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Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World
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Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  945 ratings  ·  67 reviews
This resource uncovers the presence of worldliness and helps believers learn to relate to the world while resisting its influence in their lives.

People today are saturated in technology and prosperity. They are bombarded with endless luxuries: clothes to wear, cars to buy, vacations to take, entertainment to enjoy. Yet this world, which offers so many pleasures, is activel
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Crossway Books (first published December 31st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Allison Anderson
I enjoyed this book and learned from it. I appreciate their approach and end goal of pointing Christians to Christ and the gospel as our drive and desire for why we shouldn't be "worldly." I suppose they had to have chapters in there about music/dress/entertainment and many good thoughts were shared, though I felt at times the authors were just overthinking everything. I understand their hearts though and mostly agreed with them. The chapter on music was refreshing. Overall, a great read though ...more
Adam Shields
Short review:: I really do like several of Mahaney's books, but I think this one really missed the mark. There were some very good parts of it. But taken as a whole, the editorial decisions to focus on external sins (like music, media and how to dress) instead of internal issues of worldliness. Worldliness is both internal and external and focusing on the external creates a false sense of what inappropriate love of the world really is. The chapter on modesty was very inappropriate for the books. ...more
Julia Forrester
Should we be concerned with “worldliness” today? Churches are trying to look more and more like the culture around us, they strive to be more “relevant,” so is “worldliness” a thing of the past? Is 1 John 2:15 still true today?

“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.” (1 John 2:15)

(Quote from: Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World, Edited by C. J. Mahaney)

“Charles Spurgeon, writing 150 years ago, neverth
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 issu
Bob Hayton
Any book entitled Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World promises not to be your average book on the shelf of today's Christian bookstore. The subject of worldliness, or love for the values of this fallen world, is not a popular theme.

The contributors of this book, start off by asking if 1 John 2:15 ["Do not love the world or anything in the world":], is really in most Christian's Bibles. All of us are guilty of worldliness. But how do we go about avoiding this sin? C.J. Mahaney
Purpose for Reading: Pleasure reading and personal enrichment.

Blessings: This book strives to be true to biblical Christianity and extremely careful not to have a legalistic approach. C.J. Mahaney and his gang (term borrowed from Piper) did a thorough job in discussing the importance of addressing worldliness generally and media, music, stuff, and clothes specifically. The approach is Christ-exalting and Gospel-centered as opposed to being self-righteous and others-demeaning. To overcome the sed
This book was ok, although I do think that it gave a representation which was at all easy to live by, in fact I would say it is impossible to be completely un-wordly. Actually thinking about this book I probably didn't enjoy it very much. Before I slate the book I would like to say the good thing was the way it was structured, it meant I wasn't forced to read things that didn't apply to me....this meant I could miss out chunks of it rather than actually facing the read! I'll admit I am worldy an ...more
Randy Alcorn
C. J. Mahaney and friends, men I trust, have written an excellent treatment of a vital and recently neglected subject. The difference between the world and the church is eroding at an alarming rate, and we need help with holiness. This book is biblically grounded and Christ-centered, full of grace and truth. Every chapter raises the bar of Christian living without falling into legalism. Worldliness is one of the most timely and much-needed books I’ve read in years. I highly recommend it.
Worldliness is a good overview of how to relate to the world -- how to be in the world but not of it. It had some great points and some poor points, in my opinion.
What I liked:
The chapters on music and clothing were practical yet non-legalistic. They provided more of an opportunity for self-evaluation than a black and white list of rules.
The overall perspective of the book. I think this book is full of wisdom and truth.
What I didn't like:
The chapters were written by a few different authors, and
As a general primer in the idea of living a Christian life without being focused on the trappings of the here-and-now, this book was okay. There were no really profound insights, but the book was presented as an aid in giving young believers a good general understanding of the difference between enjoying the world around them and having an ungodly attachment to it. If you've ever been in a conservative church group, you've probably heard everything the book says. It occasionally wades into the t ...more
Matt Harmless
I originally posted this review on my blog, but thought I would add it here as well.

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 b
C.H. Cobb
The pastors at Sovereign Grace Ministries have collaborated on this excellent little book on how to (and how not to) live in a fallen world. The topics are very practical and the counsel is thoroughly biblical. The book includes discussion questions in the back, making it quite useful for both private and group study.

After a typically excellent foreword by John Piper, Mahaney opens the discussion with a good definition of the problem of worldliness.

Craig Cabanis next considers the problems prese
Mike E.
This book does an excellent job of delving into four key areas of worldliness impacting believers in USA: media, music, stuff, and clothes. Each of these chapters is written by a different author. However, the book is unified by being centered on loving Christ and the gospel. The book is careful to avoid legalism AND license. It is full of helpful, penetrating diagnostic questions to evaluate one's heart and lifestyle in light of Scripture. It's hard to imagine any Christian not benefitting from ...more
Mandy J. Hoffman

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
John Gardner
Is this verse in your Bible? "Do not love the world or the things in the world." (1 John 2:15)

This is the question that opens this book, written as a collaborative effort by C.J. Mahaney, Craig Cabaniss, Bob Kauflin, Dave Harvey, and Jeff Purswell, all of whom are affiliated with Sovereign Grace Ministries . These authors seek to address the tricky subject of how we are to engage the culture biblically without falling victim to the temptation toward the opposite extremes of legalism and worldli

If there is a better book, talk, or movie on this subject, I've yet to ever hear of it. I'm still processing a lot of what I read in this book (which I will be blogging about at a later date) but God has used this book to expose my heart's desire for worldliness that I never knew exsisted.

Here's what I like about this book and what makes it different from most (if not all) on this subject. It is written with humility, is full of grace, and saturated with
This book helps us evaluating if we are being unduly influenced by the world instead of by Christ by asking some good questions about media, music, stuff, and clothing. "What dominates your mind? Do you covet the esteem and crave the approval of those around you?" "Does this program or film tempt me with sexually impure thoughts or actions?" "Why do I want to watch this program or film?" What do I find entertaining about it? Do I secretly want to view something in it that is sinful? What worldvi ...more
Today, the greatest challenge facing American evangelicals is not persecution from the world, but seduction by the world. [page 22]

One reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church. –CH Spurgeon [page 23]

The goal of worldly people is to move forward rather than upward, to live horizontally rather than vertically. They seek after outward prosperity rather than holiness. They burst with selfish
To (mis?)quote my husband, I like a book that challenges me to ask the question of what my priorities are. I do indeed appreciate asking myself whether I've thought about my motives recently and keep myself pointed with an eternal telos. I can't say I loved this book, however, as it made me feel like I was back in high school with chapel speakers thinly veiling an attempt to say, "basically you should be feeling guilty because you're probably failing." I just wasn't crazy about the writing style ...more
Don't worship stuff or music or movies more than God. Don't make idols out of "things." The ideas in this book are solid. They are biblical. And honestly, I need to apply some of them to my life.

But while the authors do a great job of giving the reader biblical references, and they present the content very humbly, it's boring. I often found my mind wandering to other things going on in my life. There were times that I so badly wanted to be reading something other than this book. It felt like the
A great book that all Christians should read. I really appreciated the fact that the focus was less on what not to do, avoiding the disheartening 'Christian life of self-nagation' context, but instead on what we are called to do - glorify God and/by enjoy(ing) Him forever. It convicted me of a lot of things, such as keeping an online presence on social networking sites like twitter and facebook simply for the mere sake of keeping an online presense. Things like social networking are great in the ...more
Convicting and confrontational. Mahaney hit me pretty hard with several of these chapters. I nice short read that will help the modern day Christian understand the term, worldly.

Also - chapter 3 has a wonderful explanation of sacred music that has influenced me greatly.
KC McCauley
This book is very timely and practical as it addresses some of the main issues of worldliness in our culture: media, music, earthly treasures possessions, clothes, and it also instructs us how to love the world by enjoying, engaging, and evangelizing it. The issues are addressed in a real and practical manner without falling into legalism. As I am mostly around high school students (both at work and ministry), this book is a great tool to help fight against the various aspects of worldliness tha ...more
CJ and contributing authors root their premise in 1 John 2:15-17. The message is one of maintaing focus on heavenly things versus a life of arbitrary "exclusion" of certain influences (Phil 4:8). The concluding chapter is the best as it synthesizes the book into three calls to action: 1. Enjoy the world given that creation manifests God's glory (Rom 1:20) 2. Engage the world in your vocational domain given the cultural mandate (Gen 1:28) knowing full redemption won't occur until glorification 3. ...more
Brenda Huntsman
Good one! I pick this book up again and again.
Sara R.
This was a hard book to read, but that is only because it gets to the heart of every area of life. I appreciate that each chapter title included "God" and "My Heart," along with various other things such as music, stuff, clothes, etc. This is a book only for Christians, and only for those who are serious about living a God-glorifying life. (And i know that it is true that every Christian should have that desire, but i am a realistic optimist, and so know that that is not the case for every Belie ...more
Mitch Nichols
Put simply; what is refreshing about this book is that it focuses on the need for biblical holiness and not simply mere moralism that the church has settled for. It points out how we have collectively "dumbed down" worldliness to a focus on externals while blithely ignoring how we have let wrong attitudes and passions infiltrate our lives. The authors focus on how the Gospel calls us to live a life not simply conforming to rules and fences but focusing on the true source of worldliness...our hea ...more
I spent an entire semester helping teach the topics in this book to college students, and I think I took more away than they did. This book is a very helpful tool in understanding just how sneaky and subtle worldliness is, especially in today's culture. The chapters on music and media are especially helpful, and the modesty chapter is hands-down the best I've ever read on the topic. I highly recommend this book to you–you may just find out you're a little more worldly than you think.
Mark A Powell
Several authors address the subtle allure of worldliness by dealing in practical terms with what we watch, hear, and wear. Not a call to avoidance but a challenge to discern and act with the wisdom given by God. While providing some very applicable help in these areas, the book feels disjointed at times and perhaps could have more strongly emphasized the underlying principles that are to govern our choices. Immensely practical and, at times, quite convicting.
Good work tackling the sin of worldliness. The book does a good job addressing the heart issue driving worldliness rather than an arbitrary 'thou shall not touch this or that' approach. We used this at a church a few years ago as a book to go through for small group. Good for sanctification and discussion. It is an example of how you can't judge a book by it's size--though its short, it's very edifying.
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C.J. Mahaney leads Sovereign Grace Ministries in its mission to establish and support local churches. He spent 27 years pastoring Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

He currently co-hosts the Together for the Gospel conference with Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan and Albert Mohler and serves on the Council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and on the boards of The Council on Biblica
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“A love for the world begins in the soul. It’s subtle, not always immediately obvious to others, and often undetected by the people who are slowly succumbing to its lies.” 2 likes
“We may assume God gave us music just to make us happy, not holy; he actually gave us music to make us happy and holy.” 1 likes
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