Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book review: Worldliness

C. J. Mahaney et al.

In Worldliness, C. J. Mahaney, Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Jeff Purswell and Craig Cabaniss explore how Christians can avoid worldliness at a heart level, not just a behaviour level.

I suspect when a lot of Christians see a book on worldliness they are expecting to see a list of don’ts. With the exception of some unnecessary inclusions in the section on modesty, this book takes quite a different path. Instead it looks at the heart issues behind temptations in areas such as media consumption, music, modesty and consumerism. I found the heart check questions at the end of many of the chapters quite helpful and in some cases very convicting. They might be worth talking over in a small group or accountability partnership setting.

I think the book was a bit of a letdown in the section on modesty. There is a lot to be said about what both men and women communicate with what they dress, but the segment was almost entirely aimed at women. The focus on how women dress was made even more awkward coming from a guy. It would have probably been preferable if they had found a female contributor for this chapter. They also seemed to put an excessive amount of responsibility and guilt on women to ensure that they are not causing men to think the wrong way as a result of what they wear. How a clothing choice will impact upon others is a good thing to keep in mind, but the chapter seemed over the top as some people will think the wrong things regardless of how someone else is dressed. The appendixes on what modest dressing looks like in practice also distracted somewhat from the focus on the heart issues behind modesty.

Although the chapter on modesty was a bit frustrating, I think this book is mostly worth reading.

Review copy kindly provided by