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The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life Paperback – October 7, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Os Guinness is an author and speaker living in the Washington, D.C., area. Born in China during World War II, Guinness left in 1951, after the Chinese Revolution. A graduate of the University of London and Oxford, Guinness is a former visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution. He has written or edited more than twenty books, including The Call, Invitation to the Classics, and Long Journey Home. A frequent speaker and seminar leader at political and business conferences in the United States, Europe, and Asia, Guinness has lectured at many universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and Stanford, and has often spoken on Capitol Hill.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849944376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849944376
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

OS GUINNESS (DPhil, Oxford University) is an author and social critic. Born in China, he was educated in England at the Universities of London and Oxford. He moved to the United States in 1984, and has been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the lead drafter of both the Williamsburg Charter and the Global Carter of Conscience, as well as the founder of the Trinity Forum. He has written more than 25 books, including The Call, The American Hour, Time for Truth, Unspeakable, The Case for Civility, A Free People's Suicide, and his latest: The Global Public Square. He lives with his wife Jenny in McLean, Virginia..

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Michael Taylor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Some earlier reviews commented on the difficulty of the book's writing style. Personally, I found it to be mentally and spiritually challenging! I am concerned about how our hurried society has dictated not only how we live, but also how we think. God has given us a brain - we must use it!
Admittingly, the book is profound. However, when read devotionally ( a chapter a day like "My Utmost For His Highest"), the reader is encouraged to think about what was read and how to apply the chapter to everyday living.
I personally thought some of Guinness' better points were:
1. Be devoted to Jesus instead of your service to Jesus.
2. Be inner-directed by God than other-directed by the
opinions of others (what God thinks matters most!).
3. God calls us to a life of faith.
4. Deliberate spend time in solitude with God.
5. Glorify God in the ordinary things of life.
6. A sense of calling keeps us focused when modern-day
life threatens to tear us apart.
7. Taking God's call seriously means we will pay the
price of being abused and treated as fools by those
who do not understand.
All in all, an excellent read! To use the old saying: "be ready to put on your thinking cap" when reading this one!
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Michael Batley (gooch@ecentral.com) on January 21, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
If you are looking for a "how-to" book you might be disappointed. Instead, Os Guiness gives us something much deeper, and so much better. He gives us the "Why" of The Call.
Approaching his subject with the important understanding that all Christians are called by God to serve Him and the Body in some special way Guiness uses stories like a great mural to show how others in Christianity and outside have answered a "call" in their life and found meaning, purpose, joy and left their indelible mark on history.
What I appreciated so much about the wonderfully written book is that Guiness uses story not only to put call in history but to call us to greater things. The book is not "dumbed down" to the modern reader like so many other Christian books, but instead he woos the reader to do the work of thoughtful reading and consideration.
The book is laid out so that each chapter is a complete thought and should be digested one a day with questions at the end of each chapter to ponder.
This book will be especially helpful for people at crossroads of life, career or at important life stages. Thank you Os!!!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Nyman on December 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
"The Call" is one of the first books I've read by Os Guinness, and it was well worth it. He poses some interesting and provocative topics, all related to what our purpose in life could be. This is not an easy task, but he poses the question by introducing each chapter with lives of such historical figures as Yehudi Menuhin, Francis of Assisi, Picasso, Andrew Carnegie, and others.
There are 26 chapters in this book, and the author recommends reading a chapter a day. Of course, if you choose to read more than a chapter a day, you can get a little overload on the thinking process. And this is a Thinking Book. The second half of each chapter then applies the truths to which Mr. Guinness is referring to the Christian's walk with Christ. He refers to those who follow Christ not as "Christian," but "Followers of the Way," which I found to be incredibly refreshing.
Again, this is not easy reading, but overall, he credits many people with his premise, which is also biblical, and his references to Oswald Chambers' work is also refreshing. There is a study guide in the back to follow each chapter, and of special interest is the "Entrepreneurs of Life" at the very end of the book.
A splendid read, indeed, and well worth recommending at the highest level!!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Os Guinness does an excellent job weaving examples of individual lives and truth in such a way that the reader not only understands God's call to Himself, but longs to sense and live it. My own copy is dog-eared, underlined and annotated with Scriptural references which obviously served as the springboard for his principles. He spurred me to read more Christian biographies, examine my commitments in light of God's call and look at the world from God's perspective. I was truly saddened to reach the end.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Doug on February 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The previous reviews are pretty good. I found the book to be refreshing. A couple extra points:
The style, making heavy use of quotations and super-condensed stories, can make the reading difficult. But if read in short spurts (devotional manner), this is less of an issue. Each chapter is pretty much self contained and this book should not be read like a novel - too much of a whirlwind to read from cover to cover.
Guinness is not only a great scholar of history, but he is very keen analyzer. He helps point out how Christian faith/thought has played a huge role in shaping history since the first century, a point that is often overlooked or underemphasized in today's modern, secular environent.
I think it is great that he draws on extra-biblical historical figures for examples. There is no shortage of resources for studying Biblical characters. But Christian scholars skilled in both theology and non-theological fields are relatively rare, especially those who can popularize their scholarship. And general history is a great starting point from which to engage non-Christians in thoughtful discussion. How many scientists realize that Newton and Keppler were men of faith who wrote quite a bit on theology?
I also appreciate Guinness' criticism of the modern church. It is helpful to attempt to step outside our current environment and view modernity from a historical perspective, and how modernity affects the church. Guinness criticizes Christian ghettos, privatized faith, over-alignment with political parties, among other things. I enjoyed his explanations of the "Protestant Distortion" (over-emphasizing work) and "Catholic Distortion" (falsely elevating the contemplative life).
If you're unsure about buying the book, you can read the first few pages and get a very accurate feel for the style and content of the rest of the book.
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