Right before Christmas I received a thick envelope in the mail from a university. I could only assume it was a very long donation-plea. Instead, to my delight, I unwrapped a Christmas card and the book, The Call to Holiness: Pursuing the Heart of God For the Love of the World, by Dr. Tim Tennent.
Dr. Tennent, the president of Asbury Seminary, has written a readable, almost pocket-sized book on what sets us apart as Christ-followers. We are more than good people; we are called to more than simply being nice. In short chapters, written in everyday English (as opposed to academic-speak) Dr. Tennent guides the reader through the doctrine of holiness: what is it, why does it matter, what does holiness have to do with God, what does holiness have to do with us, what does holiness have to do with our world?
In reading this book I thought back to a question I posed to a group of high school seniors at the beginning of the school year. The question was, “As seniors looking forward to college but not quite there, what do you need from the church before you graduate? In other words, how can we help you right now?”
The answer was simple and indicative of where we are as a culture. These students, many of whom are the quintessential “good church kids” and have been faithful attendees for a decade or more answered, “We want to know why we believe what we believe. We know all the ‘right’ answers, but we don’t know why they are supposedly ‘right’.”
This book helps address that very thing. In fact, I am using it to inform our mission trip preparation for a group of college students this year. I also ordered 100 copies to give to our volunteers, thinking they might have the very same questions.
Is this book a cure-all? Should you hand it out to your volunteers, students and parents and then walk away, saying, “My job here is done”? Does this book replace the Bible? No.
This book is simply a readable, affordable tool to help answer tough questions that our students and volunteers are asking. It is worth the read!