Designed for Good: Recovering the Idea, Language, and Practice of Virtue
|by Kevin Brown|
| Retail: $17.95|
Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches
Pub Date: September 2016
Item Number: 708488
Categories: Religion and Culture; Christian Living
Kevin J. Brown’s Designed for Good is a study of classical virtue ethics from a Christian perspective. This book shows Christians that their faith contains resources to help them recover the idea of virtue in the face of our modern moral bewilderment.
Although we may not realize it, we live in a world that is full of competing ethical systems. Appeals to rights, personal freedom, or even equality often come with their own “meta-values.” Each of these values has something in common with the Christian message, but none of them tells the whole story.
In this Christian take on classical virtue ethics, Brown weaves in modern-day examples from economics, politics, and pop culture to create a relevant framework that relates faith to contemporary ethical questions. Brown argues that true virtue—the kind we can actually strive for in our day-to-day lives—requires a holistic vision of the good life, not a list of rules determined by our preferences or the latest market trends. Instead, it is precisely what we were designed for by our Creator: life in the community of Christ’s body, the church. Virtue then becomes the pursuit of wholeness in harmony with God’s design.
Brown introduces the problem of modern ethics and analyzes common “meta-values” that readers will likely have encountered in their workplaces, schools, and possibly even churches. Readers will especially resonate with the second half of the book, where Brown outlines the foundations of the holistic, Christian concept of virtue: “to act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
"Brown has written a thoughtful, valuable, and approachable book. With the air of a conversation between Tim Keller and Aristotle, he invites the reader to think carefully about character and goodness. His refreshing prose and helpful examples offer clarity about morality, a topic that is increasingly fractured and incomprehensible."
"What is the good? Is it something that is personally defined and of no one else’s concern? Today in an age that often believes there are no givens, there are no rules and there are no limits as Os Guinness describes it, Kevin Brown has written a timely book to both raise and answer the question of what does it mean to BE good not just do good. In a very skillful but practical journey through the history and thought in this area, Kevin gives an impressive argument and much practical wisdom to help us reflect and decide what true virtue is and requires. Having personally been asked many questions on ethical dilemmas and lifestyle concerns, and having witnessed a growing confusion and unclarity in many Christian circles on how to make moral judgments, I think this is a great resource, filled with biblical and practical wisdom that offers good discussion points for helping students, church groups, campus leaders and those in the press of a changing culture to raise and engage in serious moral reflection and action. I highly commend this work."
"As a pastor, I’ve come to discover that there are two fundamental questions that tend to drive us - “Am I valuable? What Am I To Do With My Life?” They boil down to identity and calling. In “Designed for Good” Kevin Brown illuminates the answers to both of these driving questions by giving us language to articulate our purpose, aim, and design. But what’s brilliant about “The Good” is that we aren’t allowed to place these lofty ideals on a shelf, as if they were simply relics to be looked at and admired. Rather, Brown pushes us to consider how virtues can only be valuable in so far as they are lived out in our lives. I can’t think of a more relevant concept to be explored right now."
Kevin Brown is an associate professor of business at Asbury University and also serves as the lead editor of the Christian Business Academy Review. His formal education spans the areas of theology, philosophy, and economics—and his writing seeks to explore the interplay between these fields. He resides with his wife and children in Wilmore, Kentucky.