Ron’s #9: In, But Not Of by Hugh Hewitt

Picture Life’s Little Instruction Book written for young, Christian professionals, and you’ll get close to the feel of Hugh Hewitt’s In, But Not Of. And while it may not sound like it, I mean this as a compliment.

Hewitt’s premise is that Christians must be an influencing force in the world through work in churches, politics, education, and culture. This is not a “Take over the institutes with force” battle cry; rather, it is a plea for Christians to be the best as they can be in their respective spheres in life. With chapter titles like “Make Frequent Deposits in the Favor Bank,” “Always Be Prepared to Admit Error,” and “Ask at Least a Half-Dozen Questions in Every Conversation,” this book offers practice advice that a wise mentor, your grandfather, or Yoda would give you. Again, this is a compliment.

A law professor and radio host, Hewitt seems to have the young, college-bound crowd or the newly graduated in mind for his intended audience. This practical advice is a must for Christians and non-Christians alike as they figure out ways to navigate in the world of career, ambition, and power. Amazon should sell these gift wrapped with Congrats, Graduate wrapping paper for gifts in May.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading each of these short chapters. They were morsels of advice to put perspective on how to be “in the world, but not of the world.” I especially loved his literary references throughout. Hewitt is a sharp guy with lots of allusions to great works of literature. My favorite chapter was titled, “Learn How You Got There,” an earnest request to read about the formation of western civilization through the Jews, Greeks, Romans, English, and Americans. He encourages all to read one book about each, and offers suggestions. Currently, I am searching for Churchill’s  A History of the English Speaking Peoples.

The shortest chapter is chapter 9, “Tattoos: Don’t.”  In it, he says, “These permanent displays of youthful exuberance trigger at best mild amusement, but in some a serious concern about your maturity.”

I heartily recommend this book to you. It’s a perfect tome to place at your bedside to read a few chapters before the sleep you’ll need to go to work tomorrow and influence the world.

About Ron 173 Articles
I teach English and government in Okinawa, Japan. I love reading theology and fiction, and helps keep me accountable. Reading with three kids under 5 is a bit of a challenge, but I keep trying to find ways to read more. My favorites writers are C. S. Lewis, Flannery O’ Connor, and Raymond Carver.

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