Sunday, June 29, 2014

Life Work by Randy Harris

What does minimal human ethics look like? Can Christians really be followers of Jesus in the way they live today? In his own unique style, Randy Harris wrestles with these and other ethical issues facing Christians and all humanity.

In a world gone crazy, what would basic human decency look like? Are there principles that all humans could follow to make their neighborhoods, countries, and world more just and peaceful? Randy Harris, from his long experience as a teacher of philosophy and ethics, calls us to those principles of fair play, justice, and peace.

Life Work: Confessions of an Everyday Disciple by Randy Harris is the third in a trilogy of books. Harris divides the book into 4 different sctions: Ethics (chapters 1-4), Cruciformity (chapters 5-9), Fellow Travelers (chapters 10-12), and Shalom (chapters 13-14). It starts out with a series of ethical questions that prove that many decisions are harder to make than one thinks. Sometimes there simply is not a perfect answer, and even the greater good of all can be blurred on what is personally invested in the outcome. For a Christian, it goes beyond simply good morals and ethical decisions to looking at the situation through a cross-shaped vision, or, as Harris call it, "cruciformity". A follower of Jesus is bound to look at any situation through their Biblical worldview, but that does not mean that it is easy or mistakes never made.

His fellow travelers include both the dead and the living. Harris gives us insight into things he has learned from reading the works of some the historical leaders and from learning from those who are still forming a pathway and making differences today. Some he agrees with and some he doesn't, but he uses all to come to his own conclusions of best to live his life as a philosopher, ethicist, and theologian. He ends the book with finding the importance of finding peace.

Honestly, I sometimes got a bit bored or had trouble making the leap to the same conclusion Harris made. He has a good writing style, so it may have simply been that my mind was filled with other matters. However, I do plan on reading it again. Sometimes ideas just need to marinate for a while. If you are looking for light reading, this is not the best choice. But, if you want something to think about, I do recommend the book. It is only 157 pages, so you can spread out the reading a bit without losing sight of what you have already read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from ACU Press/Leafwood Publishers. 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.”

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