish life in this world. Their delight in God's temporal gifts is unrestrained, their enjoyment of their physical existence untempered, their hope in earthly endeavors absolute...."
The answer finally is the cross of Christ. The cross tells us who we are, interprets the world we live in, transforms our view of people and gives our lives purpose. Finding our place in God's story of redemption is the ultimate cure for a love of this world's desires.
This book has the potential to transform your view of the Christian life. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Crossway Books for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
David GoughAlexandria, VAAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5August 14, 2009David GoughAlexandria, VAAge: 55-65Gender: maleA very helpful treatment of the subject of worldliness for today's Christian based on 1 John 2:15.. Few believers, if any, will be able to escape its practical application. This book would be an excellent tool to use with teens and young adults. The study questions in the back are excellent for beginning discussion. Mahaney and his co-authors have provided a helpful and much needed work in an area we are sometimes reluctant to talk about.
Stephen Mcclain4 Stars Out Of 5October 28, 2008Stephen McclainExcellent book. Well written and to the point on a subject that every Chrisitan should embrace and have confidence in
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