Hi friends! I am so excited to add a new feature to our blog! One of my favorite things is reading. Admittedly, after having my second baby, I have less time these days to read, but I still very much enjoy it and always have a book (or three) on hand to grab when I have a few minutes to spare. I recently became a B&H/LifeWay Book Review Blogger, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Each month, I have the chance to read a book and share my thoughts about it here, with you! Basically, I get to do with you, my dear readers, what I already do with my besties – share about what I am reading and how it is impacting me!
Here’s my commitment to you: While it’s true that I receive copies of these books in agreement to write a review, I promise to only offer honest opinions about each book. If I don’t like a particular book one month, I will let you know that it wasn’t for me. If I love a book, you’ll probably be annoyed by my Instagram posts about it. Deal? Great! I sincerely hope that this becomes a valuable resource for you as you add to your own reading lists and libraries! First up: “This is Our Time: Everyday Myths in Light of the Gospel”, by Trevin Wax.
“Uncertain. Confused. Overwhelmed.
Many Christians feel bombarded by the messages they hear and the trends they see in our rapidly changing world.
How can we resist being conformed to the pattern of this world? What will faithfulness to Christ look like in these tumultuous times? How can we be true to the gospel in a world where myths and false visions of the world so often prevail?
In, “This is Our Time”, Trevin Wax provides snapshots of twenty-first-century American Life in order to help Christians understand the times. By analyzing our common beliefs and practices (smartphone habits, entertainment intake, and our views of shopping, sex, marriage, politics, and life’s purpose), Trevin helps us see through the myths of society to the hope of the gospel.
As faithful witnesses to Christ, Trevin writes, we must identify the longing behind society’s most cherished myths (what is good, true, beautiful), expose the lie at the heart of these myths (what is false and damaging), and show how the gospel tells a better story – one that exposes the lie but satisfies the deeper longing.”
I will be honest. Prior to reading this book, I was skeptical. I knew very little about Trevin Wax, other than that he was affiliated with The Gospel Coalition (which I love!) and that he is on the younger side (In his 30s, I believe. I have no idea where I read this, but somehow I recalled it). In the back of my mind, I was wondering if this book would even be applicable to me. I felt as though I had a handle on how the Christian life differs from prevailing culture and wasn’t sure that I would learn much. I was flat out wrong (and obviously a bit arrogant!).
Trevin Wax tackles Western cultural topics that are part of our daily lives, whether we realize it or not. He discusses our phones, entertainment in general, our beliefs about the power of government to fix or not fix culture, the American Dream, marriage, and sex. He masterfully communicates our culture’s prevailing narratives about these topics, and then brings to light the myths we are susceptible to because of them. For example, because our phones can be tailored by us and for us, the myth we begin believing is that we are the center of the universe. He goes so far as to say that it is the primary thing in our lives that has the power to make us feel god-like. It’s not likely that I would have seen my phone from that angle without this book. Trevin is a gifted communicator with the ability to gently reveal how our subconscious beliefs drive our thoughts and decisions, and at the same time gracefully point us back to the Gospel.
This is not a book that you will walk away from with feelings of guilt. On the contrary, you will walk away with a better understanding of yourself, the church, the broader world, and your friends and neighbors who are not Christians. You will be more equipped to put words to the ordinary things of life and to begin thinking differently about the ways we live and how the Gospel can and should influence these areas. As a Christian, you will be empowered to live differently, even when it may seem strange to those around you. And even if you believe that you have an understanding of how our culture differs from Christian living, if you approach this book humbly, I think you’ll be surprised at what God uncovers in your own heart (in the gentle and kind way that only He can).
Who Should Read This?
As a Millennial, I found that certain chapters illuminated beliefs I held in my heart that I was unaware of, particularly the sections about phones and entertainment. The chapter about the American Dream was actually freeing and comforting because the house with the white picket fence feels more out of reach for many my age than it ever was in generations past. I could also see clearly, though, how this book would speak to many I know who are further along in life than I am. Bottom Line? Anyone will benefit from this book – male, female, conservative, liberal, young, and not-as-young. It is beneficial for the individual and the church as a whole, and it is well worth taking the time to read.
By Trevin Wax / B&H Books