"My friend, you and I have lived in serious times."
John Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
I've been blogging about our Jubilee conference prep, why this event is so important to us and, implied, why I hope our community of readers/customers/friends will care about these similiar themes. Interestingly (and a bit frustratingly) there is a very important conference for Christians in the arts in NYC the same weekend (IAM) and the Francis Schaeffer inspired L'Abrai folks just had their big gig this past weekend. Friends of Jubilee are involved with those of those events. We've sold books in past years at both of these events, and they resonant in similiar ways---creative and serious people who take personal faith seriously, who joyously pursue truth in a way that allows for Godly transformation, in public and private aspects of life. Jubilee is tons of fun and very high energy, perhaps more so than these other events, despite being kindred spirits. And I am not sure that all the students that come even get half of what is implied in the "Jubilee vision"---it may be the first time someone seriously invited them to consider the implications of Christian conviction for matters of science, art, computer games or film studies. This much is true: older dichotomies between faith and reason, public and private, evangelicals and liberals, faith and action, prayer and politics, personal piety and public reformation, heart & mind, all are melting away as people learn about the Biblical vision of purpose, calling, corporate responsibility and living whole-heartedly out of a coherent worldview. It is no accident that Purpose Driven Life was such a popular seller last year. Some of us have been promoting these theme for years! Soon, the idols and ideologies of the American Dream will be seen as the bankrupt faith that it is...and conversations about our renewed interests in spirituality, meaning, direction and purpose will only increase.
One book that isn't necessarily related to Jubilee but that arrived today in a new paperback edition is perfect to help us think through this kind of vision. We noted it when it came out in hardcover and now are really excited it is available in this quality paperback. Serious Times: Making Your Life Matter in an Urgent Day by James Emergy White looks at how the modern era is transitioning into postmodern turbulance and what it means to be responsible in this time in history. For anyone searching for significance and responsibility, this is a book to put into their hands.
It is quite a feat to write a reflective, historically grounded book about urgency, but James White has accomplished exactly that. Philip Yancy
My soul is quaking under the impact of this book. Rather than another yawning treatise on cultural demise, Jim White calls us to "kick at the darkness til it bleeds light." And the way we kick, he rightly assesses, is with "deepened soulds and developed minds."
Director, Billy Graham Center
White insists that because activists like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson lived serious lives they turned the course of history. He then tells of others---from William Wilberforce to St. Patrick, St. Benedict to C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther to Mother Teresa, and shows how their gifts of courage, insight and vision, are needed for today. Dare we dream to approach a similiar hope? I think I will take a big stack of these to Jubilee, and hope it gets widely read.
Serious Times: Making Your Life Matter in An Urgent Day James Emery White (IVP) $13.00