Book Review: The World Is Not Ours to Save
There's something beautiful about this generation's passion to make a difference in the world. But students often struggle to connect passion for activism with belief about God.
I deeply appreciated the thought behind Tyler Wigg-Stevenson's new book, The World Is Not Ours to Save. He pushes us to consider our limits and our place in the world that belongs to God. This right view of our place shapes how we engage in activism and work to make the world a better place.
Much of the conversation about Christianity and social activism trends toward two poles: forget the world and focus on God OR take over the world and run it for God. Wigg-Stevenson creates a new pole. How can we either forget or control the world if it ultimately belongs to God?
The books has two flaws. The author tends to get stuck in his stories, forcing them to apply and stretching them to cover all of his ideas. Wigg-Stevenson also tends to lean a little more heavily toward the theoretical, at the expense of the practical. The ideas are wonderful and clearly presented, but it will take some work to translate them into action.
Wigg-Stevenson builds a his big framework for God's kingdom on Micah 4:1-5. He has excellent insights into the passage. At times, I felt like I was reading one of those old British evangelicals, with their precise exegetical outlines. His close attention to the biblical text forces us to consider facets of God's kingdom that often get ignored. I found myself particularly challenged by Wigg-Stevenson's examination of prosperity. Reflecting on Micah's teaching, Wigg-Stevenson notes "Sitting under one's own vine does not imply the pleasures of vacation, but rather the satisfaction at the end of a day's work" (p. 171).
I would definitely recommend this book for group discussion or for one-to-one discipleship.