Hannah Anderson has written another good book, though this new book is my favorite of hers, as it relates to discernment, a topic that we should all be concerned about, especially us Christians. This has become important to me the past couple years, as I see so much false information out there, bad theology being shared and taught by people whom some of us look to for wisdom. We must become like the Bereans and use Scripture to teach and guide us. Hannah uses Philippians 4:8 (Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.) as her main focus in writing this book, All That's Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment. Hannah asks some great questions in the introduction of her book: What if we could see the world as God sees it- in all its brokenness and beauty- and in seeing, be able to do more than endure this life? How can we, imperfect as we are, develop an instinct for recognizing and embracing the good? She tackles these questions and so much more in her book. She helps us to see the importance of being discerning, how to be discerning, what to taste and see. She shows us through her experiences and through Scripture of how to focus on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable, where and what are good gifts, and what we should do for the common good.I have lots of notes and highlights throughout the book, so I will share a few:
Discernment does not change the challenges we face; it changes our ability to face them.
The difficult truth; there are no shortcuts to skill and expertise...there are no hacks to discernment.
Manhandled. What a perfect word to describe what has happened to God's good world.
If goodness didn't exist, there would be no struggle...Discernment helps us see the world for what it was made to be and believe that God is powerful enough to restore it.
In order to find lasting happiness, we must invest in things that last, we must store up "treasures in heaven." Because what ultimately makes something good is not whether it brings us momentary pleasure but whether it brings us eternal pleasure, whether it satisfies both our bodies and our souls.
You develop discernment by becoming a person who knows how, not simply what, to think.
If we don't have a strong commitment to reality outside our own feelings and opinions, we can end up living in a false reality. In this reality, whatever we feel or believe to be true becomes truth for us.
Simply carrying the title of "Christian" is not enough to ensure that we are truthful people. Because finding truth depends on both fact and virtue.
Every human being deserves honor simply because they are made in God's image.
In order for "things to be the way they are supposed to be" we must conduct ourselves in a way that is consistent with His nature- we must act like He acts and do what He does.
As much as beauty draws us to things beyond ourselves and teaches us that good things are worth sacrificing for, it also turns our understanding of sacrifice on its head by teaching us that what the world considers "sensible" isn't necessarily wise.
If, however, we spend our days talking about good, worthy, glorious things, there is a strong likelihood that our lives will be filled with good, worthy, glorious things.
In a world that begs for us to be constantly posting, constantly tweeting, and constantly adding information to our communal knowledge base... we must develop the discernment that recognizes that not every shared idea is a good idea, nor is every idea that we have worth sharing.
False news travels six times faster than true news and that human beings are mostly to blame for this.
Remember that discernment is not concerned primarily with our social comfort. It is concerned with goodness. And sometimes pursuing goodness will lead us outside the boundaries of polite conversation.
What we choose to speak about and how we speak about it are part of the message we send to each other and the larger culture we create.
To embrace "whatever" and "if...anything", we must learn how to make choices in a broken context. We must learn the difference between unprincipled pragmatism and principled pragmatism.
So who is this book for, I recommend it to everyone!! How should you read it, individually and/or in a group. Good news, there is a good study guide and review at the end of the book for each chapter, that includes: review points, reflection questions, Scripture reading, and focus to remember.
If you don't know who Hannah Anderson is go check out her blog and podcast, she is worth the time to learn about