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About the book:

Aimed at people "starting the Christian life and beginning to read the Bible", A Life Worth Living is based on St Paul's letter to the Philippians and is intended to be read in conjunction with passages from that letter, either in a group or on one's own.

The book is divided into nine chapters, each of which takes the epithet "new" as its headline: New heart, New Purpose, New Attitude and so on. Each begins with a short passage from Philippians which Gumbel then expands upon in highly readable mini-sections. A study guide, by David Stone, has its own section at the back.

Gumbel keeps things moving with a style that is never far from the anecdotal, illustrating his theology with stories from his own life or those he has picked up from friends in the same line of work as himself. When a more heavyweight presence is required he reaches for CS Lewis, Martin Luther and even Shakespeare, yet the tone throughout is accessible and brisk, as references to Mick Jagger, Madonna and Julia Roberts also testify.

No-one should underestimate the underlying seriousness of Gumbel's message, however: "The time has come for the church in the West to make the most of its freedom and get on with the task of advancing the gospel." As a manual for activating (or reactivating) a believer's hunger to be part of that work A Life worth Living is a passionate and persuasive place to start. --Anthony Wilson

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