I have a tendency to speak in hyperbole, especially when I get inspired by something. I just finished a book that really inspired me, so as I organize my thoughts for this brief review I will work hard not to exaggerate.
With that being said, Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian was the best book that I’ve read in the last year. It was the 40th book I finished since January 1, 2011, and I have no doubt it ranks #1. Now, you may read that same list and rank it much lower, but this book was huge for me. I had started it a few times before and it’s been on my “to read” list for about two years. As is so often the case with books like this, when I eventually do get to them they break into my life at the perfect time.
The call Tchividjian makes in the book is for Christians to “transform this world by being distinct from it, living against the world for the world.” In the long line of books that address the issues of Christianity and culture (engagement in the world while not being of the world) this book stands out as the clearest and most applicable presentation I’ve ever read on the subject. I went through a couple highlighters with this one.
The book is organized in four parts: The Call, The Commission, The Community, and The Charge. After laying the groundwork for the discussion in The Call, he unfolds the theological framework and goal in The Commission. My favorite section was probably The Community, as he dissects six imperatives from Ephesians on how the church (people) is called to live unfashionably. The final section is a single chapter that packs a powerful punch, a final manifesto challenging Christians to live as disciples in the world God is seeking to redeem through our witness.
This is a great book that I recommend for any Christian looking for a practical, theologically sound guide to living on mission for God in the world.