The Call

The Call, by Os Guinness.


One of the chief problems with contemporary Western Christianity is a misunderstanding of their calling.  God calls each of us in two distinct ways.  We are called by, to and for God, following him.  And second, we are called to live in a way that conforms with his sovereignty.  Our calling is as complex as our identity, and can be found only be looking at the various facets of how God exerts his loving influence over the world, and over us.  We should live our lives so that he is pleased with us, even if that means that no one else is.  To do so means we take responsibility for our thoughts, words, feelings and actions.  A proper sense of calling will combat the seven deadly sins and provide the motivation and vision for leaders to emerge to lead the church (and the world) in God’s mission of grace, truth and love.


Guinness has a natural way of expressing complex ideas in simple terms through the use of story and illustration.  He inspires even as he teaches.  Guinness states in the book that his call includes translating the gospel for the culture and translating culture for the church.  He has certainly done that here.  His chapters on the seven deadly sins are masterful, though, at times, it seems he is stretching a bit to connect the discussion to a sense of “calling” particularly.  At some point, one wonders if Guinness’s idea of “calling” is just a guise for “everything about life.”  While each chapter is helpful, they don’t flow well together, and it is hard to identify a cohesive structure to the book.  Nonetheless, this is a great book, worth keeping on the low shelf for future reference.

“The problem with Western Christians is not that they aren’t where they should be but that they aren’t what they should be where they are.”  p.166


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