This sounds like an excellent book for addressing how the gospel is to permeate our lives–from our entertainment choices to our clothing styles. Too often these discussions are viewed with suspicions of underlying legalism, whereas the opposite error (selfish, immature, worldliness) is at least as common in our day. John Piper writes in the foreword:
“C.J. Mahaney and his gang, as always, are in the business of applying the gospel. What does it look like when the blood of Christ governs the television and the Internet and the IPod and the checkbook and the neckline? Most people have never even asked this question, let alone answered it. The only way most folks know how to draw lines is with rules. The idea that lines might come into being freely and lovingly (and firmly) as the fruit of the gospel is rare. That’s why this book is valuable.”
This resource uncovers the presence of worldliness and helps believers learn to relate to the world while resisting its influence in their lives.
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 worldliness—the 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.
A few of the endorsements:
“This book is 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 Bible and Theology, Phoenix Seminary
“In this broken world, it is not easy to promote holiness without succumbing to mere moralism; it is not easy to fight worldliness without giving in to a life that is constrained by mere rules. In these pages you find a valiant attempt at promoting holiness and combating worldliness without falling into these traps. Most of the focus is on the subtlety of individual temptations and sins rather than on the equally subtle temptations to large-scale social evils. But the strength of the work is that the authors try very hard not to let you forget the sheer God-centeredness of the gospel, the glory of the cross of Christ. We will best combat worldliness when we are most drawn to Christ. But that spectacularly wonderful truth does not mean there are no wise barriers to erect and no judgment calls to be made, such that we find ourselves pursuing excellence and refusing to be satisfied with mediocrity. If this book promotes such serious and joyful living, it will have accomplished its goal.”
– D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“In the word worldliness is contained one of the great problems of evangelical Christianity in our time. Here in the West, in the English-speaking world, churches and Christians have been seriously compromised by worldliness. This danger and diagnosis is critical for us to understand. In worldliness, our mind, will and affections, our thinking, living and desiring become captive to a lesser joy than the real and true joy that is only found in treasuring God and His glory in Jesus Christ. Worldliness is thus soul-destroying and joy-robbing because it tricks our hearts into seeking satisfaction in what can never satisfy and thus slowly strangles us of the experience of being fully alive to God. That’s why John Newton (who knew this from experience) wrote in one of his great hymns: ‘Fading is the worldling’s pleasure, all his boasted pomp and show; Solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion’s children know.’ Because this spiritual malady is one of epic proportions, because it is destroying churches and Christians on every side, because it stalks me and my own congregation, I am deeply grateful that my dear friend C.J. Mahaney (along with Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Jeff Purswell and Craig Cabaniss) has tackled this vital pastoral issue. These wise shepherds have a way of getting to your heart in this book (I know this because in reading it, they got to mine). And in Christianity, as J.C. Ryle liked to say, ‘The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.’ These skillful soul-surgeons are brilliant at diagnosis and treatment, and will help you see yourself, see your sin and see your Savior. I now know that first book I am going to reach for when a Christian is wrestling with worldliness, or isn’t but should be! The questions they offer for self-examination are, in and of themselves, of strategic value in our fight of faith for joy. This is a book I will make use of, by God’s grace, again and again.”
– Ligon Duncan , Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi; President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
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