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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Book Review

Humility: True Greatness by CJ Mahaney

It has been nearly three months since my latest book review. This can be explained by three reasons:

1. The sin of laziness. I'd been waking up later than I should and watching more TV than I should.
2. Craziness of life. Ironically, I was doing that at a time when leisure was at it's greatest premium. With the holidays, moving into the new building, announcing our church's staff transition and more, my schedule has been full. And God has been so good!
3. I was about 80% through a book that was getting stale. It started strong, but then was getting redundant by the page. I've committed to trying to finish what I've started (with books) and just can't seem to keep content straight when I read a few books at once. Therefore, everytime I considered reading I felt it needed to be that book. Thanks to Dee for encouraging me to just put the old one down and get reading again.

Now to the book, well, almost.

I knew I was going to like this book before I opened the cover. I've been hearing CJ on various radio interviews and in conversations with the other guys preparing for theTogether For the Gospel Conference. But I was more impressed by a man CJ has discipled. I contacted this guy, who didn't know me from Adam, and asked his advice regarding some issues involved with our transition. He had been through a similar change, and it's worked beautifully for them, so I wanted to glean some of his wisdom. He immediately offered to send me CJ's book along with another resource. His Kingdom mindset and desire to see God glorified regardless of denomination or affiliation (as long as God was truly glorified by the gospel being the gospel) was a tremendous encouragement. I figured if this guy could have such a gospel-perspective, surely God has graciously allowed CJ to do some things right.

Ok, now to the book.

Get it! That's the most I can say. Without a doubt, if you are short on time and can only read a small bit per day, read Scripture. But if you can read a little more, I would then encourage meditating on Scripture, by reading works that are immersed in it. This book continually reminds you to get to the foot of the cross.

CJ uses so much Scripture in context that he can't help but his theology to be accurate. Though I don't agree with all of his positions, he is so clear that regeneration comes only through the work Christ, by faith given by Christ because of the grace of God in Christ. By taking you to the gospel continually, he does not keep things at the entry level (as some might assume) but actually calls you to dig deeper than most believers probably go.

However, this is not a doctoral dissertation, splattered throughout with difficult to understand words and concepts that are difficult to apply in everyday life. Near the end of the book, he gives suggestions for cultivating humility. One of his suggestions is "play more golf." After just a week of seeing how many of his suggestions do cultivate humility, I'm actually thinking of getting my clubs out of storage and giving it a try. Of course, I think that's probably more humiliation than humility.

CJ's life is graced with an infectious smile and joy. His book is a joy to read as well. But even more exciting, by God's grace, I have discovered that humility is not a painful Christian obligation, but an amazing joy.

I praise God that He has begun cultivating humility in my life and pray that He continues to do so (for I've got much much further to go). I am thankful to CJ, and the man who gave me this book, because God used it to reveal His Word to me and cultivate a heart that wants humility. I'd strongly encourage you to check it out!


  • At 7:11 PM, Blogger ~d said…

    sounds like a book i need to read....and yesterday i just happened to finish the last of 4 books i'd picked up at the library. so i'm free. i don't suppose you want to loan yours out? of course, if it's really, really good, i'll want my own copy to mark up.

    do i want my own copy? what say you?

  • At 8:56 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    you will definitely want your own copy. i ordered 12 from the christian book store, (they're hard to get right now) so you can get it from me once they come in if you want.


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