Item description for Becoming Good: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling by David W. Gill...
Overview Becoming good, building character, is what we all want for ourselves and for others. But where do we begin? Becoming good is not simply a matter of a few dos and don'ts. In fact we can't begin to do the right thing until we have built an adequate foundation. This is prcisely what David Gill sets out to help us do.
Publishers Description Becoming good--building character--is what we all want for ourselves and for others. But where do we begin? Becoming good is not simply a matter of a few dos and don'ts. In fact we can't begin to do the right things until we have built an adequate foundation. This is precisely what David Gill sets out to help us do. His approach is deeply rooted within the Christian tradition and specifically designed for people who want to allow Scripture to shape the way they think and act. Gill's arguments are not drawn from ethical theory (though they are informed by it) but from the Bible--from Paul's admonitions to faith, hope and love, and from Jesus' Beatitudes. Here is rich, biblical teaching that will help people from every walk of life--whether engineers, bus drivers, managers, restaurant workers, PTA members, parents, neighborhood volunteers, nurses, teachers, coaches, attorneys, journalists or physicians--fulfill their calling to be salt and light within their own spheres of influence.
Citations And Professional Reviews Becoming Good: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling by David W. Gill has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Retailing - 09/22/2000 page 20
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Reviews - What do customers think about Becoming Good: Building Moral Character?
Biblical Virtue Ethics Mar 18, 2007
This book argues that becoming a good person is a skill that takes practice and a community within which to build ones character. He grounds the community in its relationship to God. This books tone is pastoral. One gets the sense that Daivid cares deeply about Christian formation and church life and this book is his contribution to our shared life. It is a good contribution!
Three aspects of the book will be useful to readers:
1. David Gill wrote the book very clearly. He does not use tons of unnecessary words and phrases, but says what needs saying consisely. He wrote this book with clear language as well. For example, he uses active verbs rather than passives which make sentences much easier to read. In addition this book contains very little jargon.
2. Along the way, the book includes periodic summary boxes that help the reader remember and recap the major points. Gill basically provides in these boxes an outline, the text filling in this outline. I found this helpful as a reminder.
3. Each chapter ends with a series of questions for reflection and discussion. I think these questions would make for good study material in groups. A study group could read a chapter each week or so and discuss the questions at the end of the chapter as a way to reflect on how their lives could become better.
This book would be useful for church groups (small groups, study groups, etc.); undergraduates who need a clear introduction to how virtue ethics makes sense of our lives and who are interested in reading people like Hauerwas, MacIntyre and others; it will also be of interest to seminary students for a similar reason.
Because David Gill uses the Bible so adeptly, this book makes for a good supplement and correction to the overly philosophical system that some people who write about virtue and character use (Alasdair MacIntyre for example). Gill clearly depends on these writers and has learnt from them, but he refuses to let any system of thought be more determinative then the church.
If and when I teach a course in ethics, I will use Gill's work and its companion Doing Good.
Becoming Good Feb 10, 2007
I know David Gill. His writing comes from the substance of his person and represents the best of academic and moral reasoning. Rather than abstract theory, Gill places his ethics squarely in the Divine Imperative: love your neighbor as yourself. His explication of Jesus' Beatitudes is classic for its practical application to everyday life and forms an ethics that not only has God as its basis but is rooted in the pursuit of his holiness.
From a student of Gill... Feb 9, 2007
David Gill's books can be a bit academic. At times you really have to want it to get through the books. But if you can do it, there is great wealth to be found.
I have experienced Gill as a professor and in his classes his passion emerges. He also teaches secular companies ethics, so don't pidgeon-hole him as some theologian with no relevance. He teaches secular companies ethical models that have people coming to him afterwards asking where he gets his insights from...and are surprised to find they are based on the 10 Commandments and/or The Beatitudes. So also please don't write him off as some left-leaning liberal (as another reviewer has done). He takes Biblical principles to secular places; we should all be this good.
Gill is a well-rounded man with irons of philosophy (esp. Jacques Ellul), theology, ethics, and secular reasoning in the fire.
He is worth a read if you have the time. I endorse him heartily.
Insightful, Informative, Helpful Feb 7, 2007
I found David Gill's Becoming Good to be an insightful and eye-opening look at ethics through the lens of the Beatitudes. His writing style is both easily accessible and deep. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and coming to understand the depth and nuance found in the Beatitudes. Highly Recommended!
Good Guidance in Living Out Our Faith Feb 6, 2007
In a world where ethics and morality may sometimes seem unattainable or even irrelevant, David Gill provides guidelines for those of us who want to truly live out our faith. Gill's writing is scripturally based and academically solid, yet also refreshingly accessible. He gives us understandable definitions of character formation, holiness, faithfulness and courage, and exhorts us to become ambassadors of righteousness and reconciliation.
I read Becoming Good and its companion book, Doing Right, as a seminary student, and had the opportunity to experience Dr. Gill as both author and professor. He is not only a professor of applied ethics, but also a person of applied ethics. Through his writing and his life, David Gill gives us a model of biblical ethics that is pertinent to our lives, and to a world in desperate need of a moral compass.