The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction

Justin Whitmel Earley. InterVarsity, $18 (250p) ISBN 978-0-8308-4560-6
Earley, founder of the Common Rule, a Christian fellowship organization, gives readers a structure for living more intimately with God and with others in his useful debut. Defining a rule as “a set of habits you commit to in order to grow in your love of God and neighbor,” Earley outlines eight rules divided into daily and weekly tasks: each day one should strive to pray three times, eat one meal with others, read scripture before turning on a phone, and spend one hour away from smartphones and other devices. Over the course of each week one should engage in an hour of “vulnerable” conversation, spend less than four hours on “screen stories” (movies, video games, or internet/social media videos), fast from something for a full day, and set aside a day for Sabbath. If followed, he promises, these rules will deepen the seeker’s attunement to the spiritual and help them “grow into the lovers of God and neighbor we were created to be.” While Earley is stringent with his planning, he also acknowledges that the path is filled with obstacles and that lapses are to be expected. In a moving epilogue, “On Failure and Beauty,” Earley includes a poetic meditation on the inevitable downfalls of life: “Failure is the path; beauty is the destination.” With his precise plan, Earley instructs Christians on how to create an environment for a healthy spiritual life. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 02/05/2019
Release date: 02/19/2019
Genre: Religion
Ebook - 978-0-8308-7338-8
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