Review: Work and Our Labor in the Lord

Work and Our Labor in the LordWork and Our Labor in the Lord by James M. Hamilton Jr.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This brief book presents a biblical theology of work. It would be an excellent introduction to the subject if one is unfamiliar with the biblical teaching on work. Hamilton shows us what it looks like to faithfully bear the image of God in our work and not be idolaters. He does this by pulling out propositional teachings from Scripture and providing examples of faithful work. I always find it edifying and profitable to read him and I always come away with some things to think about I haven’t considered before.

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Review: Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative AgeReal Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book. The gives us a mix of historical and modern real-life stories that challenge conventional perceptions. He aims at the stereotype of the starving artist and demonstrates the image is not true today and was not true to reality yesterday. Not only does he explode the myth of the starving artist but also provides examples and ideas for how to create and be paid in the New Renaissance.

Goins starts by addressing the mind-set. So often the way we think limits us in unnecessary ways. He goes on to address understanding the market and then finishes with money. This isn’t a book about getting rich. It is about making a living in order to continue to create.

I found the book challenging and inspiring in different ways and Goins provoked a lot of thought. If you are someone who does, or wants to, produce creative content, I highly recommend this read. You don’t have to read books like this with a materialist worldview. As Christians, we should always maintain a biblical worldview and think through what we read in those terms. You won’t find everything compatible, but it can still be helpful.

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Review: The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do

The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to DoThe Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My thoughts on this book are mixed. It is well-written in terms of craft. The human interest stories are compelling. It does have some useful suggestions and advice, but I don’t know that it accomplished its own expectation. I am probably cynical when it comes to pursue-your-dreams and live-a-radical-life messages. So, keep that in mind.

The idea of selfless service was not absent, but it wasn’t prominent enough. There wasn’t any effort to resolve tensions. For example: it could be an act of complete selfishness and self-centeredness to leave everything and move to Burundi. It might not be so, but the tension wasn’t explored. Being published by Thomas Nelson, I expected more of a Christian worldview on vocation–finding our purpose in life is found in pursuing God’s kingdom and his righteousness first and the greatest is the least and servant of all. It seemed that kind of message was watered down and, instead, there was some fuzzy, mystical stuff about “calling” and some near motivational guru speak. The message comes across as your failing unless you’re living in some radical, unconventional way. Where does this sort of message leave the Bible’s idea of a blessed life as being a quiet peaceable life with loving family?

Again, it wasn’t all bad. Apparently, many have read it and profited from it.

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