BOOK REVIEWS

The Pursuit of Excellence – George Sweeting

exGeorge Sweeting, The Pursuit of Excellence (Chicago: Moody Press, 2019), 196 pp.

Our days are characterized by a general lack of discipline and lethargy. Even many Christians have afflicted by mediocrity and aimlessness. Dr. George Sweeting’s recent book, The Pursuit of Excellence is a help aide for anyone weary of these troubling trends.

Sweeting is the former president of Moody Bible Institute, a true veteran of the Christian faith. I had the honor of sitting under his teaching in my doctoral program in the late ’90s  in Seattle. His commitment to the faithfulness to Scripture and allegiance to the lordship of Christ has never wavered. The Pursuit of Excellence is yet an another example of Dr. Sweeting’s influence in the evangelical world.

His recent work begins with a bold challenge that calls Christians to a life of excellence. Such a challenge is grounded in the very character of God who is the source of all excellence: “O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1). Sweeting adds, “Excellence is never cheap. It’s costly … Excellence requires desire plus discipline plus determination.” The remainder of the book is a powerful minder of this fundamental reality.

The author unpacks nine qualities that help define a life of excellence. The qualities include faith, character, action, single-mindedness, love, suffering, prayer, wisdom, and staying power. These combined qualities are the building blocks that followers of Christ must pursue to lead a life of excellence. All the aforementioned qualities, of course, are grounded in the grace of God and his sovereign purposes for his people.

The book concludes with an examination of Christians who emulate the qualities outlined in the book. Leaders like William Carey, C.H. Spurgeon, and Joni Eareckson Tada are presented as exemplars of excellence.

Dr. Sweeting has been writing since the early ’70s and continues to encourage and bless the church with his gifts. This book is no exception. It is sure to encourage and equip many followers of Christ and help them pursue a life of excellence!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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