Worldliness, the book


I didn’t know what to expect from CJ Mahaney and his Sovereign Grace groupies in their new book Worldliness. Honestly, it’s just a hard subject to write on, no matter your perspective. To some, worldliness is wearing something other than homemade clothing or mixed fabrics, while others believe they aren’t worldly because they don’t attend R-rated movies, wear bikini swimming suits at public beaches, or passionately pursue stuff.

I had some disagreements with the book; however, my point in this posting is not to necessarily critique the book, but rather to highlight some parts that I thought were good. After reading it, I was reminded that God still has a whole lot of worldliness to root out of my heart. It’s not that I need to start sporting a comb-over or that my wife needs to burn her pants and flush the make-up. Rather, we both need God to continue to root out our love for this world — a love that can often manifest itself in pursuit of trinkets and careless media exposure —and replace it with otherworldliness, a heart aligned with Jesus. As citizens of heaven, we should live in a manner that is worthy of the gospel – a life that makes the gospel looks as beautiful as it really is.  

Anyway, here’s some blurbs from the book – essentially, the parts I thought were good.

Mahaney describes the world as, 

the organized system of human civilization that is actively hostile to God and alienated from God.

Wordliness is: 

a love for this fallen world…more specifically, it is to gratify and exalt oneself to the exclusion of God. 

A quote from David Powlison: 

The evil in our desires often lies not in what we want, but in the fact that we want it too much. 

Mahaney explains the futility of living for a world-system that is presently passing away, 

There’s no future in worldliness.

In his chapter on media, Craig Cabaniss explains how we can consciously live with a Psalm 139 perspective: 

Coram Deo is a short latin phrase packing a potent punch: ‘before the face of God’ … Coram Deo, we realize we’re in trouble – our eyes have lusted, our imaginations have trespassed, our time has been squandered. 

Cabaniss then spends a paragraph talking about Mark Driscoll, I mean, young adults in American church culture, 

In fact, many of today’s younger leaders take pride in their liberty to use terms and expressions (even in the pulpit) from popular culture that would have been assigned to the ‘bad word’ list in previous generations. I understand their quarrel with a moralistic approach to holiness that seems to ignore the heart and that equates maturity with steering clear of certain so-called bad words. I’m not advocating that type of skin-deep piety. However, Scripture is clear. Our words matter to God. 

He comments further about sexual crudeness and joking, 

In light of God’s holiness, immorality should lead to weeping, not laughing.

Kauflin writes concerning music, 

listening to music without discernment and godly intent reveals a heart willing to flirt with the world. 

Harvey writes about stuff, 

The sin of covetousness is not that we have stuff; it’s that our stuff has us. 

  1. #1 by Joe on December 21, 2008 - 9:54 pm

    Good to see you found time to get back into blogging.

  2. #2 by clearly on December 22, 2008 - 5:57 am

    Good ole Christmas break, still working the job, but not kicking out papers every week!

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