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The Crime of Living Cautiously: Hearing God's Call to Adventure [Hardcover]

By Luci Shaw (Author)
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Item description for The Crime of Living Cautiously: Hearing God's Call to Adventure by Luci Shaw...

Shaw writes about how to live fully in freedom and faith, responding to God'scalling without fear.

Publishers Description
Unexpectedly, the moment of opportunity comes to us--the prospect of entering a reality larger than we'd guess. A spacious option opens up before us, an urgent demand that seems to call for special enterprise, life-threatening perils or summons to action. Suddenly we realize that such a chance might never come again. What do you do when faced with such a moment? Do you sometimes get frozen into a state of inaction? Do you wonder if you are wasting the talents God has given you? Or if you enjoy adventure, do you struggle over whether a risk is just a reckless attempt to feed your own needs or a true calling from God? Luci Shaw has learned to act with discernment in regard to motivation and calling. She has discovered a path of deep joy and fulfillment by risking the unknown in partnership with God. In this book you will find the way to break through the fear barrier and follow God to new levels.

From Publishers Weekly
Poet, writer and septuagenarian Shaw begins this slim book with an account of her recent bungee jumping in New Zealand. While her book covers such topics as fear, loss, conflict and relationships, the most interesting subject Shaw explores is her own life. In her chapter on conflict, for example, she writes candidly about what it's like to straddle the literary and evangelical worlds: "A common assumption... is that a Christian must write sanctimonious hymns or sentimental verses.... If my work is clearly `literary'... I may be accused of watering down the gospel." These insights, along with a brief remembrance of her friendship with Madeleine L'Engle, give some vitality to this otherwise conventional, somewhat underwhelming book. Ironically, while Shaw's content focuses on the risks God calls Christians to take, the book itself never strays from safe, well-traveled evangelical territory. Her biblical examples, such as Moses' attempt to convince his people to take the promised land, may support her argument that we must obey God even if it feels risky, but her observations about these passages are not particularly original. Yet Shaw writes beautifully, includes generous helpings of poetry (both her own and others') and, in her own gentle way, injects a subtly feminist, pluralist sensibility into this orthodox book. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Crime of Living Cautiously: Hearing God's Call to Adventure by Luci Shaw has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Ingram Advance - 06/01/2005 page 113
  • Publishers Weekly - 04/11/2005 page 51

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Item Specifications...

Studio: IVP Books
Pages   140
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.46" Width: 5.82" Height: 0.67"
Weight:   0.61 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 6, 2005
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
Edition  Print-On-Demand  
ISBN  0830832807  
ISBN13  9780830832804  

Availability  89 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 02:13.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Luci Shaw

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Luci Shaw is a poet, essayist, and teacher. Writer in residence at Regent College in Vancouver, BC, her writing has been widely anthologized. Her most recent books are Accompanied by Angels, What the Light Was Like, and Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination and Spirit. Harvesting Fog is her 30th book. For further information, visit

Luci Shaw currently resides in Chicago.

Luci Shaw has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Fisherman Bible Studyguides

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > Happiness
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Spiritual Growth > Spiritual Formation

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Crime of Living Cautiously: Hearing God's Call to Adventure?

Fear, Faith and Fanaticism  Jun 3, 2005
It says something about our culture's full-bloomed fascination with extreme sports to say that hurling oneself off a tall structure into the void below to be saved from certain death by an elastic chord is passý, but indeed, bungee jumping is a bit outmoded (now base jumping, that's another story...). And so, when in the first few pages of her latest book encouraging an adventurous outlook on the Christian life, Luci Shaw sets out to prove that she practices what she preaches by recounting the story of her bungee jumping escapade in New Zealand, it falls a bit flat.

I admit it's a bit of a happy jolt to imagine the 70-something Shaw standing excitedly on the edge of that bridge and stepping boldly off. But the scene prompted in my mind broader questions about such pursuits: namely, are we so disconnected from the risks --- emotional, physical, and spiritual --- that naturally imbue life that we must hurl ourselves off bridges to feel brave?

Having just scribbled that query in the margin, I was pleased to find Shaw ask similar questions a few pages later: "Though I have always been more than likely to respond enthusiastically to a dare, I feel ambivalent about encouraging anyone else to take a life-threatening risk merely for the sake of thrill, the adrenaline rush, or the satisfaction of personal accomplishment. Risk should not reflect a celebration of foolishness but a freedom from fear. 'Extreme sports,' with increasing levels of difficulty or danger, make for sensational TV programs and stories in sports magazines. But are they simply the result of the impetuosity of youth, a lack of mature judgment, an explosion of hormones or a desperate need for attention?

"Was I overly impetuous and foolhardy to jump from that small platform into the hugeness of space? I wondered later which of my friends would congratulate me and which would shake their heads, muttering something under their breath about this woman's 'crazy irresponsibility.' I'd have felt a whole lot more satisfaction if my risk had saved someone's life, or if it had been in the service of God and his kingdom."

It's this ability to question her own ideas and choices that makes Shaw's literary voice (showcased in multiple volumes of poetry and prose) stand out in a crowd. And in THE CRIME OF LIVING CAUTIOUSLY, her voice, more so than the philosophical substance of the writing, is what's fresh and thought-provoking. I wanted to linger on phrases like "the Adventure of resurrection," and the poetry sprinkled liberally throughout the book, but I was less enamored with the familiar exhortations to embrace the fearless faithfulness of folks like Abraham, Moses, and Mary. In the parlance of extreme sports aficionados, "Been there. Heard that."

Shaw's stated purpose in writing THE CRIME OF LIVING CAUTIOUSLY is to examine the distinctions between fear, faith, and fanaticism. She does this in a meandering fashion that touches on everything from the emptiness of upward mobility for its own sake to the relative merits of flowers versus weeds to the blessedness of goodly dissent. The accompanying stories provide glimpses into Shaw's full and creative life. Fans of her work, and of her regular cohort Madeleine L'Engle, will especially enjoy this aspect of the book.

Bungee jumping might not be as cutting edge as it used to be, but walking through life in faith is just as risky and exhilarating as ever. Those who need to learn that will do well to spend some time with THE CRIME OF LIVING CAUTIOUSLY.

--- Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel

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