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The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,551 ratings  ·  194 reviews

The Call continues to stand as a classic, reflective work on life's purpose. Best-selling author Os Guinness goes beyond our surface understanding of God's call and addresses the fact that God has a specific calling for our individual lives.

Why am I here? What is God's call in my life? How do I fit God's call with my own individuality? How should God's calling affect my

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Paperback, 292 pages
Published 1998 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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Michael Brown
Apr 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading "The Call" by Os Guinness; a 26 day devotional has taken me from Saturday, August 19, 2006 to Tuesday, November 20, 2008 to finish. I know it should have never taken me so long to read and yet it is a very thought provoking and challenging book.
The main point and question of this book is this... "Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life." In which in a nut shell living for Christ and serving him in whichever way he has called you to do. There is no division of
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Jason
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is not uncommon to hear Christians refer to their vocational calling, or to hear of things like a Biblical work ethic, but surprisingly little has been written about what work individuals are called to in their lives. Os Guinness, an Irish social critic and Christian writer, who lives in northern Virginia, has written a wonderful book, more than accessible to general audiences, that explores meaning in life. In this case, meaning for Guinness is not something self-directed, but something one ...more
Tim Casteel
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You get more than you bargained for with this book. I picked up Guinness's book on a whim- to read more on decision making/career. And ended up getting a lesson on the fall of Western Civilization and how calling is the answer. Guinness is brimming with wisdom. Though written before Dreher's Benedict Option, I found it to be a helpful counterpoint. I agree w Dreher re prescription but Guinness is closer to the cure.

While ostensibly about Decision Making, The Call is actually about answering THE
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Bryon
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book title: The Call
Author: Os Guinness
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 1998
Number of pages: 255

Listening to the Caller

“There can be no calling without a Caller.” writes Os Guinness. Are you connected to the Caller? I’m not asking if you are a Christian or if you have a “personal relationship” with Jesus. Guinness believes check both of these boxes and not be fully engaged with the Caller.

Many make the mistake thinking that the only way to get God to really love us is to go into "ministry" (i.e.
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Nathan
If you're a fan of Os Guinness (or if you've never read him before), this is the one to read. Guinness himself says that over 25 years, "no book has burned within me longer or more fiercely than this one" (5).



What am I called to? This is one of the bigger questions of life. Guinness helps us digest this, dividing calling into two categories: Primary (the calling to Christ) and Secondary (that in which "everyone, everywhere, and in everything should think, speak, live, and act entirely for him").
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Adam Robinson
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Os is becoming a new favorite. I read this in conjunction with my quiet time over the past month and it might make the rotation from here on out. Guinness does a great job of honing in on what it means for all of us to follow the call of Jesus Christ in our daily lives. He outlines how to make our work meaningful without making work the meaning of our life. It's an important distinction and over the course of the book this mentality becomes very helpful. I recommend it highly!
Lisa
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As the title suggests, this book is about finding and following our calling in life. But it is just as much a book that scrutinizes the modern philosophies that surround us (both outside and inside the church). Do not read this book unless you are willing to be challenged in your thinking, and stretched to accept a higher standard.
This is not about finding some mysterious life-goal that makes it all worthwhile. It is about facing daily the need to seek God will all our heart, mind and strength.
Regina
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book of specifics that is going to tell you exactly what steps to take or how to find out what your calling in life is. Instead, it is a book about how to live your life with purpose - how to be "filled-up" on the inside rather than always going about with a huge, gnawing emptiness and a relentless searching for the next best thing that will never satisfy.
From What I’ve Read...
Just finished reading this book for the second time. It is amazing what we learn and the details we notice when reading a book for a second time. The Call talks about one of the things people question the most, “what is my calling”, “what is my purpose in life”. Each chapters makes you think about different aspects of “the call”, of who is calling you to become what, among other things. Everyone wonders what’s their purpose in life, what’s their vocation, and this book helps you understand a ...more
Mike E.
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think our church will give this book to graduating seniors in the future--a great book for anyone seeking to find his/her way, her calling, at any age or stage of life. I read some of it to prep for preaching Mark 1.16-20, the call of the first disciples.
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QUOTES:

Calling
is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with the special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons
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Kelly Mize
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Os Guiness attempts what so many others have in urging us to identify God's call on our lives. But he does so with a fresh, thoughtful perspective that goes beyond simple identification of specific talents or spiritual gifts.

Structurally, there are 26 topical chapters with alluringly cryptic titles--you can't just dive into a chapter knowing exactly what it's about. In each, we are first given a narrative with fascinating detail of well-known characters either in literature or history followed
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Jeff Shelnutt
This was my first Os Guinness book. An Evangelical apologist with an interesting background, Guinness was born in China to medical missionary parents. Having been witness to the 1949 Communist revolution, he was expelled with most other foreigners and was subsequently educated in England. Hence, his Christian faith, life experiences and Oxford education combine to give him a unique approach as an author and social critic.

The Call is laid out in such a way as to be read either as a series of
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Georgia Herod
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The dates read might suggest that this book was difficult to read--quite the contrary! Rather, it was challenging, thought provoking, and inspiring, which caused me to set it aside time and time again so that I might soak in the depth of Gunness' assessment and understanding of God's call to each of us: to Christ and then to God's purpose for living.

God calls us to a personal relationship with Christ; then He issues a calling: "Calling is the truth that God calls us to Himself so decisively
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Ivan
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen this book pop up here and there for the last 10+ years and have largely ignored it. But since I've been thinking a lot about vocation and calling recently, I decided to pick it up. I wish I had read this sooner. Here are some helpful quotes:

"calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and service."

"Our primary
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Joel
Dec 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joel by: Matthew Elliott
A most thorough examination of everything to do with calling. Guinness is a disciplined writer, which would be a distraction if he didn't write so well, choose his illustrations and examples flawlessly, research so fully. And he doesn't shy a bit away from intertwining a biblical worldview into the subject; without Christ there would be no book on calling, He would argue. An important book for anyone thinking through what to do with their life. Might not give you the answer, but will give you ...more
Robin
May 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: devotional
Guiness is one of the most literate writers I've read. His erudition in philosophy, literature, history and contemporary socio-cultural issues are used with great insight into what it is to be called by the Lord God and within that call to be who we are uniquely called to be corporately and individually. Vocation is only one aspect of that. His clarity of thought and prose style reveal all the subtle assumptions we live with that are faulty and disconnect us from God, ourselves, and each other. ...more
Mark Peskett
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
If I wasn't committed to the Sufficiency of Scripture I would say this book is required reading for all Christians. An utterly profound and enormously enlightening read, Os Guinness masterfully and poetically unpacks the notion of calling into 26 succinct chapters, beginning with a particular maxim that he then proceeds to explain.

I can't recommend this book enough, both to Christians and non-Christians alike. It will surely stir every reader in some way to pursue that One who has called all. It
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Sean Tompkins
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't a guidebook with a checklist on "how to find your purpose". Instead it's a very thoughtful book that walks through what a calling ISN'T, what a calling IS, and how to begin to think about what yours is.
Jerry Fultz
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book with great interest. I completed all the Q&A at the end of the book and came away with a satisfying, but VERY challenging understanding of my vocational role. This book stirred me to think deeply about how all areas of my life are integrated - or should be - and how my vocation carries out the continually creative nature of God.
Rach
Jan 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this without realizing until the end that I was supposed to read it as a daily devotional rather than a cohesive book. This might have accounted for some of my frustration in the rather "haphazard" way it was written. If taken as an inspirational, it accomplishes its task.
Tim Woody
A little too broad and wordy, I think this book would have been better if it were 100 pages shorter. There were some really good chapters that left me reflecting, but over all very general. Maybe the intended audience was broader.
Janet
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good story, in spite of the overuse of italics to tell what a character is thinking, but not saying.
Stephanie Hall
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book about listening and following Gods call in your life. Very compelling, made me want to strive for Gods best in my life.
G Vivek
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“There can be no calling without a Caller.” writes Os Guinness.
Many folks think that if they simply live a moral life, they’ll walk in the call God has for their lives. Living a moral life is not where one finds purpose.
As the title suggests, this book is about finding and following our calling in life. But it is just as much a book that scrutinises the modern philosophies that surround us (both outside and inside the church). Do not read this book unless you are willing to be challenged in
...more
Julius
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Os Guinness' The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God's Purpose in Your Life, 20th anniversary edition, is one of those books filled with spiritual wisdom. I first read it as a graduate student in seminary, and have found its wisdom refreshing time and again throughout my ministry.


Guinness is right to point out that calling -- one's vocation -- is the best antidote to the spiritual sin of sloth. And that those who follow Jesus lead lives, like John the Baptist, that constantly point to the glory of
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Noel Burke
While I'm very skeptical of the authors thoughts on special calling and general calling - I don't think God directly calls people to do something like an audible voice or sign in the sky. Otherwise, it was a decent read. I read through most of this in college many years ago and this is a conference recording of the book content. Our calling in life is to glorify God. We can do that by doing well what we are already doing. By being intentional in what we do. I definitely don't think, as the ...more
Markevans
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book with some really escellent points on what it means to live all of life under God's calling and Jesus' lordship. I would say, start by reading the poem at the end to get a sense of where Os is going with everything - it's a little hard to pin down the book but really the idea is that Jesus provides us with all the purpose and joy and direction for life. It is full of amazing stories and much illustrative material which will resonate with people - I found them a little overwhelming at ...more
J. Alfred
A lot of good if overlapping advice on what 'calling' means, broken up into a month's worth of facets for individual reflection. Written charmingly, and with a historical hodgepodge of biographical snippets for illustration. It may even be a useful book, if you're one of the great majority who live lives of quiet desperation.

Here's a good quote, on remembering that calling includes, for the Christian, at least, an element of holy foolishness: "Have these Christian leaders no shame? Let them
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Kurtis
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
The deepness of this book is astounding. This 26 day devotional took me 40-50 days of reading to complete and I still have the feeling I didn't devote the time I need to. It seems every few pages there needs to be a stop and reflect time. I'm planning on going through this again and devoting 3 days to each day in the book.

We've all been created with a purpose and called to something greater. The normal separation of our lives is flipped on it's head by the author and truly conveys the deepness
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Clara Roberts
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book over a period of three months taking it chapter by chapter. Comment include, "Followers of Christ...identity comes only from the One whose call reveals our names and natures." "..calling is an essential part of the sense of timing that characterizes a successful life." "Grace that constitutes the cross constitutes calling.""...calling is a reminder for followers of Christ that nothing in life should be taken for granted; everything in life must be taken with ...more
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Os Guinness (D.Phil., Oxford) is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including The American Hour, Time for Truth and The Case for Civility. A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, he was the founder of the Trinity Forum and has been a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies. He lives near ...more
“We are not wise enough, pure enough, or strong enough to aim and sustain such a single motive over a lifetime. That way lies fanaticism or failure. But if the single motive is the master motivation of God's calling, the answer is yes. In any and all situations, both today and tomorrow's tomorrow, God's call to us is the unchanging and ultimate whence, what, why, and whither of our lives. Calling is a 'yes' to God that carries a 'no' to the chaos of modern demands. Calling is the key to tracing the story line of our lives and unriddling the meaning of our existence in a chaotic world.” 13 likes
“We cannot find God without God. We cannot reach God without God. We cannot satisfy God without God—which is another way of saying that our seeking will always fall short unless God’s grace initiates the search and unless God’s call draws us to him and completes the search.” 13 likes
More quotes…