Book Review: Worldliness

Book by C.J. Mahaney

Review by Patrick Cho

I honestly didn’t think I had a problem with worldliness. And then I read this book. Worldliness, edited by C.J. Mahaney, presents a deeply challenging call to the church to repent of worldliness and walk in holiness. The book tackles issues such as how we prove our worldliness in our entertainment, possessions, and attire. Covering just about every facet of life, this book causes the reader to conduct a thorough self-examination. I have cautioned several people about this book, “Don’t read it if you don’t want your life to change.”

Take a minute to consider your own life. What shows have you watched on TV this week? What movies have you recently enjoyed? How do you determine what clothes you will buy? Do you ever consider what clothes you should not buy? These questions and more reflect the way we view the world. God calls each believer to holiness. This holiness is not compartmentalized or reserved for certain areas of life. It is absolutely comprehensive. The authors of this book do an excellent job of walking through Scripture to prove that all of life matters. God wants it all.

What I appreciated most about Worldliness is that it was not chock full of dos and don’ts. It didn’t contain a list of movies that were approved for believers. It didn’t direct believers to clothing stores that are safe. As it should have, the book addressed the heart. If a believer struggles to put away the things of the world and not love the world, the issue begins in the heart. No one forces you to dress in a particular way. No one chooses television programs for you to watch. These are choices that reflect what is going on inside. The battle really is one for the heart. Getting rid of your TV or not going to movies will not solve the problem if the problem is within. Legalistic rules will not save a person.
One must turn to Christ and depend on His work on the cross to have any chance in battling worldliness. This is why this book is so helpful. It provides answers that work and can change lives.

The book also provides a particular challenge to women in the way they dress. This is evident from the appendices that are included. One appendix is a modesty check, which was written by Carolyn Mahaney, et al. The other is an appeal to women to consider the glory of God when shopping for wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ dresses. This is one particular area that I personally never considered before. You can actually glorify God in the wedding dress you select!

I would particularly recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t think they have a problem with worldliness. I would challenge them to read this book and see if they could come to the same conclusion afterward.All of us struggle with worldliness. This is why a book like this is so helpful and necessary for today’s church.



The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.



%d bloggers like this: