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The Good Life: Truths That Last in Times of Need Paperback – April 29, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (April 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060000767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060000769
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,005,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Peter J. Gomes believes that today's college students have it in them to be the greatest generation. The Good Life, a manifesto by the minister at Harvard University, debunks the idea that today's college students are spoiled, materialistic, and morally complacent. Reflecting on 30 years of ministry to undergraduates, Gomes writes, "What has impressed me ... about these young people ... is their moral curiosity, their desire to know, to be, and to do good." Drawing on stories of Gomes's relationships with students, as well as his knowledge of philosophy, theology, and the Bible, The Good Life offers guidance for finding the treasure promised by its title. Some readers will question how much Gomes's personal experience really says about American culture at large (the first chapter begins, "Harvard Yard is never more grand than it is on Commencement Day."). But much of The Good Life is of near universal value, such as Gomes's distinction between "plausible lies" that define the good life in secular culture and the "fantastic truths" that bring true joy. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Gomes, Minister of Harvard's Memorial Church and author of the bestselling The Good Book, concludes this book by noting that, in it, he sounds "preachy, homiletical and even moralistic," but then acknowledges that as a professor of Christian morals, he is entitled. Indeed, this book is nothing if not homiletical, and sometimes a bit long-windedly so, but the young people to whom Gomes writes should be so lucky as to have him write a dozen more equally preachy, loquacious tomes for their edification. Gomes begins by articulating what "the good life" is, and then explores the virtues that enable one to live that life. Little of what Gomes writes is, by his own admission, particularly new. His thesis that doing good is essential to the good life is not radical, nor are his admonitions to pursue lives of prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope and love. In fact, it is the unabashedly Christian, traditional and non-radical tenor of Gomes's sermonizing that gives it weight and nobility. While he has a few strong words for anti-gay Christians (even these sentiments are tempered and thoughtful), Gomes spends most of his time praising the great explicators and exemplars of the good life, including Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Mother Teresa and Desmond Tutu. His stated goal is to "pursue a middle way between the celebrations of a reactionary cultural conservatism and a self-satisfied acceptance of the inevitability of the status quo." He does this and more with equal parts grace, humility and intellectual rigor.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "dlachance2" on January 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What Peter Gomes is trying to impart in his book, The Good Life, is a simple message, unfortunately we live in a complicated world. This book does require careful, thoughtful reading as Mr. Gomes weaves in and out of the complex falsehoods we live with today. If you are looking for a simple answer it is here, if you are looking for a quick fix, go elsewhere. It is not the fault of Peter Gomes that society, and all it has to offer, has woven a perilous web through which all must find their way. This book offers simple answers but they are not easy answers to own up to. This book offers one an opportunity to untangle the web of falsehoods which keep us from the simple truth. Simple does not equal easy, and the truth is rarely easy to take. I highly recommend it!
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By C. Johnson on October 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a good guide on using the bible and its teaching today. Reverend Gomes ties the teaching and the spritual guidance the bible can give in day to day living. The level that the explanations are written on allow fast accurate reading and will be an enjoyment for those that think the bible is a piece of antiquity. Read this book if you desire know how timeless the bible can be!
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By Crystal Ross on February 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had read The Good Book by Peter Gomes and liked his views. The Good Life presents a fresh perspective on Christian virtues such as discipline, faith, hope and love without resorting to stereotypical conservative or liberal "dogma". The book was easy to read and has a very positive and hopeful message.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading this book as a Christian, I found that this book started quite generically. But towards the end, as it focused on the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love, it found more of its feet.

Initially it was a broad description of morality in modern society, and it broadly makes a case for the fact that morality should play a part in 21st century society. If that's what you want, then fine. As a Christian reading this as a Christian book, I felt that it didn't engage with what 'the good life' means from the perspective of Christ. Until the end, there was nothing specifically Christian about it, other than Christian sources being slightly preferenced for quotes.
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By cee ess on March 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
..'The Good Life', a great source of inspiration! This, in addition to Rev. Gomes'
other work, is strong affirmation that we are guided by truth.
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