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Friday, September 18, 2015

"40/40 Vision" by Peter Greer and Greg Lafferty. A Review


40/40 Vision: Clarifying Your Mission in Midlife
Peter Greer and Greg Lafferty
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400
Downers Grove, IL 60515
ivpress.com
978-0-8308-4434-0; November 2015; $16.00
(Order here)

Faced squarely by the hard truth that one has landed in the middle of a short life that is rapidly getting shorter provides a person an opportunity to go one of two directions: do nothing different and continue as before, or re-evaluate and re-direct. In this regard the biblical material known as Ecclesiastes is a great place to go to get a dose of reality before things get too far out of hand and too far down the road. And one way to steer through Ecclesiastes is with the help of a new 208 page hardback, “40/40 Vision: Clarifying Your Mission in Midlife.” This fine, reader-friendly book is penned by Peter Greer, president and CEO of HOPE International, and Greg Lafferty, senior pastor of Willowdale Chapel in Kennett Square and Jennersville, Pennsylvania.  Greer and Lafferty write in a clear, captivating, and challenging style that keeps the reader turning pages, thinking, and engaging with the material.

“40/40 Vision” takes up themes from Ecclesiastes and walks through them in twelve chapters with good descriptions, illustrative stories, and serious encounters.  The authors tackle a host of issues that someone coming to the middle years of their life will likely be facing. For example when mortality cold-slaps you in the face; what purpose is there in this hack-and-grind called work; the reasons for that gut-deep disappointment; recognizing the growing urge of selfishness; meeting the dawning realization of pointlessness. There’s no sugar-coating by Greer and Lafferty, but an honest-face-the-music approach that gently draws the reader to see the situation in all of its starkness. But instead of leaving the middle-lifer in a crisis, the authors offer sage, biblical counsel on how to turn all of this into a mid-life opportunity.

“40/40 Vision” is skillfully crafted, standing as it does on the foundation of Ecclesiastes. It’s a work that is meant to be read, discussed, dog-eared, marked-up, and returned to for years to come. It is well suited for study groups, Adult Christian Education classes, mentors and mentees, spiritual directors, counselors and individuals. I urge you to go straight away and purchase a copy soon. Your time spent reading it will be worth every minute, and the money you put down on it will be worth every dime.


My sincere gratitude goes to InterVarsity Press for the free copy of the book used for this review.

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