February 12, 2012

Colson and Fickett: The Good Life

   The Good Life: Seeking purpose, meaning, and truth in your life by Charles Colson with Harold Fickett (2005). 4 out of 5 Stars.

“Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” That’s how the Preacher begins the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, and that’s the best way to describe the pursuit of life that is grounded in anything (whether self, or money, or sex, or fame, or power, or legacy) other than joy in the Creator and the hope of fullness in him. Although I’m a rank amateur in the realm of philosophy, I can’t for the life of me understand how anyone who accepts the premises of atheism and materialism can reach any other conclusion but that of nihilism, utter despair, and absolute moral relativism. The fact is, however, that no one can consistently live that way, and those who try are hardly welcome by the society that embraces their philosophy. Colson’s book vividly illustrates the truth of Ecclesiastes 1-2 and seeks to provide an alternative that brings significance, hope, and genuine truth.

This book takes an approach very similar to the other two Colson books I’ve read, Loving God and Being the Body. The method could best be described as “don’t tell me, show me.” Combining stories from his own illustrious life experiences with those of others he has encountered along the way, Colson conveys builds his case through a series of windows into reality. The result is concrete, powerful, and readable. Through these accounts, you’ll see the brutality of human nature, the utter vanity of a life lived for self, the unspeakable beauty of sacrificial love, the transforming power of God’s grace, and the life and death importance of the truth. This is a well thought out book and because of the way it’s written never gets boring.

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