Friday, October 15, 2004

Book Review: "In, But Not Of"

I've just finished reading Hugh Hewitt's book In, But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition and the Desire to Influence the World. Ambition is not usually something usually associated with Christianity. A Moravian prayer in Charles Cowman's Springs in the Valley said, 'From the desire of being great, good Lord deliver us!' And an anonymous pastor once said, 'I was never of any use until I found out that God did not intend to make me to be a great man.' William Shakespeare wrote,
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition; By that sin fell the angels. How can man then, The image of his maker, hope to win by it?
It was somewhat of a surprise, then, when I came across Hewitt's book in my local Christian bookstore. The author clearly believes that some Christians will feel called to move in powerful circles in the world influencing it for God. This is obviously a dangerous enterprise for a Christian given that much of the world of power operates on questionable principles from a Christian point of view. Hewitt recognises this danger and his book is full of advice on how to influence the world while remaining true to Christian principles. Most of the advice is common sense and is not specifically Christian -- where to live, what to avoid (eg tatoos), appropriate dress, making good friends, being humble, how to converse, handling money, and so on. In fact, as I read it, I almost forgot it was specifically written for Christians except for the occasional reminder of the Great Commission or some other reference to Christian morality or perspective. This means that the book could be read by just about anyone wanting practical advice on managing a career along with a desire to influence the world. Overall, the book is down-to-earth, simple to read, and practical. In some places, the Christian perspective could, perhaps, have been more clearly distinguished from others. But read critically, it provides some helpful guidance for those who are starting out on their careers or along the road. You can read more about this book or purchase it here.


  1. Hey! Nice summary and outlook on the book. I haven't read it, but the over all just of the book you gave, sounded good. Do you read often? Well, hope your day goes well, and keep on keepin' on!

  2. Hi Katti. Your my first comment on my first blog! Thanks so much... yes, I LOVE reading and movies and read a lot and see a lot. -- Steve