One of the greatest charges of the world, today is that Christians are either hypocrites or Bible-thumpers. By this, what the world means is that we are so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. One of the other more recent objections to Christianity is Christians don’t enjoy their life. In recent days in Christian literature we’ve seen an increase in conversation about how Christians are to be more radical in their lives. Radical in their giving and living. Balancing this out has been a discussion on the ordinary nature of the Christian life namely church attendance, Bible reading, etc. What has been needed is a book that helps Christians understand how to be heavenly minded for the purpose of earthly good. While Joe Rigney’s book The Things of the Earth helped us understand this both from a theoretical and practical perspective—Dr. Michael Wittmer’s new book Becoming Worldly Saints Can You Serve Jesus And Still Enjoy Your Life? will help readers to love God and enjoy the life that they’ve been given by God.
One of the most dangerous ideas out there is that the Christian life is only one of growing in Christ. Yes growing in Christ vitally crucially important. So is being a member of a church under godly qualified male leadership. As is regular Bible reading and sitting under the preached Word of God. All of this is important and yet so is enjoying the life God has given us. Creation, Calvin says is the theater of God’s glory. We weren’t created primarily to only work but to image God in all of life—including everything we do outside of our vocations. We live in a culture that promotes workaholicism that tells us to find our identity and worth in what we do rather than who we are. It’s who we are that God is concerned with. Yes, He is also interested in what we do. He is changing us from the inside out. His person and character are to define our person and life. Often times this is missed. All of this is important since in Becoming Worldly Saints Dr. Wittmer gives readers an integrated vision for living life under God that shows how they can be heavenly minded in a way that leads to being of earthly good, which will empower believers to live out the abundant life that God has for them now in Christ
The book follows the creation, fall, redemption, restoration storyline of the Bible with a different spin. He writes not to outline only the biblical storyline but to see how our story fits into that Greater story. While much has been written in recent days about biblical theology, what is often missed in such books is a practical approach to how the storyline of Scripture affects our lives now and in the future. Mike writes in an engaging fashion to help readers understand the life God has for them. As he does this he helps set our eyes and hearts on heaven so that we can be earthly good.
The reason many people struggle with living consistent lives that glorify God is they view the Christian life in the wrong way. They primarily think their Christian life is all about how they do life at church with other Christians. That is part of the Christian life to be sure but not the whole story. We gather together with God’s people to scatter to our various vocations where God has placed His people to be His witnesses. All work has value because God gives it to man. He gives work to man, not so that will be their identity but so, they will glorify God and be His light in a dark land. This is why I enjoyed Becoming Worldly Saints. No, Dr. Wittmer isn’t calling us to be worldly in the sense of becoming like the world. Instead, He’s calling us to be in the world but not of the world. He’s calling us to fill the vision of our hearts and minds with heaven for the purpose of being of earthly good in our witness, in our vocations, and all of life.
Whether you’re struggling in your Christian life or things seem to be going well in your Christian life—this is a book I highly recommend to every Christian. If you’re tired of calls for the “ordinary” and “radical” Christian living and want something more sustainable I recommend you read this book. We need to be told that the call of discipleship is radical for sure. We need also to be told about the “ordinary” ministry of daily life. Most of all, we need our vision filled with heaven. We need to regain a vision of God’s majesty. Such a vision will help us to focus our lives on Christ so that we can be His ambassadors and shine brightly for Him. This is what Dr. Wittmer’s book does. Reading this book will help you to fill your gaze with heaven with the end result that you’ll desire naturally to be His light in a dark world.
Buy the book at Amazon.
I received this book for free from Zondervan Academic for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.