I highly recommend The Good and Beautiful Life to anyone interested in living a good life.
This book is the second of three in an Apprentice Series by Jim Smith (the first about God; the last about community). Smith is the protege of Richard Foster, author of the widely-read Celebration of Discipline.
Smith approaches character formation and the pursuit of happiness by examining the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). He compares the (true) narratives there about the good and beautiful life with false cultural narratives many of us believe and act upon.
For instance, one false narrative associated with the pursuit of the good and beautiful life says, “When someone hits us, we hit them back harder.” The narrative of Jesus, however, is “kingdom jujitsu”: subversively serving those who would intend to harm us, loving our enemies, and, in many cases, taking the course of non-violent resistance.
Smith submits that when we examine our personal narratives in light of Jesus’ narratives and engage in spiritual practices in the context of community, we make ourselves available to the power of the Holy Spirit to change us.
I think he’s on to something. I’m looking forward to journeying with my friends in the Storyline Community this fall to experience more of the good and beautiful life.
Click on the picture of the cover if you’re interested to purchase it.