Randy Harris just came out with a new book called “Life Work: Confessions of an Everyday Disciple” and, as Randy states in the introduction, “this is a book about ethics…aren’t you excited?” Well, I wasn’t when I first read that but it only took me about three pages to get over it because this is a fascinating book. Before I say why I found it fascinating I want to say that I don’t compliments books that aren’t worth complimenting and where I find problems in a book, I usually point them out. I want you to know what you are getting, should you choose to buy this book and I do think you should buy this book. While you are at it, go ahead and pick up a copy for every elder and minister you know because they will benefit greatly from reading it.
Here is what made this book so good. Randy starts off by helping us understand how we make decisions and why we choose to live the way we live. He does this through a series of conflicting ethical dilemmas that leaves you feeling at odds with yourself but, in the process, enables you to take a good look at what lies beneath the surface in the lives we choose to live that are, in turn, a sum of the decision we choose to make. If you improve the way you make decisions and the values that underlie that process then you are more able to live the life you are called to live. The reason I believe this is helpful to elderships and ministers is because we are often called to make very difficult decisions and I can’t say that we always make them well or for the right reasons. This book is extremely helpful in teasing all of that apart.
Randy doesn’t just leave you questioning your decision making process. He spends the better part of the book telling stories to illustrate better ways to live. This is the heart and soul of the book. I don’t want to give away too much but you can be sure that Randy pulls a lot of his examples from dead people and a couple from people who are still living. Underneath those stories is a deep regard for Jesus, the early church and the scriptures they left us that can help today’s church and church leadership chart a course ahead that reflects biblical values in culturally relevant (while still Christ-like) ways.
I am deeply appreciative of this book and am appreciative of the decades of study and teaching that led to Randy writing it. I am also appreciative of all the ACU and Lipscomb students who were test-subjects in the experiments that led up to the writing of this book…did any of them sign a release form?
Giveaway: Comment on this post and I will pick someone to win a free copy of this by Wednesday. If we get more than 15 commenters I will give away 2 copies.