Book Review: “Life Quest” (Cary Schmidt)

"Culture pulls you backward; God calls you forward. Choose the path of most resistance."

I finished reading Life Quest by Cary Schmidt this afternoon. This book has challenged me in more ways than I have ever been challenged in all my life. While the primary target audiences are teens and college-aged people, without hesitation I would recommend this book to anyone, no matter their age.

Not long before I was given this book, I had been asking myself some serious questions, having some serious doubts, and searching for some serious answers. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that this book hit on every single question I had. And it wasn’t just the author’s opinions and ideas – everything was backed by Scripture and explained in so much detail that there wasn’t even a slight possibility that I could walk away from it confused or misguided.

I kept a highlighter handy because the author asked me to at the beginning of the book. Later, I kept a highlighter handy because there was so much I wanted to mark and have conveniently exposed for when I might skim through the book again on down the road! Chapters 9 through 13 especially hit me hard – I felt like God was using this book to whack me upside the head in almost every area of my Christian life. It was uncomfortable at times, and it was quite heavy at other times – at times I had to close the book mid-chapter so I could have a break, both mentally and emotionally, from the richness of the material. So packed with truth, I wished it not to end, but was thankful for all I had learned when it did come to an end.

I wish this book could be made a requirement for all youth groups and college & career groups in Bible-believing churches across the world. Without a doubt, this book would change young people’s lives – it would change their outlook on life, and change their focus to be one that is set on eternity and living for the Lord.

This book will challenge you, strengthen you, and bless you in innumerable ways. I promise that you will not regret reading this book if you keep your heart and mind open. Allow it to touch your heart, open your eyes, and encourage you to take the path of most resistance – living a life that’s worth living… for God.

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Posted on June 20, 2010, in Book Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. danielpulliam

    I have read this authors book on music (you commented on the post that came from that reading).
    You didn’t say much about what the book teaches, but I would like to comment on a quote you gave from the book.

    “Culture pulls you backward; God calls you forward. Choose the path of most resistance.”
    Now granted, I have no immediate context in which to place this, but judging from what the movement (or denomination) the author is in it seems that he is placing culture against Christianity.
    The dictionary defines culture as “the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.” I think it’s a good definition. Culture is not “worldly”. Culture is not bad. Most Christians who see culture as bad think godliness is just being 50 years behind the popular culture.
    When God the Son took on flesh, He also adopted the culture in which He lived. He dressed like they did, listened to the music they did, attended festivals with them, etc. We, as His body, are to redeem culture. Now there are some parts of our culture that we will have to jettison as they are birthed and bathed in wickedness (gay pride events, no absolute truth mentality, etc.). But the sound of music, or the style of denim are not necessarily wrong.
    The problem with the quote is that it turns godliness into being as counter-cultural as one can. This is the same mentality that catholic monks fell into, thinking they more they separated themselves from society the more godly they were. We all have different cultures: American, Canadian, German, Japanese, etc. And a Christian doesn’t have to reject any one of these cultures. Somethings, yes, but culture is not evil in and of itself. The modern day fundamentlist mindset seems to be “if it’s popular then it’s wordly – AKA wrong.”

    I could be wrong, but it seems to be the case among most people. We naturally become dualistic in our outlook thinking something like “flesh is bad and spirit is good”. but our bodies are not evil. Fleshly desires and the flesh can have two different meanings as we see in Scripture.

    Just some comments on the matter. Thanks for letting me do so.
    God bless.

    • Hey, thank you for stopping by! I agree with you that there is nothing necessarily “wrong” with the Sound of Music, or demin clothes – I watch and wear both. Having read the book and seeing just exactly where the author was coming from, the message was a little deeper than that.
      while you defined “culture” to a T (based on what I read on dictionary.com), you left off a key point (which is what the author was more or less referring to): “the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.”
      If we’re being honest, the “charateristics” of our society are less than God-honoring. They don’t do much in the area of encouraging young adults to mature and fulfil the greater purpose that God has for each one of us. Instead, they promote activities and lifestyles that are completely opposite of what is good. That is the message of the book. He challenges us to look beyond the popular “culture” of today and embrace the bigger picture — a life that is focused on the Lord and His will for each of us.
      I appreciate your comment though, as it made me consider a few things. Its always good to have our mind expanded and look at things from others perspectives so we can see a more complete picture. so Thank you.

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