Engaging God's World and The Call Book Summary The books that we were required to read for Bible 115 class were Engaging God's World - A Christian Vision Of Faith, Learning And Living by Cornelius Planting Jar. And The Call - Finding And Fulfilling The Central Purpose For Your Life by So Guinness. Both books offered very useful advice for today's Christians. Engaging God's World is written for students and will help them make sense of their education in a Christian perspective. Both authors use scripture, humor and common sense to validate their points.
In Engaging God's World, Planting looks at Christian higher education and how it fits into the world. It is intended to help Christian teenagers, college students and young adults demonstrate intelligent, articulate, authentic faith. "Learning is a spiritual calling. Properly done, it attaches us to God", says Planting. The chapters - "Longing and Hope", "Creation", "The Fall", "Redemption", and Vocation In The Kingdom Of God" - articulately lay out the main themes of Christianity. In the Chapter 1 entitled "Longing and Hope", Planting discusses the longings of the human spirit. There is a desire in all of us to seek out more.
Our longings and desires cannot be met on our own but through God. Planting also discusses the human desire for hope, not Just for ourselves, but for the future of others. Faith In Jesus Chris is required for true hope. "Biblical hope - the real thing - must have faith on one side of it and love on the other. In the Chapter 2 entitled "Creation", Planting very eloquently describes the Godly Creation. Planting's writes that Jesus - as part of the Holy Trinity - was present at creation. I have never thought about Jesus' existence prior to His Earthly birth and I found this very thought provoking.
Later In the chapter, creation Is described. Planting explains why God created by stating, "Creation was a way for God to spend Himself' and "From eternity God has had a communal life and didn't need to create a world to get one. Nothing Internal or external to God compelled Him to create". Creation was also not an accident. Planting writes the creation was simply an act that was "fitting" for God and he states "the whole difference between construction and creation Is... That a thing instructed can only be loved after It Is constructed; but a thing created Is loved before It exists".
The chapter concludes by discussing the creation of man In the Image of God and as such, we should offer praise to Him. In the Chapter 3 entitled "The Fall", Planting calls God's creation a paradise that was turned Into a paradise lost because of sin. Sin has affected everything - plants, animals and human beings. Sin and evil are described In Blvd detail and spoil the way things are supposed to be. From the beginning, humans have been choosing wrong thereby polluting and reverting our gifts from God. The chapter concludes with the question "who's to blame? ' for our fall.
Did God, the devil or other unforeseen powers cause sin? No, we sin because we are sinners and we choose to. Our hope today Is In Jesus Christ. In the Chapter 4 entitled "Redemption", this hope Is described as "God's mercy to the undeserving". After their sin, Adam and Even couldn't stand to look at one another's nakedness and they tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. In a testament to the grace of God, He made garments and clothed them. Later In the chapter, the Messiah n scripture. Planting summarizes the importance of the resurrection by quoting John Calvin, "as long as Christ remains outside of us... Al that He has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless... ; all that He possesses is nothing to us until we grow into one body with Him". Salvation is not deserved, but is a gift from God. In the Chapter 5 entitled Vocation In The Kingdom Of God", Planting discusses the role of Christians in today's world. He asks the compelling question "Do contemporary Christians bring the same passion to their hope of redemption as people in the Bible did"? He answers the question with a very compelling observation; it depends on how good their lives are.
The primary role of Christians is to help others in their communities and in their world; "meshing our kingdoms with the kingdoms of others". Jesus spent his time on Earth "doing" and it is the role of Christians to "do". Later in the chapter, the role of a "prime citizen" of the kingdom of God is described as someone who passionately yearns for the kingdom; someone who has been redeemed in spirit and in heart; someone who relishes God's word; ND someone who rejoices in God the Savior. God also uses institutions in His kingdom - government, industry, hospitals and schools - to promote His will and do His business.
Christians should be a part of these institutions to seek the interest of the kingdom. Planting concludes by stating that career choices matter and college is a natural place to think about them and also that one's career choice should take into consideration how that career might promote the vocation of the kingdom. In The Call, Guinness seeks to show Christians how to "find and fulfill the central repose" in their life, their calling, and proclaims muff were created with a purpose". The book does not seek to describe how to find one's calling, but instead describes what a calling is.
Guinness uses figures from history to cement his points. The 26 short chapters, according to the book, are "written as a series of short meditations to be read one day at a time". Compelling and thought provoking commentary can be found in each of the chapters. Points such as each of us should seek to understand what God really wants us to do in our lives; the goal in life is to constantly seek, not serially to find; and "we are not called to do something or go somewhere, but we are called to Someone" brilliantly lay out the concept of following one's calling.
In Chapter 8, "Let God Be God", Guinness describes Biblical characters that hear and heed God's calling and he contrasts them with Christians in modern society. He reminds the reader to live their lives as if God is the only one watching. He reminds Christians to live responsibly. He suggests that we resist attempts by some to "privative" faith and keep it out of the public sector. He concludes the book by telling Tories of people who finished their live well and were able to recognize the goals of their calling and seeing what it meaner for God to have had His say.
Both Engaging God's World and The Call should be required reading for young Christians trying to find their place in the kingdom of God. The perspectives given in each book are fascinating and offer tremendous insight. As a 44 year old who has been settled in his career for 22 years, I found the information in each book useful. I will recommend both books to young Christians that I interact with in my youth group.