Contentment for Christians is difficult. Often we look at the world around us and wonder if God really cares. We desire to look ahead to what is coming next, that next great thing that will finally satisfy us. We want something else in this world to make us happy. We complain when we don't get what we want. We live our lives as if it is all about us. Underneath all of these issue lies an idolatry of the heart that doesn't value who God is and what He has already done in Christ.
Stephen Altrogge deals with these ideas in his latest book The Greener Grass Conspiracy. Stephen speaks from experience about the struggles that he has dealt with in so many ways throughout his life. However, he does it with his typical humor and honesty that captivates the mind and the heart. It is with his humor that he opens one's heart and mind to what He and the Bible have to say to our contentment issues.
The beauty of the gospel shines forth throughout Altrogge's work. It's no accident that so much of the book is about the unpacking of the gospel. The gospel has great implications in the area of contentment. Throughout the book the main idea seems to be that when we see the riches we have in the gospel, our lives have the possibility to be content both now and naturally into eternity. The only way that kind of contentment can come is when we see the great beauty of what Christ has done.
It seems as if this book will quickly become the contemporary go-to book regarding contentment from a Christian perspective. Nothing that this world has to give us will provide the deep lasting contentment that the gospel of Jesus Christ can. Nothing else to which we can turn can mean nearly us much to us as Christ. Altrogge shows us even more how true this is.
If there is any weakness in this book, it is in the chapter on suffering. Contentment in suffering is an issue that well needs addressing. However, by discounting any suffering Altrogge has had in the past, some readers could potentially check out during this section. Nonetheless, his look at suffering is honest and excellent for those who have yet to encounter seasons of suffering.
All in all, any book that calls the reader to go deeper into the truth of the gospel and see the beauty of Christ's work is a good book. This book simultaneously does that and allows the reader to be able to look through that prism of Christ's work into their own heart and find contentment in Jesus.