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The Good and Beautiful Life
James Bryan Smith
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Length: 264 pp.

The second in a series of book, James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful Life picks up where The Good and Beautiful God left off. Smith concerns himself with having his readers discard false narratives about themselves and about their pictures of Christ.  He also poses a series of questions that will challenge the reader to engage in spiritual disciplines that will transform the way in which they deal with others, and will allow them to grow closer to God as the accuracy of their image of God draws nearer to the truth.

Having presented a different picture of God to readers, Smith then addresses our character flaws, and how to replace them with something better.  Centered around the Beatitudes, Smith challenges traditional interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, and offers new insights into the meaning of the words of Jesus.  He also then suggests way to conquer the anger, lust, lying, worry, and judgmental attitudes toward others that interfere with our spiritual growth and hinder our relationship to Jesus.

Smith contends that the Kingdom of God is to take place while we live here on Earth, and the only way in which this is attained is by following the commands of Christ.  He takes on the passages we try to ignore ­ and deals with ideas such as loving your enemies, giving up pride, and doing the very things that go against our nature.

The third book in the series is due in September, and is called The Good and Beautiful Church.  After I finish the lessons at the end of each chapter of this book, I hope to be ready for it.

Brian A. Smith



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