The Reading List – Aug 13 – 19

1) Every Good Endeavour by Tim Keller. This is coming in Bible study, so I thought I’d be cheap and read it for free via the library. Essentially, Keller wants to help people think about work in all its dimensions so that one can work out by which dimensions one can best engage one’s own line of work. By, ‘all its dimensions’, Keller refers to the various ways in which many have posited how one ought to be working at work, but which, in general, have only been posited singly. These one dimensional views of work, i.e. those which purport to offer the ‘one’ or ‘main’ way in which a Christian ought to work at work, are just that – one dimensional. The book is fairly light and easy and clear, as is the case generally with Tim Keller’s work. A good one for every working adult.

2) Sin Bravely by Mark Ellingsen. The title, and that element of the content, is taken from Luther, and is not about being an antinomian. The book is several things, each of which Ellingsen does kind of ok, but which together feel like he’s overreaching. Those several things are: 1) a critique of The Purpose-Driven Life, 2) a critique of western individualist Narcissism, 3) an exhortation to live the grace-filled life that is ‘sinning bravely’ and, 4) a discussion of neurophysiology of dopamine and transcendent-focused thinking. The book is physically quite thin, and the argument stringing the chapters together feels that way too at times. Essentially, he presents the ‘brave sinning’ life as superior and more grace-orientated to the purpose driven life, and as an antidote to American Narcissism, to which the purpose driven life actually panders to, and has the added benefit of possibility being more likely to activate the dopamine centres in your brain. Australia suffers from a different cultural plague than the narcissism that Ellingsen describes about America, so it’s not really a book for this place.

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