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A Journey Worth Taking – Charles D. Drew

July 14, 2007

When you look on the back of A Journey Worth Taking: Finding Your Purpose in This World, where all the positive reviews are of the book, you will see Timothy Keller’s remark, “Charles Drew has given us a great book to give away.”  I thought to myself, ‘What an awful thing say.’  I hope if Timothy Keller ever reviews anything that I do, that he would not write “John has give us something to give away.”  Oh, that would pain me.  I can just imagine one person buying the book and then telling his friend about it.  Then his friend mentions that he would like to buy this book.  But this person stops his friend, saying, No, no, my friend, have mine – I have no need of it.  And so it goes – no one ever buys the book, just passing around the one bought copy.  Next thing you know the publishing company says, Well, we thought it was a great book, but we only sold one copy.

But as I began reading through the book I stopped marking in the margins and underlining at about the 6th chapter because I started to think, Man, this would be a great book to give away!  I have to admit, this is a book you must give away at first chance.  Read it, then find someone who desperately needs it.  This is a sensible book that forces you, believer or unbeliever, to look at life and its purposes (yours and all of creation’s) in light of sin and redemption.  David Powlison rightly says in the introduction to this book, “You find your true self… as you stop thinking so much about yourself.  You live a wonderful life… as you learn to do mundane things well.  You discover yourself…as you discover someone who is far more fascinating than you.”  This is a great summary statement of the entire book.  You can read David Powlison’s entire introduction at WTS bookstore.

The purpose in which Drew introduces us to is not one of self-determination and self-satisfaction.  In fact, there is not much “self” in it at all – other than finding your “self” in the design of God, giving you a glorious and wonderful purpose in work, play, and community.  The wonderful thing about this book is that it is an education for the unbeliever, the new believer, and the seasoned disciple.  To the unbeliever, it gives them categories of purpose they have never been introduced to.  It gives them a larger vision of life and of God.  To the new believer, it shows the wonderful purpose of engaging in every activity with faith, sanctifying everything we do – secular or sacred.  And to the seasoned disciple, it gives a whole “new language to think about your life and identity”, as Powlison says in his introduction, and a whole new language to use with unbelievers.  Drew helps us with words to use for an unbelieving world that does not sacrifice the seriousness of sin and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This doesn’t present purpose by boosting the ego, but by glorifying the work of Christ in his gospel.  As Keller says, with maybe some ‘tongue-in-cheek’, “He takes us a step beyond the literature that is presently available on the subject.”

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