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In Search of the Common Good  By  cover art

In Search of the Common Good

By: Jake Meador,Timothy Keller - foreword
Narrated by: Jim Denison
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Publisher's Summary

Common life in our society is in decline. Our communities are disintegrating, as the loss of meaningful work and the breakdown of the family leave us anxious and alone - indeed, half of all Americans report daily feelings of loneliness. Our public discourse is polarized and hateful. Ethnic minorities face systemic injustices and the ever-present fear of violence and deportation. Economic inequalities are widening.

In this book, Jake Meador diagnoses our society's decline as the failure of a particular story we've told about ourselves: the story of modern liberalism. He shows us how that story has led to our collective loss of meaning, wonder, and good work, and then recovers each of these by grounding them in a different story - a story rooted in the deep tradition of the Christian faith.

Our story doesn't have to end in loneliness and despair. There are reasons for hope -reasons grounded in a different, better story. In Search of the Common Good reclaims a vision of common life for our fractured times: a vision that doesn't depend on the destinies of our economies or our political institutions, but on our citizenship in a heavenly city. Only through that vision - and that citizenship - can we truly work together for the common good.

©2019 Jake Meador (P)2019 eChristian
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Helpful

So thankful to know that there are Christians who are conscientiously trying to understand and apply Scripture and our rich Reformed and Augustinian heritage to the deeply pressing questions of late modernity, the fading attractions of late Capitalism and the bitter disappointments that have tragically accompanied the blurred association of Christianity and Western (American, Republican?) liberalism. A helpful introduction by the young, well-informed and balanced contributor to the online (excellent) blog Mere Orthodoxy.

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Thoughtful call for Christians to do good publicly

Jake Meador provides a thoughtful overview of the demise of Christian culture in America and an opportunity for Christian faith to rise from the ashes.
PROS:
His arguments are well-researched, blending sociology, political theory, philosophy, theology, and Wendell Berry. References to Charles Taylor A Secular Age frame much of his thinking. I appreciate how he made Taylor's observations digestible and relevant. In particular, I resonated with his observations about losses of community, wonder, and meaningful work in our culture, as well as the sad state of political dialogue. In any of these areas, the church has a place to rise up and reclaim a voice for "the common good." Finally, I would be remiss to ignore Meador's winsome, personal anecdotes sprinkled throughout his work.

CONS:
While Meador's circling around three major themes helped reinforce his argument, at times the book felt repetitive. His theological arguments played heavily on the bookends of the biblical narrative (Genesis 1-2; Revelation 21-22), but he seemed to skip a great deal of material in the middle. Jesus kingdom ethic and the NT letters offer a wealth of wisdom on community, wonder, and meaningful work. And much could be gleaned from the Mosaic Law, Psalms, Proverbs, and prophetic writings. Finally, his solutions could use further development. Because he stressed the need for "proximate" work in our own spheres of influence, it makes sense he does not try and offer a meta-solution. But greater community, wonder, and more meaningful work hardly creates a common good. I know this is not exactly what he said, but the pastor in me always looks for a more robust application.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It enriched my thinking in many areas.

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mixed bag

mixed bag of. post mil theology
social engineering
but several good points made
deserves a CAREFUL listen