Monday, September 27, 2010

Rescuing Ambition

Having recenlty finished Rescuing Ambition (Harvey, David T. Rescuing Ambition. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010. Print.), I would like to share an excerpt from that book. Here is a fairly long, but worthwhile, explanation by the author, Dave Harvey, on the purpose behind the book:
Rescue Operation
The ambition dreams I’m talking about can’t be unlocked with a surgical procedure. They need to be rescued. To rescue means to save something, to prevent it from being discarded or harmed ...

You see, I believe that ambition-godly ambiti0n, that is-is noble force for the glory of God. But let’s face it: ambition has mostly hovered outside respectability. For church leaders from Augustine to Jonathan Edwards, ambition was synonymous with the love of earthly honor, vainglory, fame-hunting-pretty slimy stuff ...

Ambition must also be rescued from a wrong understanding of humility. That may sound crazy, but I’m serious. I think this issue quenches a lot of evangelical fire. Humility, rightly understood,
shouldn’t be a fabric softener on our aspirations. When we become too humble to act, we've ceased to be biblically humble. True humility doesn’t kill our dreams; it provides a guardrail for them, ensuring that they remain on God’s road and move in the direction of his glory ...

So this book is my own little attempt at a rescue operation. The idea is to save ambition-specifically, godly ambition-and return it to where it belongs. To do this, we must snatch ambition from the dust heap of failed motivations and put it to work for the glory of God ...

I’m not rooting this perspective in common sense or well-researched psychological studies. Nope, ambition is inherent in who We are before the God who created us. The Bible teaches that people are created by God to desire-and to go after those desires with single-minded determination. It’s this capacity to desire and strive that can generate remarkable good or stupefying evil. Whether it’s to conquer nations or control the remote, we’re hardwired to be ambitious for what we want.

Why read this book? Read it to make connections between what you want and what you do . . . between your present opportunities and your future hopes . . . between your life and God’s glory. These connections rescue us from fruitlessness, pointlessness, purposelessness, and the haunting gray twilight of wasted time and lost opportunity. (14-15)
This was an excellent book that dealt with a topic that seems to be under-represented. I found it very helpful in terms of both my understanding of the topic and issues as well as my motivation to strive for things that bring God glory. I strongly recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I've been wondering if it was really good or not; now I know. I'll put it on my "to read" list.