Anizor explores why Christians are apathetic about the things of God they should care about. He looks at how prevalent it is, what it actually is, possible causes, and what can be done. “Apathy is a sickness of the soul;” he writes, “it is a deformity of heart that needs healing.” (64) But “...there is no silver bullet when it comes to slaying apathy in our lives.” (167) Discipline, intentionality, and work to cultivate the necessary virtues are required.
Some of Anizor's book is academic in style and may not be appreciated by the average layperson. His exploration of the historical concept of apathy is a case in point. I appreciated his clarifying apathy, depression, despondency, and dry spells in how they differ yet where they also overlap.
There were some surprises in this book. One was the role of discipline, such as setting the mind on the things of the Spirit. We cannot combat apathy by simply telling ourselves to do so, he argues. We must address the various causes and then cultivate the traits leading to a passion for the things of God.
This is not a book with glib encouragement to cease feeling blah about spiritual things. It is rather a road map to the journey for those who are disturbed by their spiritual coldness and desire to change. Readers will find good information and practical steps to that end. Will the average layperson be attracted to this book? Probably not. It may be appreciated more by those pastors and church leaders as a resource for inspiring Christians to be alive to spiritual things.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Uche Anizor (PhD, Wheaton College) is an associate professor of theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. His other books include How to Read Theology and Representing Christ. He and his wife have three children.
You can listen to an interview with the author here.
Crossway, 192 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)