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Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World Hardcover – September 12, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (September 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433502801
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433502804
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

C. J. Mahaney and friends-men I trust-have written an excellent treatment of a vital and recently neglected subject. The difference between the world and the church is eroding at an alarming rate, and we need help with holiness. This book is biblically grounded and Christ-centered, full of grace and truth. Every chapter raises the bar of Christian living without falling into legalism. One of the most timely and much-needed books I've read in years. I highly recommend it. Randy Alcorn, author, If God is Good and Heaven Around this book there should be wrapped a warning label: In Case of Drifting: Open Immediately. You could be in serious trouble and not even realize it. C.J. Mahaney and his team of contributors expertly address the issues that prompt that subtle, insidious, silent slide away from God that each of us is prone to take. Pay attention to this thought-provoking work and protect your heart for God. James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicagoland Area; radio teacher, Walk in the Word This book is biblical, practical, pastoral, and wise. It is honest about the authors' own temptations, and it is so specific it will be controversial! But such a book is greatly needed as a challenge today-for all of us. Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Bible and Theology, Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix, Arizona In this broken world, it is not easy to promote holiness without succumbing to mere moralism; it is not easy to fight worldliness without giving in to a life that is constrained by mere rules. In these pages you find a valiant attempt at promoting holiness and combating worldliness without falling into these traps. Most of the focus is on the subtlety of individual temptations and sins rather than on the equally subtle temptations to large-scale social evils. But the strength of the work is that the authors try very hard not to let you forget the sheer God-centeredness of the gospel, the glory of the cross of Christ. We will best combat worldliness when we are most drawn to Christ. But that spectacularly wonderful truth does not mean there are no wise barriers to erect and no judgment calls to be made, such that we find ourselves pursuing excellence and refusing to be satisfied with mediocrity. If this book promotes such serious and joyful living, it will have accomplished its goal. --D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

"C. J. Mahaney and friends-men I trust-have written an excellent treatment of a vital and recently neglected subject. The difference between the world and the church is eroding at an alarming rate, and we need help with holiness. This book is biblically grounded and Christ-centered, full of grace and truth. Every chapter raises the bar of Christian living without falling into legalism. One of the most timely and much-needed books I've read in years. I highly recommend it."
Randy Alcorn, Founder and Director, Eternal Perspective Ministries; author, If God Is Good and Heaven

"Around this book there should be wrapped a warning label: 'In Case of Drifting: Open Immediately. You could be in serious trouble and not even realize it.' C.J. Mahaney and his team of contributors expertly address the issues that prompt that subtle, insidious, silent slide away from God that each of us is prone to take. Pay attention to this thought-provoking work and protect your heart for God."
James MacDonald, Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois; author, Vertical Church

"This book is biblical, practical, pastoral, and wise. It is honest about the authors' own temptations, and it is so specific it will be controversial! But such a book is greatly needed as a challenge today-for all of us."
Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary

"In this broken world, it is not easy to promote holiness without succumbing to mere moralism; it is not easy to fight worldliness without giving in to a life that is constrained by mere rules. In these pages you find a valiant attempt at promoting holiness and combating worldliness without falling into these traps. Most of the focus is on the subtlety of individual temptations and sins rather than on the equally subtle temptations to large-scale social evils. But the strength of the work is that the authors try very hard not to let you forget the sheer God-centeredness of the gospel, the glory of the cross of Christ. We will best combat worldliness when we are most drawn to Christ. But that spectacularly wonderful truth does not mean there are no wise barriers to erect and no judgment calls to be made, such that we find ourselves pursuing excellence and refusing to be satisfied with mediocrity. If this book promotes such serious and joyful living, it will have accomplished its goal."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"In the word worldliness is contained one of the great problems of evangelical Christianity in our time. Here in the West, in the English-speaking world, churches and Christians have been seriously compromised by worldliness. This danger and diagnosis is critical for us to understand. In worldliness, our mind, will and affections, our thinking, living and desiring become captive to a lesser joy than the real and true joy that is only found in treasuring God and His glory in Jesus Christ. Worldliness is thus soul-destroying and joy-robbing because it tricks our hearts into seeking satisfaction in what can never satisfy and thus slowly strangles us of the experience of being fully alive to God. That's why John Newton (who knew this from experience) wrote in one of his great hymns: 'Fading is the worldling's pleasure, all his boasted pomp and show; Solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion's children know.' Because this spiritual malady is one of epic proportions, because it is destroying churches and Christians on every side, because it stalks me and my own congregation, I am deeply grateful that my dear friend C.J. Mahaney (along with Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Jeff Purswell and Craig Cabaniss) has tackled this vital pastoral issue. These wise shepherds have a way of getting to your heart in this book (I know this because in reading it, they got to mine). And in Christianity, as J.C. Ryle liked to say, 'The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.' These skillful soul-surgeons are brilliant at diagnosis and treatment, and will help you see yourself, see your sin and see your Savior. I now know that first book I am going to reach for when a Christian is wrestling with worldliness, or isn't but should be! The questions they offer for self-examination are, in and of themselves, of strategic value in our fight of faith for joy. This is a book I will make use of, by God's grace, again and again."
J. Ligon Duncan III, Chancellor and John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi

"Worldliness is normally invisible to us, like water to a fish. That's one of the reasons why it's so dangerous to us. In this book, C. J. Mahaney and friends cause it to appear! Now we are able to discern and resist and contend. Praise God for this little tool-specific enough to be helpful, grace-filled enough to be really helpful!"
Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks


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Customer Reviews

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Very solid and biblical book.
becky kim
CJ Mahaney offers a great perspective on worldliness and avoids legalistic rants that many fall into.
L. Queen
It just didn't seem to fit with the rest of the book.
LMS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Any book on worldliness faces a difficult challenge. The author who takes too firm a stand on issues may slip into legalism while the author who takes too lax a stand may slip into the worldliness he seeks to avoid. The discerning author will need to tread the line, being careful to say no more than Scripture does while still dealing effectively with issues of contemporary importance. Because such a book is long overdue I was pleased to see that Worldliness would be coming from C.J. Mahaney and those whom John Piper affectionately refers to as "his gang."

Mahaney handles the introductions in this book, beginning with a reflection called "Is This Verse in Your Bible?" He biblically defines worldliness saying that this world we're not supposed to love is "the organized system of human civilization that is actively hostile to God and alienated from God." Worldliness is a love for this fallen world and, specifically, "to gratify and exalt oneself to the exclusion of God." Mahaney is careful to point out that worldliness is not extrinsic to us but intrinsic, inhabiting our fallen hearts. Worldliness does not consist of outward actions (though such actions can certainly be evidence of worldliness) but instead is a heart attitude that rebels against God. The antidote to worldliness is the cross of Christ. "Only through the power of the cross of Christ can we successfully resist the seduction of the fallen world." Worldliness dulls our affections for Christ and distracts our hearts from him. Hence it is so serious "because Christ is so glorious." While resisting worldliness is the theme of the book, its aim is to exalt Christ.

Each of the subsequent chapters is meant to build on this foundation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Davis VINE VOICE on May 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Others think of me as worldly. I don't usually play along with what a lot of Christians are doing to avoid the label of "worldly." For starters, I haven't made the switch to only listen to the Christian radio station. In fact, I never listen to the Christian radio station so I'm always at a loss when people want to talk to me about whatever new album Toby Mac has released. When I was a teenager, I was told of the evils of "secular" music and taught to only listen to Christian music. I did. I learned a lot about the Christian music industry and learned that it was a lot more industry than Christian.

I also don't shun every TV show that AFA doesn't like. I'm not a fan of the American Family Association, so there's that.

I'm a political cynic, so I have yet to buy into the idea that the Republican Party loves Jesus more than the Democratic Party. I think they both love money and power more.

So I don't fit in with Christians a lot. These opinions come up and I get this look from people. It's a look that makes me feel like I have the Ebola virus. My worldliness is exposed. I don't live up to the rules. My only hope is that grace abounds enough to keep talking to me.

So, when I'm standing in line at T4G and the first free book comes my way, I was a little apprehensive when I saw that the title was "Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World." It was edited by C.J. Mahaney. Over the next few days, I learned who he is. (I realize that other T4G attendees think I have just committed heresy so here it is: I was drug to the conference by friends. I didn't know anything about it before I went, but its ok, I enjoyed it. I'm learning as fast as I can, ok?
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Erik Raymond on December 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Worldliness is a book edited by C.J. Mahaney of Sovereign Grace Ministries. The authors are contributions from the Sovereign Grace family. The subtitle asserts the ambitious goal of the book: "Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World".

As with any book by this title there is a danger right out of the gate to make your points from the reservoir of legalism rather than gospel. Many times this comes from an unbiblical definition of worldliness. Mahaney aims to plug this hole right up front as he quotes 1 John 2.15 but then points out that verses 16-17 (1 John 2.16-17) help define what this is.

Mahaney writes, "Worldliness, then, is a love for this fallen world. It's loving the values and pursuits of this world that stand opposed to God. More specifically, it is to gratify and exalt oneself to the exclusion of God." (p.27)

From this discussion on worldliness in general the authors move into more specifics. And frankly this is where things get a little disjointed. I felt in reading the book straight through that I was reading 6 different books rather than one book with 6 chapters. Overall the book seemed to lack the unity of thought that leads to logical progression.

Bob Kauflin wrote a chapter on music. Kauflin is always helpful in thinking about music. However, I would have liked to see him talk about "Christian Music" that is not particularly edifying and how believers should not just be buying a label or an artist but exercise discernment. I'm convinced that the theological teaching in many Christian albums do more damage than Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band and Jay-Z (whom Kauflin cites as unhelpful to a Christian's growth).

Mahaney wrote a chapter on modesty, specifically how we dress. Or better, how women dress.
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