In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity In A Fractured World by Jake Meador–Book Review

GREAT BOOK!  I would categorize it as a must-read.  It’s not difficult, but it’s also a book to read carefully and slowly.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll develop a better understanding of why things are the way they are and what Christians can do to make life better.

These days we’re all bemoaning the state of our country, and indeed, the entire world.  There is much hatred and polarization between political parties and ethnic and religious groups.  Technology, which on one hand makes life easier, also tears down our social relationships.  What’s a Christian to do?

Jake Meador takes us through the causes of some of the problems we’re facing.  Many can be traced to what he calls, “the unwinding of common life.”  It starts with the dominant narrative of our age, which is very individualistic:

“… an aimless and meaningless search after wealth and power for no reason save one’s own personal peace and affluence.”

Even in the church we are all too willing to measure ourselves by worldly standards of success and therefore have forgotten that as God’s people we are called to a certain kind of life in His world.  We are called to live in community, and to work for the good of the community.  We are stewards, not owners of wealth.

Meador shows how politics of both the right and left are wrong in their focus on policy instead of doctrine.  It is possible for two sides to agree on doctrine and disagree on policy.  For example, valuing life is doctrine — a nationwide ban on abortion is policy;  protecting and caring for the poor is doctrine — government financed health care for all is policy.  Meador maintains that we should begin with doctrine, as that defines what a good life is as it relates to political systems and society.  We should then turn to the formation of citizens, asking what virtues are necessary in order to live well with one another in community and how to cultivate those virtues.  Policies are simple.  We vote for or against a policy.  We vote for politicians who support the policies we like.  Doctrine and formation are harder, and require more of us, but are necessary to change.

He touches on many relevant issues such as technology, world view, modernist philosophies, Darwinism, vocation and more.  It will fascinate, challenge and expand your understanding of what it should mean to be a Christian in modern society.

Meador is Vice-President of the Davenant Institute.  You might like to learn more about these ideas by going to this website:

VERDICT:  Definitely 5 stars!