I had to wait a few days before reading Worldliness until one of my friends was finished with it. She said it was so convicting that she had to keep putting it aside and going back to it later. That made me a bit nervous at first, but “C.J. Mahaney and his gang,” to quote John Piper’s foreword, have done an amazing job.
Mahaney lays the groundwork in the opening pages by observing that an inordinate love of the world begins in the soul. Using the example of Demas from 2 Timothy 4:10, he shows how subtle this can be. Our problem is seduction, not persecution. We don’t necessarily desert, we drift. He goes on to define the terms “world” and “worldliness,” noting that worldliness is internal. He closes the chapter by revealing the remedy: the cross of Jesus Christ. “Resisting worldliness is absolutely vital but not ultimately most significant. Jesus Christ is most important. We must fight worldliness because it dulls our affections for Christ and distracts our attention from Christ. Worldliness is so serious because Christ is so glorious.”
The book’s remaining chapters, written by various authors, deal with the issue of worldliness in the areas of music, media, possessions and dress (At this point, let me say a heartfelt thank you for the Appendix B about wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses. I would have bought the book just for this!). The danger of legalism is discussed, and the warning is given not to view this book merely as a negative call to avoidance. I thought that the questions provided in the chapter on media were helpful, as well as the discussion questions for each chapter at the end of the book. Some might be tempted to view this as a book for young people or, more to the point, for “other people.” Be assured there is something profitable here for everyone. Pam Glass, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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.