Monday, September 19

Book Review: Humility, by C.J. Mahaney




There is a common misconception (I’ve fallen for it, have you?) that the purpose of reading is learning. When I put down a book, I wanted to KNOW more than when I picked it up.

I’ve now read three books by C.J. Mahaney, and, I must admit, I haven’t learned much. However, each of these books has profoundly changed the way I live. You can see, then, why I was so excited to find out that Mahaney’s new book, “Humility: True Greatness”, was being distributed to a few bloggers for review. You can also see, then, why my wife may have been more excited than me. . .

Mahaney carefully uses biblical passages as his foundation, biblical commands as his imperatives, and biblical stories as his illustration. Usually, 137 pages is a quick read for me. These 137, however, took some time. That slow pace is neither because of cumbersome words nor controversial thoughts. Simply put, the subject matter is not to be speed read.

There are other reviews (isn't there something ironic about "TheGreatestBlogAlive" reviewing a book on humility?) that summarize the content of the book, and I won’t duplicate their efforts here. Allow me to make two observations of appreciation.

I must comment on the HUMILITY that the author shows in writing this book. Mahaney goes out of his way to give praise and credit to others. These others include a fantastic cast of characters, including Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, John Stott, John Owen, John Piper (that’s a lot of Johns), Charles Bridges, Charles Spurgeon, William Lane, William Wilberforce, Leon Morris, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, D. A. Carson, Carl Henry, Jerry Bridges, Matthew Henry, Don Whitney, Thomas Watson, Mark Dever, R.C. Sproul, Wayne Grudem, Anthony Hoekema, Kris Lungaard (quoting Owen), C.S. Lewis, Sinclair Ferguson, Paul David Tripp, and Peter Davids.

I must also comment on the methodology that Mahaney commends in this book. There is a large portion of the book devoted to MEDITATIONS for the believer to think upon in battling pride. This struck me as unusual in a modern book, and in some ways reminded me of great Puritan books, such as “Precious Remedies for Satan’s Devices” by Thomas Brooks. Perhaps there is little prescription for meditation by writers because there is so little contemplation done by readers. In any event, this author is wise to steer us away from small surface adjustments and assigns the work to the mind – where the battle rages.

This was a very good book. Perhaps to be read annually. That is the NEW REASON I read books -- I want to read books that change the way I live: for the better. I want to read more books like this book, from C.J. Mahaney.

1 comment:

thebluefish said...

Helpful review - and a seriously helpful book!

Dave

the blue fish project