Our culture screams for us to listen to its version of the Good Life. Get on Instagram, and you’ll find that the good life is travel, keeping fit, finding the best food, taking the best photos, or owning the coolest gear.
Living the good life as God intended it is hard. It’s complex. And it doesn’t come with a user manual. A User manual outlines every step of the way, the potential problems and troubleshooting advice, so we can use an item well.
Unfortunately, the Bible, is not a user-manual for life. It contains “wisdom” for life. Wisdom assumes that we’re using all our faculties to reason, feel, touch, taste, and determine what is the “good life” in light of the gospel.
Sure, the Bible contains a generalised user-guide, called wisdom, which cover the topics of life. But it doesn’t answer the directly the day-to-day questions of life. We can’t just turn to a page and get an answer. The Christian life is complex, and the Bible doesn’t address it in one place directly.
And that is why a book like “The Good Life in the Last Days” by Mike Lynch is a great book to read.
It synthesises a vast swathe of the Bible, and outlines from the Bible what God intends as the “good life” for us while we await Jesus’ return.
The hook for the whole book is to show how our culture’s call to “expect happiness and fulfilment” and to “shy away from sacrifice” is wrong. Mikey’s goal is to
“… take us beyond commonsense slogans and rules of thumb about ‘balance’ and ‘wisdom’ and ‘feeling it’ to a whole vision for living well as Christians in God’s good-but-fallen-creation in these last days.”
And it does this by helpfully critiquing Christian and secular culture, outlining God’s view on the Good Life, and helping us to apply the Bible’s view of sacrifice to our complex lives. And Mikey addresses this by suggesting that diversity of body of Christ means that the “good life” is going to look diverse. There is no “one size fits all” life because of our freedom in Christ.
So what impact did it have on me? I think that reading this book gave me a greater awareness of my own shortcomings, especially by failing to sacrifice to live God’s life better. But also, it made me aware of my shortcomings in terms of judging other Christians and their capacities before understanding what they’re sacrificing to serve.
So why would a uni student read this book?
Uni students have immense freedom to use our time as we see fit. But have we really thought about our priorities when making our decisions? This book gives a Biblical foundation about how to make these decisions to honour God while pursuing the Good life he desires for us.
Mikey is the AFES campus director at UTAS – see what they’re up to here https://ufcutas.org/