Though the book is a few years old now, it remains an important contribution to the subject of worldliness in our time. Bob Hayton’s review comes to us by way of fundamentallyreformed.com.
Any book entitled Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World promises not to be your average book on the shelf of today’s Christian bookstore. The subject of worldliness, or love for the values of this fallen world, is not a popular theme.
The contributors of this book, start off by asking if 1 John 2:15 (“Do not love the world or anything in the world”), is really in most Christian’s Bibles. All of us are guilty of worldliness. But how do we go about avoiding this sin? C.J. Mahaney explains:
Some people try to define worldliness as living outside a specific set of rules or conservative standards. If you listen to music with a certain beat, dress in fashionable clothes, watch movies with a certain rating…surely you must be worldly.
Others, irritated and repulsed by rules that seem arbitrary, react to definitions of worldliness, assuming it’s impossible to define. Or they think legalism will inevitably be the result, so we shouldn’t even try.
…Both views are wrong. For by focusing exclusively on externals or dismissing the importance of externals, we’ve missed the point…. the real location of worldliness is internal. It resides in our hearts.
The book goes on to try to navigate between these two extremes and call today’s church to a healthy carefulness about how we interact with the world at large. With chapters on movies, music, money and modesty, the book aims to guide believers as they think critically about the myriad of choices facing us in today’s culture.