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Worldliness

Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

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Worldliness
Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World
Author C.J. Mahaney
Narrator Sean Runnette
Runtime 5 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher christianaudio
Downloads ZIP M4B MP3
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)

This resource uncovers the subtle presence of worldliness in our hearts and helps believers learn to relate to the world while resisting its influence.

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Description
This resource uncovers the subtle presence of worldliness in our hearts and helps believers learn to relate to the world while resisting its influence.

People today are saturated in technology and abundance. Most of us have access to endless luxuries: clothes to wear, cars to buy, vacations to take, entertainment to enjoy. Yet this world, which offers so many pleasures, is actively opposed to God and the truth of His Word. How, then, is the Christian to relate to the world in which we live?

In Worldliness, C. J. Mahaney and fellow pastors wisely lead us to see the often subtle presence of worldliness in our hearts-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions (1 John 2:16).

Looking at the areas of media, music, modesty, and material possessions in particular, Worldliness explores how Christians are to live lives worthy of the gospel and engage a fallen world, without being conformed and ultimately seduced by the system of this world.
12 Reviews Add Review

Customer Reviews 12 item(s)

Fine Little Book
While the Bible charges us not to love the world or the things in the world, our culture and our flesh often tempts us to love the world, even if just a little. In Worldliness, CJ Mahaney and friends look at multiple categories of ways for us to battle the pull of the world in our Christian lives.

This book is short, sweet, and to-the-point. It is certainly not guilty of empty and meaningless repetition as so many larger works can be. The combination of multiple authors addressing separate issues is refreshing. It is simply nice to read different voices as different issues arise. The authors do a nice job of helping readers think more clearly and biblically about issues like music, dress, possessions, etc.; and they do so without driving the reader into a legalistic framework of “do this” and “never do that.”

I would recommend this work with no major reservations. IT would make a fine tool for a small group Bible study or Sunday School class. The short chapters and different authors should help students of most ages remain engaged.

** For this review, I listened to the audio version which I received for free from Christian Audio. As usual, this book was read well and clearly.
Review by / (Posted on 5/17/2011)
challenging/convicting
I just finished the audio book, Worldliness by C.J. Mahaney with contributing authors: John Piper (Foreword), Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Jeff Purswell, and Craig Cabaniss.

The book begins with a challenging first chapter by Mahaney, wondering if the verse, I John 2:15, which says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world." is in Your Bible. Is it? What does this verse mean? This is the basic premise of the book, God's call to be in the world, but not love the world or anything in the world.

The following chapters deal with different areas of life and how to incorporate this command in a real way. Chapter two deals with the media. Chapter three focuses on music. Chapter four challenges the place of stuff in our hearts. Chapter five discusses clothing. The final chapter of the book really brings it together with a discussion on how to love the world.

As a whole, I found this book to be especially convicting. The questions that were being asked in each section probed deep into my daily practices to reveal different areas where the love of the world could be creeping in or has already built a lodge within my heart.

I also found this book to be exceptionally practical. There were real, tangible ways to put the supported principles into practice. And amazingly, the book didn't degrade into a legalistic mess. Many times when authors attempt to illustrate principles they tend to be legalistic in their approach. These authors were able to avoid that trap, and I believe that it is because of their great love for the gospel message that infiltrated every page.

I highly recommend this book... unless of course you aren't interested in being challenged and possibly convicted.

Originally posted at
<a href="http://blog.harmlessonline.net/2011/05/worldliness-by-cj-mahaney.html" />Harmless Thoughts</a>
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 5/9/2011)
Relentless
C. J. Mahaney is relentless in his attack on the heart. Underneath all of our sinful actions is a heart that desires doing wrong more than doing what is right. I keep on hoping that C. J. will just give me a bunch of rules that I can keep, because it is always easier to conform to rules than to have a transformed heart. The way he structures each chapter shows where his focus is. “My Heart, and Media…My Heart and Stuff.” What does my music say about what my heart treasures? Does my music actually cause me to enjoy God? Finally, this book concludes with how to properly love the world. It is important that the book ends with an appeal to loving and enjoying all the goodness that God has given us. I highly recommend this book. Thank you Christianaudio reviewers program!
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 5/5/2011)
a salty finger in the eyeball - a much needed reminder
Thank you to christiainaudio.com Reviewers program for the opportunity to review this excellent work!

Edited by C.J. Mahaney, Foreword by John Piper, Crossway Books (September 2008)
192 p.

Reviewed by Derek R. Iannelli-Smith

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines worldly as, “of, relating to, or devoted to this world and its pursuits rather than to religion or spiritual affairs.” Worldliness then is about world-views and what is the defining authority for the ‘viewer’. CJ Mahaney and the rest of the Sovereign Grace Ministries pastors brings this ‘taboo’ topic across with scholarship, humility, and gospel-centered themes which rightly reminds us that our chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.

I read this book about a month ago, (after it sat on my shelf for a year) but listening to the this audio and being able to rewind and review, brought a new appreciation to me with this material. I think that this book has much to offer anyone in the Christian walk who desire to take their soul through some introspection as offered by the pastors of Sovereign Grace.

In chapter one, CJ Mahaney defines worldliness saying that this world we’re not supposed to love is “the organized system of human civilization that is actively hostile to God and alienated from God.” Worldliness is a love for this fallen world and, specifically, “to gratify and exalt oneself to the exclusion of God.”



Chapter two (and my favorite – highly convicting) – “God, My Heart, and Media,” by Craig Cabaniss outlines
Chapter 3 – “God, My Heart, and Music,” Bob Kauflin
Chapter 4 – “God, My Heart, and Stuff” was authored by Dave Harvey
Chapter 5 – C.J. Mahaney is titled “God, My Heart, and Clothes” and discusses the issue of modesty
Chapter 6 – Jeff Purswell concludes with a chapter titled “How to Love the World” in which he reminds the reader “To impart biblical discernment in areas that increasingly escape the scrutiny of the evangelical world so intent on ‘relating to the culture.’”

I read some reviews and a favorite esteemed writer of mine said that this is not one of the better works from Sovereign Grace ministries, but I say, I beg to differ. If you read/listened to Crazy Love by Francis Chan, The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns, When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Finkkert, or Radical by David Platt, then this book is for you! This is another bold writing theme that I think is timely for our culture, calling our hearts to task and remind us of the gospel. Chapter two was a deception blaster for me and EXACTLY what the Doctor ordered for my sanctification. I don’t think I am the only one that needs to be reminded to ‘unplug’ as I watch folks texting, tweeting, and facebooking in traffic. I was so moved by it, that at our recent care group, I told the men that the discussion questions at the end were a great way to care for me as they remember.

I thought the audio narration was well done, and the speed of the reading, inflection, and amount of time for the audio were just right. This would be a great book for those whom God has drawn to Himself. If your serious about the pursuit of holiness, a desire to preach the gospel to yourself, to be reminded that you are a lot more sinful than you think but grace is a lot more and that the gospel gap is about understanding God’s holiness in light of my sinfulness and the Cross being huge in our daily life, then this book is for you!


Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27 http://www.esvapi.org/assets/play.swf?myUrl=hw%2F59001027(ESV)

I highly recommend this book, and it was a great blessing to review this book for christianaudio.com.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/28/2011)
Are we marked by worldliness or holiness?
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world." (1 John 2:15-16)

Are those words in your Bible? While (I hope) we would all say yes, if we carefully examined our lives, we'd probably have to admit that we don't live in light of them. Yet we can't afford not to. Our lives are not to be characterized by the pursuit of "the things in the world," lest we hinder our witness to the greatness of God.

And while we know this... again, if we had to be honest, what would we say our lives are marked by?

Concerns over the creeping influence of worldliness motivated C.J. Mahaney, along with Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Jeff Purswell and Craig Cabaniss, to write Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.

Mahaney kicks off the book with a strong opening, dealing with what John means when he writes, "Do not love the world or the things in the world." It's not that he's saying "don't love creation" or "don't love the godless heathens with their MTV and Cinnabon." Instead, he means that we are not to love "the organized system of human civilization that is actively hostile to God and alienated from God." This is a critical (and biblical) distinction that Mahaney is wise to bring to address because when you talk about avoiding "worldliness," it's really easy to jump to all sorts of peculiar legalisms. Without this foundation, the remainder of the book could almost certainly come off as exactly that.

As the book moves into the particulars of where we're impacted by worldliness, its authors focus media (Cabaniss), music (Kauflin), materialism (Harvey) and modesty (Mahaney) before Jeff Purswell wraps the book up by discussion how Christians can and should love the world. Of these chapters, I most appreciated Kauflin's thoughts on music as he reminds readers that there is always something being communicated in music than notes and rhythm. All music communicates content, context and culture, and because of this, we must be discerning as we listen. Music is especially good at communicating emotion, so we need to understand why the songwriter wanted us to feel what we feel when we listen. Mahaney's chapter on modesty was also one that I appreciated, although it's application is limited to helping my wife and daughters choose appropriate clothing (which is increasingly a struggle—even for a four year old!).

The most valuable feature of this book, beyond any consideration of the content, is the discussion questions. If you read or listen to this book, you will do yourself a disservice if you don't take the time to work through at least some of the questions presented in each chapter.

I first read this book in 2008 and revisited it in audio form earlier this month and I was glad I did. I'd appreciated it back when I first read it, but found it a bit of a mixed bag (as is common with collections of essays). While I'd still say it's a mixed bag, Sean Runnette's narration brought some chapters, notably Dave Harvey's chapter on materialism, to life where I remember the text falling a bit flat. He captured the authors' senses of humor well, and you could hear him varying his narration style as he switched from chapter to chapter. (As an aside, of all the books I've listened to featuring Runnette, he seems be at his most lively with Worldliness.)

Overall, Worldliness is a book that offers a lot of helpful insights into how we should live in light of 1 John 2:15-16 and is one that would be a worthwhile addition to your library. Read the book, work through the discussion questions and see how God might use it to bring glory to Himself through your life.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/27/2011)
A great listen!
I recently listened to the book titled Worldliness by author C.J. Mahaney for the christianaudio Reviewers Program (http://christianaudio.com).

The book actually has several contributors to it that each write on a different topic. Even though I theologically differ from the contributors on numerous issues, the challenging perspectives that they give the listener are so needed in such a time as this. They deal with scripture often, but I would not classify it as a heavy theological work. They use logic, philosophy, and plain old common sense as well to examine the lifestyles and practices of many in the church world of today. It is a very “easy listen”. I felt that the narrator Sean Runnette did a great job with the book.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/27/2011)
Sometimes helpful and sometimes frustrating

In Worldliness, C. J. Mahaney, Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Jeff Purswell and Craig Cabaniss explore how Christians can avoid worldliness at a heart level, not just a behaviour level.
I suspect when a lot of Christians see a book on worldliness they are expecting to see a list of don’ts. With the exception of some unnecessary inclusions in the section on modesty, this book takes quite a different path. Instead it looks at the heart issues behind temptations in areas such as media consumption, music, modesty and consumerism. I found the heart check questions at the end of many of the chapters quite helpful and in some cases very convicting. They might be worth talking over in a small group or accountability partnership setting.
I think the book was a bit of a letdown in the section on modesty. There is a lot to be said about what both men and women communicate with what they dress, but the segment was almost entirely aimed at women. The focus on how women dress was made even more awkward coming from a guy. It would have probably been preferable if they had found a female contributor for this chapter. They also seemed to put an excessive amount of responsibility and guilt on women to ensure that they are not causing men to think the wrong way as a result of what they wear. How a clothing choice will impact upon others is a good thing to keep in mind, but the chapter seemed over the top as some people will think the wrong things regardless of how someone else is dressed. The appendixes on what modest dressing looks like in practice also distracted somewhat from the focus on the heart issues behind modesty.
Although the chapter on modesty was a bit frustrating, I think this book is mostly worth reading.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/27/2011)
Right Back To The Cross
Worldliness is not just another book about the does and dont's of the Christian life. Rather this book addresses the heart behind the things we do and don't do as children of God. It goes beyond how we should dress and what movies we should not watch to dig in to why we dress the way we do and why we shouldn't watch a certain movie.

I enjoyed this book in the audio format for it's great quality. It was smooth and clear and the narration was enjoyable to listen to. Using the audio format to read this book is a fabulous choice and the only downside I found was with the discussion questions - it would have been easier if I could read them in print versus just hearing them.

Mahaney and the other men do a great job of keeping each chapter short and to the point while sharing a deep and balanced view of the topic at hand. I walked away feeling so convicted on all issues, especially ones I would have said I had "mastered". However, with this heart probing approach you are sure to walk away challenged and once again amazed by God's grace. This book takes the daily stuff right back to the cross.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/25/2011)
The focus is on external appearances of worldliness, not actual love of the world
It is hard to review a book on worldliness. Not nearly as hard as writing one, but still hard. The tension is viewing worldliness as not anti-world, viewing holiness as a worthy goal, a desire to avoid legalism, the need to focus on the grace of Christ and the tendency to focus on a fairly narrow set of outward sins makes for a book on worldliness easy to take shots at.

I did not realized when I started this book that it was a series of essays by different authors rather than a complete work by Mahaney. And that makes a difference. What I liked so much about Mahaney's book Humility was that it was so tightly pastoral. And that seems to be a bit missing in some of the essays. It also seems like it might be oriented toward young Christians. After all the chapters are about media, music, consumerism and how to dress right. (The chapter on dress really was inappropriate, it should not have been in the book and the focus seemed to be blaming women for being attractive. Guys can lust if a woman is in a Burka. The sin is the lust. The women are the victim of the sin, not the perpetrators. Yes, women can be immodest. Yes, that is a sin, but having a chapter about modesty without talking about the sin of lust means that you are picking on women without dealing with the root issue. And the long section on wedding dresses really crossed the line.)

On the other hand, when read in the most generous fashion and abstractly without thinking about the overall structure, mostly, there is little to disagree with. There is a very long chapter (in relation to a fairly short book) on the consumption of media. Most of it is quite true. We are very much affected by the media in this world. We do waste too much time in mindless consumption. We should train children and others in how to look deeper in the the meaning of what is in front of us. It is very convicting, especially the questions at the end of the chapter. But it seemed to lack some of the pastoral focus that I think would have made it better. It felt guilt inducing. Maybe that is because I am guilty about my media consumption. It is hard not to be. As important as the particulars of the chapter were, I thought that being placed as the first chapter after the introduction, gave a prominence to an 'easy target' that might have been better balanced by placing it later in the book and cutting the length a bit. (I also thought there was very little added by having another fairly long chapter on music, when most of the points were fairly similar to general media consumption. And there was another section in the consumerism chapter that also dealt with advertising which again was repetitive.)

The chapter on consumption was probably the best chapter and came closest to my desire to deal with the actual internal issues of desiring to be like the world (instead of focusing on issues of appearing to look like the world.)

In the end, I wanted more of a focus on the positives of Holiness and less a focus on the problems of being in the world. We are all in the world, that is part of our calling as a church. And I certainly agree (and this it might be the best line in the book) when it says in context of being relevant that "we too often cloak our transformation by Christ in order to share Christ." That is convicting. (The final chapter looked at ways that we can love the world and I thought that chapter was OK, but really too little too late.)

The main problem I have is one of editorial decisions of focus more than any real individual essays. Personally, I think that a focus on holiness as a gift of the Holy Spirit is a better approach. (The chapter on consumerism actually said that the main way to not focus on the world is to focus on the gospel, but the book seemed to mostly ignore this.) When the focus is mostly on external view-able sins (and that is what this book is mostly about) then it is hard not eventually move to legalism or just to give up. We cannot become holy by striving to not be worldly. And the hardest sins of worldliness are not those external sins like watching the wrong movies or listening to the wrong music, or dressing too provocatively, it is the internal sins of desire, greed, a lack of trust in God for our provision, the internal sins that can only be confronted by the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

I like Mahaney, but I felt there is so much wrong with this book that I have a very hard time recommending it.

____________

This book was provided by christianaudio.com for purposes of review.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/25/2011)
Are Christians seduced by the world?
In “Worldliness”, C.J. Mahaney and other pastors lead Christians through the seductions of this world and ask the question, “Does it matter what movies we watch, clothes we wear, music we listen to or activities we participate in?” Do we see people who take a firm stand against R-rated movies and other worldly seductions as legalistic, rigid and party poopers? Do we find ourselves rationalizing our behavior as a way to witness? Have you heard people say they need to watch the popular movies and listen to the current musical trends in order to “understand” the culture where we witness? I have and I have used this rationalization as well.

This book is convicting. Every word is based on truth, but many of us will still find ourselves defending ourselves with the witnessing to others excuse. Do we really need the latest technology, the biggest house or the most expensive car? Is watching movies with nudity and crude language really a way to witness to others?

It’s time Christians took a firm stand against Hollywood and media. God requires us to separate ourselves from the world. As Mahaney points out, God loves the world, but in 1 John 2:15 (NIV), God tells us “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Why do we continue to overlook this verse as if it doesn’t exist or doesn’t mean what it says. God wants pure, holy people. He knows we are sinful which is why He provided Jesus as a way of salvation.

This book will make you think. It will make you argue, but in the end, you will know what’s right and wrong. Pastors should preach this from the pulpit. Worldliness is not next to godliness–it is the farthest thing from it. Are you guilty? I know I am. Would we not make a better witness if we separated ourselves from sin rather than falling head over heels into it? Wouldn’t saying “I don’t want to anger or disappoint my Father in heaven by participating in this activity” be better?

Take some time to reflect on your attitude toward sin. Listen to this audiobook. Maybe if Christians looked at their behavior as sin, revival could begin anew.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free from Christianaudio.com as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. 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.”
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/20/2011)
Are Christians seduced by worldliness?
In "Worldliness", C.J. Mahaney and other pastors lead Christians through the seductions of this world and ask the question, "Does it matter what movies we watch, clothes we wear, music we listen to or activities we participate in?" Do we see people who take a firm stand against R-rated movies and other worldly seductions as legalistic, rigid and party poopers? Do we find ourselves rationalizing our behavior as a way to witness? Have you heard people say they need to watch the popular movies and listen to the current musical trends in order to "understand" the culture where we witness? I have and I have used this rationalization as well.

This book is convicting. Every word is based on truth, but many of us will still find ourselves defending ourselves with the witnessing to others excuse. Do we really need the latest technology, the biggest house or the most expensive car? Is watching movies with nudity and crude language really a way to witness to others?

It's time Christians took a firm stand against Hollywood and media. God requires us to separate ourselves from the world. As Mahaney points out, God loves the world, but in 1 John 2:15 (NIV), God tells us "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Why do we continue to overlook this verse as if it doesn't exist or doesn't mean what it says. God wants pure, holy people. He knows we are sinful which is why He provided Jesus as a way of salvation.

This book will make you think. It will make you argue, but in the end, you will know what's right and wrong. Pastors should preach this from the pulpit. Worldliness is not next to godliness--it is the farthest thing from it. Are you guilty? I know I am. Would we not make a better witness if we separated ourselves from sin rather than falling head over heels into it? Wouldn't saying "I don't want to anger or disappoint my Father in heaven by participating in this activity" be better?

Take some time to reflect on your attitude toward sin. Listen to this audiobook. Maybe if Christians looked at their behavior as sin, revival could begin anew.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free from Christianaudio.com as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. 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.”
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/17/2011)
Excellent Exhortation
We all struggle from time to time with what kind of music we listen to or what media we allow in to our homes or how much stuff we own. We would all do well to heed the call to flee worldliness and to live a more Christ-centered and God-glorifying lives. This volume shows what that looks like and offers the encouragement to “go all in for Christ.”

Ligon Duncan offers this statement in his blurb on the back of the book: “I now know the first book I am going to reach for when a Christian is wrestling with worldliness—or isn’t but should be!” I include this statement because it best sums up my recommendation. This will be an audiobook that you will want to gift to those needing counsel on worldliness. Allow CJ Mahaney to speak through Sean Runnette's masterful reading of this excellent exhortation to flee worldliness.

Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/8/2011)