Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book review: Humility



HumilityAn Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue 
By David Bobb 

Humility,Thomas Aquinas wrote, is a 'praisworthy abasement'...''the role of humility is not to repress our appetite for high and difficult projects, but rather to keep a sense of proportion in our reckoning.''

''For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.'' (Luke 9:48)

This new year had hardly begun before I realized from various yet similar lessons  in my daily life that these upcoming months will most probably be fundamental in teaching me the oh-so-difficult but necessary character quality of meekness and humility.
  How can one believe in God's kingship and be proud? Humility makes so much sense on paper. In the quiet moments, the times of ease or pleasure it seems absurd to indulge in proud or haughty sentiments. Yet when we are shaken, the deep-rooted sin or pride very speedily springs to the surface of our otherwise serene characters. Even the very actions and qualities we might maintain which resemble meekness and godliness often stem from pride. There are just too many ways that pride has a hold of people, young and old, rich or poor. In essence pride is the age-old sin problem of man questioning God's supreme rule. It is man putting himself up as something, when in truth he is nothing in himself. 
Only in Christ will we have true humility. 
Yet- God, in His mercy has given a degree of grace to all mankind. Especially in a nation founded on His principles, man is able to master a form of humility and meekness which is a great blessing and which, needless to say keeps civilization running in apparent smoothness. The falling away from the character quality of humility in politics is the problem which Mr. Bobb is trying to address in this book.
  Humility is a political view of the humble aspects of George Washington, James Madison, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. With the exception of Abigail Adams, the book doesn't give much insight as to the characters' ''home life'' or Spiritual life. At the moment, it is not my goal to criticize any of the characters the author chose to highlight, but if you read this book I do recommend that you do further research on each person presented in this book.

   I was disappointed with the finale of Humility. Although the book begins with a good foundation in the introductory chapters, the author failed to bring his vision through to the end and neglected to culminate with a practical application. Neither did he use Scripture or emphasize that only when America humbles herself and turns back to God will she be saved from the same end that Rome experienced.

''And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of man shall be brought low, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.'' (Isaiah 2:17)

''For You save a humble people, but the haughty eyes You bring down'' (Psalm 18:27)

From the website:
Benjamin Franklin’s dilemma—one he passed on to the young United States—was how to achieve both greatness and humility at once. The humility James Madison learned as a legislator helped him to mold a nation, despite his reputation as a meek, timid, and weak man. The humility of Abigail Adams fed her impossible resilience. Humility of all kinds is deeply ingrained in our American DNA. Our challenge today is to rediscover and reawaken this utterly indispensable, alarmingly dormant national virtue before it’s too late.