Detecting Counterfeit Answers In Our Search for Happiness
"In our fallen state we think we know best, that we can do better. And so we continuously set out to make our best lives happen right now."
This is the situation we often find ourselves in, the pursuit of happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment during our time here on earth. We look around at the variety of ways this seems to be achieved. In Cultural Counterfeits: Confronting 5 Empty Promises of Our Age and How We Were Made For So Much More by Jen Oshman, she helps us discover the ways culture seeks to provide this for us, and how Christ offers so much more.
In the first three chapters of Part 1 she reminds us of two stories we hear. The first-and loudest shared with us from culture and society - is that the world offers you and me an amazing life; we just have to go out and make it happen. The second is a quieter story, a whisper from our heart, speaking a longing and deep desire within us, that we were made for more.
How we interact with and the extent to which we believe each of them, determines our actions and exhaustion as we seek to fulfill them both from ingredients the world provides - "if only I have that, then I'll feel significant, valued, and have purpose."
Maybe we don't speak it out as brazenly...but it's there; expecting satisfaction and fulfillment from created things rather than the Creator - these are our idols.
Jen takes us through some history of the feminist movement to help us understand the biblical principles where it began and the tragic shift of the second wave where equality became defined as sameness, resulting in idolatry of our bodies and it's expression in our sexuality.
Part 2 she confronts the cultural expressions of freedom as defined by these movements for women and how tragically they differ from God's design, in our perception of beauty, hook-up culture, abortion and gender dysphoria. She also includes the idol of marriage and motherhood, as expressed when you hear people say things like, "motherhood is a woman's highest calling," when our highest calling in the Christian life isn't limited to a temporary role here on earth.
In Part 3, she moves from how the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, to how Christ came to give us abundant life. With love and passion, Jen shares the reasons why it's good to be a girl and how we can embrace the God who satisfies our longing souls and fills us with good things and who invites us to make our home in him.
The impact of culture through social media and governing policies on our worldview is similar to putting a frog in lukewarm water and then boiling it, the idea is the poor frog won't notice the temperature going up. We become used to the shifts in culture around us, and can easily find ourselves caught up in it without searching for biblical truth first.
I think this was most evident to me after Canada legalized marijuana. We had so many people present to the ER with adverse symptoms related to marijuana use, because they held the idea that since it was legal now, it must be okay and there wouldn't be any side effects.
Jen's book is a call for us to think critically and biblically about rising culture issues to provide us with a biblical worldview in how we perceive our womanhood and God's good design for us.
I hope you'll enjoy this one as well!
# of pages: 200
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 5 stars
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced reader copy, and for the opportunity to post an honest review.