Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Lifesigns: Intimacy, Fecundity, and Ecstasy in Christian Perspective Paperback – January 23, 1989
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
You cannot read Lifesigns and not be moved . . . This book will undoubtedly find its place among the classics of twentieth-century literature.” —Grand Rapids Press
From the Publisher
Best-selling author Henri Nouwen shows how three of the most vital elements of human life offer Christians the essential key to a life filled with hope and love.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
However, despite my general disappointment with Nouwen's writing, I will concede that reading "Lifesigns" was much more helpful than his other books. The book is framed around the assumption that humans are basically driven by fear. Using John 15 as the starting point for his conclusions, Nouwen suggests that intimacy (love), fecundity (fruitfulness), and ecstasy (joy) are the solutions that God offers us for our fear-filled lives.
Though some of the book did not connect with me, due to the nature of Nouwen's writing style and his starting assumptions that don't really apply to me, there were two major points that resonated well with me. First, I especially appreciated the way that he described the difference between productivity and fruitfulness in the section about fecundity. Though this general idea was not brand-new, he painted a compelling vision for why our purpose in life is not simple productivity (despite American cultural expectations) but rather a fruitfulness that is much fuller and more meaningful. The distinction between the two may seem somewhat illusive, but Nouwen explains it well.
The other high point of the book for me was Nouwen's rather dramatic critique of the American foreign policy which orients around the premise that security and maintaining power are the most important functions of the government. Nouwen's case is very strong that Jesus expects more from a nation as wealthy and powerful as ours, that we ought to shift our focus away from our own self-preservation towards the sort of others-centered service that Jesus modeled. It's a message that many nationalistic Christians don't want to hear, but it's a prophetic word that is especially timely in a post-9/11 world.
I still struggle to connect with Nouwen's writing style. Nonetheless, he was an amazing man of God whose life was an open-book from which we can all learn. Some helpful parts of that Christ-centered life leak onto the pages of "Lifesigns," making it at least somewhat worthwhile for me to read. And for those who appreciate Nouwen's books, I suspect that this lesser-known work will be especially helpful.