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Rescuing Ambition

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  405 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews

This pioneering book rescues ambition from suspicion by putting it to work for the glory of God.

Many think of ambition as nothing more than the drive for personal honor or fame. As a result, ambition—the God-implanted drive to improve, produce, develop, and create—is neglected and well on its way to paralysis.

For some, dreams are numbed. For others, there are no dreams;
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Published February 1st 2013 by Crossway Books (first published 2010)
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Douglas Wilson
This is a very fine book. Not only is it solid in its teaching, it is solid in a area that just about nobody addresses. Ambition sanctified is the need of the hour. Ambition unsanctified is a deadly peril.
Jerry
Dave Harvey’s Rescuing Ambition is very good, in large part due to the nuanced view of ambition it gives. One entire chapter is titled Ambition’s Contentment, describing the patience and wisdom that go along with godly ambition. Another chapter is dedicated to ambition for the church, and not just the church in general or the heavenly church where no one ever offends you, but the lowly local one where we’re called to belong.

The book is about ambition for everyone, and it really ought to be. Not
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Brian Pate
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Whether you are an overachiever or a procrastinator, this book gives gospel advice on how to deal with our ambitions.

Harvey begins by explaining that we pursue what we prize (ch. 1). Although ambition is a good thing, the problem is that we are glory thieves, hijacking the honor that is due to God alone (ch. 2). However, we can still demonstrate proper ambition if we understand that we are already accepted by God; we should not be ambitious in order to be accepted (ch. 3). "Approval should insp
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Gene Helsel
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book that addresses a little-discussed and much-misunderstood topic: Ambition. "Rescuing Ambition" is at the same time profoundly deep and winsomely accessible. The two chapters on contentment and failure alone are worth the price of the whole book. The modern church has been, and is being, increasingly "feminized." Harvey's expositions and applications of God's Word regarding such topics as desire, glory, ambition, failure, risk and reward are intensely practical and powerfu ...more
Shu Lindsey
"The true soldier is an ambitious being. He pants for honor, seeks for glory. On the field of strife he gathers his laurels, and amidst a thousand dangers he reaps renown. The Christian is fired by higher ambitions than any earthly warrior ever knew. He sees a crown that can never fade. He loves a King who best of all is worthy to be served. He has a motive within him which moves him to the noble deeds - a Divine spirit impelling him to the most self-sacrificing actions."
--- Charles Spurgeon
Randy Alcorn
Dave Harvey thinks well, writes well, tells good stories and cites people of substance and insight. I have long appreciated Dave’s integrity, wisdom and perspective. Were I not afraid of feeding his ambition for greatness, or my ambition to write a memorable endorsement, I would add that Rescuing Ambition is biblical, honest, witty and sometimes amusing. I’m happy to recommend this fine book on an important and overlooked subject.
Jonathan Celaya
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would honestly recommend this book to new and old believers in Christ. The reason this book gave me affirmation was due to the fact that I am in a very ambitious man. Sometimes we need to reflect and look to where our ambitions are pointed to, is it self-seeking glory? Or are we doing all things for the glory of God and enjoying him forever? In Romans 2, God blesses those who are ambitious for His glory with eternal life.
Liz
Ambition should not be a dirty word in the Christian's vocabulary. Godly ambition is different than selfish ambition, and that's what God would have us cultivate in our lives.

This book is an excellent help in understanding how to pursue godly ambition. I would recommend it to pastors and those who serve in their local church, as well as the Sunday morning pew-sitters, who need a vision for serving in their church.
Heather Denigan
An excellent book: careful, thoughtful, nuanced, passionate and full of heart. Highly recommended. Turned out to be a very timely read for me and spoke to several questions I've been struggling with. Harvey's placement of the church as the locus for ambition and action is excellent. I wish my pastor would read this book!
Jeremy Mcmorris
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't know that I've ever read a book (other than the Scripture) that so immediately and poignantly met a need in my life.
Lindsey Doolan
Great call to stop shining your chair with the seat of your pants and do something. Last chapter/"Why I Wrote this Book" was phenomenal.
Larry
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty much wrecked me. Now to see if I can put the principles into action in my own life. Pray for me.
Jesse
Jul 29, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
_Do Hard Things_ for grownups? Works well with our office of kingship...
John Gardner
Have you ever been described as "ambitious"? If so, was it intended as a compliment or a criticism? Is ambition a trait that Christians ought to desire?

Ambition is certainly a topic not often addressed by Christian authors and pastors (Dave Harvey is both). As the book reminds us, this is a word that frequently has a negative connotation for Christians... but should it be that way? The author thinks not.

The problem, Harvey says, is that we have failed to separate "ambition" from "selfish ambitio
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Jeff
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Very good book on ambition.

"Drawing near to God by faith is not the way we fulfill our ambitions; it's the only focus worthy of true ambition."

He rewards those who seek Him.
God is real. God is a rewarder.

True humility doesn't kill our dreams. It provides a guardrail for them.

When we become too humble to act, we've ceased being biblically humble.

Conduct reveals wisdom.

My quest for my own greatness leads me to a dangerous place.

How we live when ambitions are delayed significantly shapes wh
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Eric Fults
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book on the topic. Most of us wonder how to balance a drive for doing great things with gospel humility. How does a person work diligently/ambitiously without doing it for their own glory, to be seen by others, etc...? This book walks the line well, is very easy to read, and has some great application.
Matthew
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very thought-provoking book.
Jerrill Wyler
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Best part for me was when he applied this phrase to the church: "what you are a part of is more important than the part you play."
Joseph Schoolland
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid. People fail in two ways, they pursue too little and they pursue too little. You can pursue too little by being afraid to do anything with the gifts God gave you and you can pursue too little by using those gifts for the worldly glory. We should instead pursue great things and that can only be done by pursuing Jesus and His Kingdom.
Scott
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
What do we strive for; long for; and pant after in this life? Harvey begins his book by pointing out that mankind, even redeemed ones, have missed the point of living ambitiously for God and His glory. And I must confess that I too have fallen into the trap, no the lie, that ambition is an ungodly, self-centered emotion that drives too much that is wrong with the world.

Harvey shows through anecdote, example and biblical exegesis that our human condition is not one of having no ambition, even as
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David Rathel
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ambition is always a difficult concept for Christians to discuss. Certainly no one wants to willingly give into selfish pride or to promote themselves over Christ and His kingdom. On the other hand, no one wants to be a bum who has no desire to make a difference in this world either. How to balance the two?

Harvey gives a Gospel-centered look at ambition in this book: God created humanity with a desire to achieve great things for his glory. The fall has caused ambition to become selfish and self-
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Jeanie
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of the best Christian living books I have read this year. How to glorify God by your ambitions. We all have them however, they can be selfish ambition or God glorifying. There is a foundation and it is truth and the truth is who God is according to his word. We all have to face that and it is usually pretty painful. However, there is beauty in the pain and it is the holiness of God. I thought the book was very well written, laying out the ground work of what Glory to God is ...more
Brian Hawkins
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent, biblical examination of a topic that I have rarely encountered elsewhere. It is guaranteed to speak to everyone at some point, though not necessarily at all times. Good to read through, and I suspect I will want to reference certain chapters individually later. For me, the most influential section was "Ambitious Failure." Dealing with disappointments and God's changes to my plans has always been hard, and my natural, sinful response is to shrink into lethargic complacency. It's goo ...more
Raymond Christopher
Read this book if you think ambition is anti-Christian and is best to be avoided. Read this book if your DNA is filled with burning desires or if you're having less ambitions than an old man sitting in a rocking chair.

Dave Harvey presented solid theological advices on ambition (a rare topic it is, prolly because of the things in my first sentence) that will remind you of your current track in life and bring you a new perspective of ambition. I've always been ambitious for a lot of things, and I
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Philip Tadros
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is like an imaginary pastor-friend decided to talk to me about an important and neglected issue over a number of meetings: over coffee, in my living room and in my office. This book wreaks havoc on selfish ambition, even when garbed in religious pretend-clothes, exposing it. But it goes the crucial step further, rescuing it with gospel perspective. Suddenly, our gifts and abilities and passions, measured with sober judgment give us hope that we can use them to the glory of God (as they ...more
Tony
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read by Dave Harvey. The other being Am I Called?. I enjoy his writing style and the humor he brings to it with his life experiences. His personal stories tie directly. This was a good book for me now while I'm in the middle of an ambitious period in my life. Before I read this book, I would have hesitated to use the word ambition because in my own mind it conjured up a lot of selfish drives. Dave does a good job here of redeeming that word and bringing clarity to wh ...more
Claude Graves
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Church needs more people ambitious for God's glory, and this book was written to try and encourage that. The author distinguishes between sinful ambition for our own self, and one that seeks to serve and glorify God. Godly ambition is for the spread of the gospel and the sake of the Church; and following that we are called to lay low our own selfish pride, and are called to Christian service, living for the other, spending and to be spent, just as Christ did for us, and exactly because Chris ...more
Mike
It is one of those books that makes it sound like you are in trouble if you aren't a world leader, out trying to change the world. It is true that all Christians should be leaders in the sense that they live for God. But someone needs to say something for the faithful saint who is in the fifth row near the back, who is faithful in the battle, but not one of the up front leaders. The problem is that only one of them can write such a book and they aren't the kind of guys who write books. Hmmm.
Sandy Snavely
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aha, now I see! Ambition isn't a bad thing, but selfishness is! I absolutely loved this book. It's honesty, humility, and depth of insight into the heart of God is thirst quenching! Dave Harvey has done a perfect job of exposing the lies of the Enemy by setting the record straight - God is ambitious for His will to be done, for His Word to be heard, and for His love to abound in every heart created for His glory! This is a must read!
Jim
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! Dave Harvey writes wonderfully, and the message he is communicating resonated with both my wife and me. Great encouragements to connect with your local church, to open up yourself to others, and live for the next generation! Very gospel-centered, and practical. Highly recommended!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Dave Harvey is senior pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church (Glen Mills, PA), part of a family of churches called Sovereign Grace Ministries. He received his Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Care from Westminster Theological Seminary. Dave lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Kimm, and their four ch
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More about Dave Harvey...
“So we’re tempted to despair—the despair of the not-as-great-as-we-want-to-be. Charles Spurgeon’s epitaph on Alexander could easily describe one way we can go: See Alexander’s tears! He weeps! Yes, he weeps for another world to conquer! Ambition is insatiable! The gain of the whole world is not enough. Surely to become a universal monarch, is to make one’s self universally miserable.13” 1 likes
“What motivates Olympic athletes to train for years for one event—in some cases, for just seconds of actual competition? It’s the same thing that kept my friend Pete nosing around old bookstores for years. It’s the same thing that makes a person venture out of a comfortable job to start a new business. We see it in the artist who spends day after day in a studio chipping away at a block of stone. Look closely and you’ll find it in the shopper who passes up the good deal in search of the best deal. It’s one of the things that makes us most human. We consciously pursue what we value. It’s not simply a matter of being driven by biology or genetics or environmental conditioning to satisfy instinctive cravings. Rather, we perceive something, prize it at a certain value, then pursue it according to that assigned value because we were created that way. This ability to perceive, prize, and pursue is part of our essential humanness, and it’s the essence of ambition.” 1 likes
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