Exercising Your Core
It’s a well-established fitness fact, that a healthy core is important to a healthy body. The core muscles support your entire frame and while photos abound in relationship to six packs and waist lines, health is the important point.
Likewise, it’s important to note that movements (leadership or otherwise) fail when there’s no core at the center holding up the rest of the energy or ideas. If there’s solid center to your family values, something will give as change always comes. If there’s nothing solid at the core of your own ethics (and college grads this is for you too), then the temptation to cut corners may grow on you.
In my own professional life, I have traveled enough to know that making sure some core elements are in place are a necessity before hitting the road. Here are four reminders:
- Community—we either build up or tear down and part of what’s at the center of all of us are healthy relationships.
- Ordinary—our center is built up and healthy so that it supports everyday life. We’re not talking about one mountaintop experience after another, rather a healthy core supports day to day life.
- Redemptive—at our healthiest, we are making the world a better place.
- Extra—a healthy core allows you to go farther than you thought possible. And science tells us that our core is one of the few places that can take exercise daily.
Some of you travel for work and others of you are away from home for long periods every day trying to navigate a busy life. Whatever the case, building up your community, for an ordinary everyday life, so that you are redemptive and even willing to go the extra mile is something worth exercising—consider it fitness for your traveling soul.
Core Christianity: A Review
Concise summaries of Christian doctrine or the Christian faith are something I am drawn to and I have thoroughly enjoyed Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and Concise Theology by JI Packer for many years. Both are excellent writers and both can construct an argument that is compelling and in the case of Lewis, imaginative.
Michael Horton’s book Core Christianity is a great summary of historical theology from a Reformed perspective and a good reference in many respects, but I am not sure the book truly stands with either of the aforementioned texts mainly because it still reads like a brief version of his Systematic Theology or his shorter, but lengthy Pilgrim Theology. I find the sidebars, charts, and definitions compelling, but I doubt that I hand this book to people outside the church without qualifications.
First, Horton still assumes an interest in doctrine and a complex vocabulary at times. For new elders or deacons in a culture that doesn’t read the Bible much, I see this as a good volume, but I am unconvinced that this can be handed to friends or relatives who have yet to darken a church door.
At less than 200 pages, it’s certainly readable and while some chapters are over 20 pages, earlier ones are rather brief, and the introductory reader will find this helpful. I am recommending it as a reference tool and as a guide and for that purpose it does the job.
(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255)