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The Life We're Looking for: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological World

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A deeply reflective primer on creating meaningful connections, rebuilding abundant communities, and living in a way that engages our full humanity in an age of unprecedented anxiety and loneliness--from the author of The Tech-Wise Family "Andy Crouch shows the path to reclaiming a life that restores the heart of what it means to thrive."--Arthur C. Brooks, #1 New York Times A deeply reflective primer on creating meaningful connections, rebuilding abundant communities, and living in a way that engages our full humanity in an age of unprecedented anxiety and loneliness--from the author of The Tech-Wise Family "Andy Crouch shows the path to reclaiming a life that restores the heart of what it means to thrive."--Arthur C. Brooks, #1 New York Times bestselling author of From Strength to Strength Our greatest need is to be recognized--to be seen, loved, and embedded in rich relationships with those around us. But for the last century, we've displaced that need with the ease of technology. We've dreamed of mastery without relationship (what the premodern world called magic) and abundance without dependence (what Jesus called Mammon). Yet even before a pandemic disrupted that quest, we felt threatened and strangely out of place: lonely, anxious, bored amid endless options, oddly disconnected amid infinite connections. In The Life We're Looking For, bestselling author Andy Crouch shows how we have been seduced by a false vision of human flourishing--and how each of us can fight back. From the social innovations of the early Christian movement to the efforts of entrepreneurs working to create more humane technology, Crouch shows how we can restore true community and put people first in a world dominated by money, power, and devices. There is a way out of our impersonal world, into a world where knowing and being known are the heartbeat of our days, our households, and our economies. Where our vulnerabilities are seen not as something to be escaped but as the key to our becoming who we were made to be together. Where technology serves us rather than masters us--and helps us become more human, not less.


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A deeply reflective primer on creating meaningful connections, rebuilding abundant communities, and living in a way that engages our full humanity in an age of unprecedented anxiety and loneliness--from the author of The Tech-Wise Family "Andy Crouch shows the path to reclaiming a life that restores the heart of what it means to thrive."--Arthur C. Brooks, #1 New York Times A deeply reflective primer on creating meaningful connections, rebuilding abundant communities, and living in a way that engages our full humanity in an age of unprecedented anxiety and loneliness--from the author of The Tech-Wise Family "Andy Crouch shows the path to reclaiming a life that restores the heart of what it means to thrive."--Arthur C. Brooks, #1 New York Times bestselling author of From Strength to Strength Our greatest need is to be recognized--to be seen, loved, and embedded in rich relationships with those around us. But for the last century, we've displaced that need with the ease of technology. We've dreamed of mastery without relationship (what the premodern world called magic) and abundance without dependence (what Jesus called Mammon). Yet even before a pandemic disrupted that quest, we felt threatened and strangely out of place: lonely, anxious, bored amid endless options, oddly disconnected amid infinite connections. In The Life We're Looking For, bestselling author Andy Crouch shows how we have been seduced by a false vision of human flourishing--and how each of us can fight back. From the social innovations of the early Christian movement to the efforts of entrepreneurs working to create more humane technology, Crouch shows how we can restore true community and put people first in a world dominated by money, power, and devices. There is a way out of our impersonal world, into a world where knowing and being known are the heartbeat of our days, our households, and our economies. Where our vulnerabilities are seen not as something to be escaped but as the key to our becoming who we were made to be together. Where technology serves us rather than masters us--and helps us become more human, not less.

30 review for The Life We're Looking for: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn Beaty

    Recommended for anyone who wants a profound but accessible diagnosis for why we feel so ill at ease and lonely in a time of multiplying options, comforts and freedom. Reading this made me more human.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Zack Clemmons

    I HATE MAMMON! I HATE MAMMON! I HATE MAMMON!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dawson

    Stunningly perceptive and immensely helpful. I've been looking for a guide for living the Kingdom in today's world. This is an excellent starting point. Stunningly perceptive and immensely helpful. I've been looking for a guide for living the Kingdom in today's world. This is an excellent starting point.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Haley Baumeister

    There are two talks I've watched/listened to, that I have revisited multiple times: Andy Crouch's "A Pruned Life" and Anthony Bradley's "Christian Personalism". Andy's talk discusses the idea of low friction vs. high friction practices in our technological society. The former are fleeting, and leave us feeling shallow & lonely. The latter require more of us, but make for lasting, worthwhile work & relationships. Dr. Bradley's talk discusses the unique contribution Christians can make in seeking There are two talks I've watched/listened to, that I have revisited multiple times: Andy Crouch's "A Pruned Life" and Anthony Bradley's "Christian Personalism". Andy's talk discusses the idea of low friction vs. high friction practices in our technological society. The former are fleeting, and leave us feeling shallow & lonely. The latter require more of us, but make for lasting, worthwhile work & relationships. Dr. Bradley's talk discusses the unique contribution Christians can make in seeking out faces, persons, and relationships that dignify and give life. This book is such a beautiful melding of these two huge ideas. I also got whiff of themes found in the likes of Alan Noble's "You Are Not Your Own", Pete Davis' "Dedicated", and Charles Camosy's "Resisting Throwaway Culture" ....in addition to the many books that examine technology & psychology, ethics & religion. It gently brings forward our need for human connection. Our need to belong. Our need for real faces. Our need to be known. Our need to be part of a household of care, however that looks. This book may touch on several popular genres, but Andy has a particular way of analyzing with compassion. Of observing while also being there with the reader. Of seeing the overwhelming disfunction but offering incredibly real ways forward. This book gave me hope for the choices we have to bring the Kingdom of Christ to a lonely, objectifying, addicted, disconnected society. Of choosing the higher friction practices in order to honor the images of God among us, and become more whole ourselves.

  5. 4 out of 5

    B.J. Richardson

    Andy Crouch speaks my language. He has put into beautiful words many of the ideas that were churning in unfinished nexus form deep inside my heart and my subconscious. His insights have put into words the discontent and ill ease that has been growing in my soul with regards to the ever increasing isolationism that is part of our technological world. Crouch isn't a Luddite. His premise is not that technology is bad but rather that we must own out technology rather than letting it own us. He creat Andy Crouch speaks my language. He has put into beautiful words many of the ideas that were churning in unfinished nexus form deep inside my heart and my subconscious. His insights have put into words the discontent and ill ease that has been growing in my soul with regards to the ever increasing isolationism that is part of our technological world. Crouch isn't a Luddite. His premise is not that technology is bad but rather that we must own out technology rather than letting it own us. He creates dichotomies like devices vs instruments and superpowers vs flow to demonstrate how modern innovations can promise the world and yet steal our soul (while giving us none of those things promised). A few quotes: "Before we ever knew to look for a mirror, we were looking for another person's face." "Power without effort, it turns out, diminishes us as much as it delights us." "Once we lived with allness of heart, with a boldness of quest that was too in love with the good to call off pursuit when we encountered risk. Now we live as voyeurs, pursuing shadowy vestiges of what we desire from behind the one way mirror of a screen, invulnerable but alone." Crouch gives his book a bold title. As he himself acknowledges, we are bombarded with big, bold promises all the time. There are all kinds of new gadgets, new diets, new financial investment plans, new... whatever, that will boldly promise "the life we are looking for" and yet they all fail to deliver even a fraction of what they promise. So I was skeptical going in to this book. It didn't take me long to realize that Crouch doesn't just promise... he delivers. My life, your life, our lives will all be so much deeper and richer if we allow the ideas he presents to saturate our souls and impact influence our lives. Get this book. Devour it. You won't regret it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jonathon Keeler

    i love andy crouch.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

    I would give this book 6 stars if I could. This is the second Andy Crouch book I've read. The first one, Culture Makers, was a few years ago. I picked it up after Lecrae recommended it in his autobiography, Unashamed. I liked it, but it was a bit uneven. This most recent book I picked up after Andy Crouch was interviewed about it by David French and Curtis Chang on their podcast, Good Faith. Initially, I thought it would be another 4-star. The first half is solid, but not quite amazing. I apprecia I would give this book 6 stars if I could. This is the second Andy Crouch book I've read. The first one, Culture Makers, was a few years ago. I picked it up after Lecrae recommended it in his autobiography, Unashamed. I liked it, but it was a bit uneven. This most recent book I picked up after Andy Crouch was interviewed about it by David French and Curtis Chang on their podcast, Good Faith. Initially, I thought it would be another 4-star. The first half is solid, but not quite amazing. I appreciate Crouch's discussion of technology and science, which is both informed and nuanced. Informed because, as a data analyst / tech worker, I'm really used to people getting it wrong especially on topics like AI, machine learning, etc. Crouch knew what he was talking about, avoiding the pitfall of sensationalism that almost everyone seems to fall into. Nuanced because he draws a good distinction between bad tech (which he refers to with terms like "magic" and "device" and "charmed") and good tech (which he refers to with terms like "instrument" and "blessed"). A lot of folks want to avoid coming across as a Luddite, but they do it without any real principle. Just a sort of bland moderation that doesn't actually mean anything. Crouch actually defines his terms and gives clear examples of why he's not opposed to technology in principle (he's in favor!) but why what we want from technology is leading us (and our technology) down some dark paths. I could have used a little bit more specificity and precision here. The discussion was good, but not quite rigorous enough. In a book for popular audiences, I suppose that's OK. In the second half he switches to his recommended conclusion, and initially this is where I thought things would go downhill. But by the end of this section, I was misty-eyed and definitely liked it even more than the first section. He has kind of two, complementary recommendations. The first is to create what he calls "households". What he means here is small, intimate groups living together in a shared space and sharing their resources. The most obvious example of this is a family (mom, dad, kids), but Crouch is quick to point out that the child-rearing phase of families is actually a minority (from the standpoint of the couple) and that a lot of families actually fail to be households in his sense of the word. So his emphasis is on people coming together to make households in addition to (more than instead of) immediate family, including one example he gave where he and some roommates all shared their resources from a single bank account while living together. (David French or Curtis Chang--I forget which--was one of those roommates and joked about the trauma of having to get collective approval for any purchase over $10 while living in that arrangement.) This is what he led off with (in the second chapter), and I found it unconvincing for two reasons. First, I just don't think it's very practical. There's basically zero chance that I'm going to do this, for example. Second, I find it theologically and philosophically very slightly off the mark. This is where I should point out that, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon) I 100% consider myself a Christian and accept that Bible as scripture but there are some subtle but very important differences between my faith and mainstream (Catholic, Protestant, etc.) Christianity. One of these is that, as a Latter-day Saint, I don't think that the term "father" in Heavenly Father is just a helpful metaphor. In fact, we Latter-day Saints take the concept so seriously that we infer from the existence of a Heavenly Father that there must also be a Heavenly Mother. We do not worship her and practically nothing is known about her other than her existence, but that she exists is a part of our doctrine. For most of my life this has seemed like a kind of curiosity. Because so little is known (again: basically nothing) about Heavenly Mother, you could easily attend church with Latter-day Saints for years and not even know we believe she exists. Some folks like to speculate and invest a lot, but they're considered sort of weird by most LDS. (Some folks even pray to her, but that's discouraged by the Church because the scriptures explicitly say to pray to the Father in the name of the Son and so that's what we do.) But it turns out that just the knowledge of Heavenly Mother's existence has a profound effect on how we see families. Instead of being a sort of beneficial but temporary aspect of mortal life (babies gotta come from somewhere, and we should probably take care of them...) for Latter-day Saints the family is a the pattern for all human relationship. This means that I'd put a lot more emphasis on turning families into households and less on non-family households. One way to do this, for example, is to advocate for multi-generational housing arrangements. This solves the issue of the parents+young children phase being a minority of the family life-cycle. If you've got grandparents (maybe even uncles and aunts or cousins) living in the house, you actually have a much better chance at making a real household than hoping to convince unrelated people to pool their resources. Plus, you actually get a much better environment when you incorporate the young and the elderly vs. (as mentioned above) Andy and a bunch of other single, healthy, 20-something dudes living in a house together. In other words, LDS Christianity would start with the husband and wife as the building blocks of a family/household, add in the kids, and then keep going. Extended family for starters, but also potentially non-biological family as an appendage to that nuclear core. This is based on our idea that we are here on Earth to learn to be like God and that God is, essentially a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Setting aside theology, this also seems much more practical. So this whole "household rather than family" thing meant the second half of the book got off on the wrong foot for me, but then Crouch sort of shifts gears and really emphasizes the importance of useless people in households. Let me give a quote to see what he means by that: In an economy that evaluates and compensates us in impersonal terms, the most consequential members, the ones who matter the most for all our flourishing, are the ones who Mammon does not consider useful. It is the useless who matter the most. Because if they are persons, if they are seen, known, welcomed, and given places of honor in our households, then all of us are set free from our usefulness. This became the real focus of the second half, and it's where Crouch won me back and then some. I was especially impressed that he actually went on to address the war on Downs Syndrome babies in particular, and even mentioned abortion by name. That's a risky topic to bring up, but it's where the principles he is espousing must take you, and I'm so happy/impressed that he went there. This, to me, is back to the core of Christianity where there is no difference between LDS, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox views, which is seeing the intrinsic value in all people, regardless of what they have to offer society from a superficial/materialist perspective. Two things defined the original Christian society: a strict sexual ethic and care for the vulnerable. For a while these ideals were embraced by pretty much the entire West and became sort of invisible as a result. Now that the West is repudiating both of these principles, Christians have to decide if we're going to hold onto them or not. If we don't, we're no longer genuinely Christian. If we do, then we're going to start to be really, really weird again. So I loved this book. So much that after listening to the Audible version, I've ordered the hard copy and will be reading it again and writing a blog post that will be an extended version of this review. And now I'll probably need to go out and read even more of his books, too.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily London Knight

    Crouch excels not only in his diagnosis of our present collective loneliness but also in the beautiful, biblical vision of human flourishing he sets forth. The final pages challenging what and who we value— those who are useful? those who are vulnerable? — brought me to tears. This book caused me to hope and dream and long for more.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jake Mouliert

    I really appreciate Andy Crouch and he delivered with this book. His chapters on superpowers and devices vs. instruments are worth the reading of this book alone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    LeAnne

    I ♥️ Andy Crouch.

  11. 4 out of 5

    PD

    Excellent. Not only a good description of the ways things are (on account of where we have come from), but also a helpful suggestion of the ways things could be (shaping the imagination and heart to guide what we might cultivate). Packed metaphors for thought: * force vs taste * devices vs instruments * roads vs paths * charms vs blessing * and others Embodied persons in place with others.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jake Preston

    A stirring story about the destructive power of technology and the way our devices hamper our ability to love and function as the persons God designed. Yet Crouch doesn't instruct us to return to completely to primitive living; rather, to transform our devices into instruments and to form households where deep reflection and intentional living are possible. His revelation of the demonic, person-like force of Mammon and superb biblical exposition of Paul's letter to the Romans was brilliant, chal A stirring story about the destructive power of technology and the way our devices hamper our ability to love and function as the persons God designed. Yet Crouch doesn't instruct us to return to completely to primitive living; rather, to transform our devices into instruments and to form households where deep reflection and intentional living are possible. His revelation of the demonic, person-like force of Mammon and superb biblical exposition of Paul's letter to the Romans was brilliant, challenging, and beautiful. I will be reflecting on the contents of this book for a long time. It's hard to imagine finding a more relevant book in 2022.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Conrade Yap

    As more people live and work online, the age-old question of what are we looking for remains unanswered. What are we searching for whenever we are at an Internet search engine? Are we dependent on personalization algorithms to tell us what we need or do we already know what we want? During our times of loneliness, what are we looking for to fill that relationship vacuum? Clearly, there is a growing problem. Research continually reveals that the problem of loneliness is growing. Technology was su As more people live and work online, the age-old question of what are we looking for remains unanswered. What are we searching for whenever we are at an Internet search engine? Are we dependent on personalization algorithms to tell us what we need or do we already know what we want? During our times of loneliness, what are we looking for to fill that relationship vacuum? Clearly, there is a growing problem. Research continually reveals that the problem of loneliness is growing. Technology was supposed to be the relationship saviour, but alas, it might have worsened the problem instead. The key is not to let technology lead us but to recognize our unique personhood. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle is not just impersonal, it reduces relationships to transactions. Just like cashiers going through the motion of collecting money for purchases without even looking at their customers. Worse, in an Internet age, transactions are increasingly conducted without having to talk to a human face or person. The framework of the book is as follows. First, the author highlights the growing problem of living in an increasingly impersonal world. Aided by technology, this trajectory is poised to get worse. If it is not recognized or addressed, we might be paying a deep price for the cost of technological and scientific advancement. Crouch asserts that every human person is a "heart-soul-mind-strength complex designed for love." The heart arouses our desire. The soul drives the depth of ourselves. The mind influences our quest for knowledge. The will emboldens our energy toward actions. Our chief goal is love. However, this world has other plans. In desiring more power for less effort, more time for less investment, and more fruit for less work, we consume technology thinking that by saving energy, time, and effort, we can become more of what we want to be. Technology seduces us into thinking that it can replace the very things that define our personhood. By focusing only on the product, we let technology deal with the process, including the very things that nourish the process of becoming human. Like the frequent use of the calculator that diminishes our mental skills in math. Truth is, being human requires both process and product. In other words, we have allowed our drive for technology to replace our quest for personal connections and human development. Crouch points out how technology is a form of money and mammon. We use technology to make more money. We use technology to attain the positions promised by mammon power. Yet, something's gotta give, and Crouch tells us it is our personhood. What then must we do? Redeem, reclaim, and restore. Redeem our opportunities while they exist. Reclaim our relationships before it is too late. Restore our need for authentic relationships while we can. My Thoughts ============== Let me offer three reflections on this book. First, I appreciate how Crouch highlights the problem of loneliness. Since the creation of man, God had already said that it is not good for man to be alone. That applies across genders. Loneliness is a problem. With technology, this problem has been exacerbated by disconnectedness and disembodiment. The latter two worsen the loneliness problem. Just being family alone is not enough. We need a household, a community to which we can have a sense of belonging. For Crouch, a common household is one that is about intimate relationships among people who love us. It is a community that recognizes us and cares for us. My question is whether Crouch's vision is some unattainable utopia on earth? A cursory reading might suggest it is improbable, if not impossible. Yet, it is important to cast vision. A farmer who plants seeds must have a vision of a great harvest. Likewise, we need to cast a vision of hope of community in an increasingly lonely world. This is an all-important first step. Recognize the problem and re-orientate ourselves toward solving it. Second, I think Crouch is spot on when he points out the need for community. I like how Crouch brings back the dignity of the ordinary, the mundane, and the seemingly "unuseful" processes of our lives. This is something that we can learn from the dying. Caregivers often share the four words people most needed: "I am not alone." Anything we do that reminds us that we are not alone is definitely worth doing. Whether it is mundane jobs or monotonous routines, there is a difference between doing it alone versus doing it together in a community. Once we allow technology to replace the opportunities to establish friendship and community, we dig our own graves of loneliness. Finally, we are reminded of how the human race has been cursed by sin, leading to the problem of restlessness. Where is this restlessness driving us toward" What are the things that the unconscious use of technology leading us away from? These are questions that we ought to ask from time to time. The way we use search engines could be a clue to what we are looking for in life. In seeking for solutions, are we downplaying the critical place of process? In trying to make things more efficient, are we unwittingly destroying the very space where communities flourish? If yes, are we then able to create new opportunities for human connections? Technology is not the problem. It's the uncritical use of it that is the problem. Thankfully, Crouch is one of those who not only recognizes the dangerous trajectories of our current technological environment, he points us on a way forward on what to do about it. We need to bring back the spirit of community. Technology is here to stay. As we learn to use it and live with it, we should not let technology replace our humanness. Wake up and take charge of technology. Otherwise, we will be taken over. Andy Crouch is the author of four books; he is also a partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship. For more than ten years, Crouch was a producer and then executive editor at Christianity Today. His work and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Best Christian Writing, and Best Spiritual Writing. From 1998 to 2003, Andy was the editor-in-chief of re:generation quarterly, a magazine for an emerging generation of culturally creative Christians. For ten years he was a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Harvard University. He studied classics at Cornell University and received an M.Div. summa cum laude from Boston University School of Theology. A classically trained musician who draws on pop, folk, rock, jazz, and gospel, he has led musical worship for congregations of 5 to 20,000. He lives with his family in Pennsylvania. Rating: 4.75 stars of 5. conrade This book has been provided courtesy of Convergent Books and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

  14. 5 out of 5

    James

    Just finished reading this beautiful and deeply challenging book that offers such a perceptive critique of modern life and an inspiring vision of kingdom life. Stunning. If you want a book to challenge you to the core this is the one. Gulp!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I’ve been looking forward to this book anxiously, and it did not disappoint me. This book isn’t an excellent combination and next step of the argument from Playing God, Culture Making, and Tech-Wise Family. This is also a very timely book. We live in a moment of increasing isolation, and there are many consequences to that reality. Andy prophetically states amid the current cultural milieu that the way forward is not through the magic of technology but in recognizing and seeing people as heart-s I’ve been looking forward to this book anxiously, and it did not disappoint me. This book isn’t an excellent combination and next step of the argument from Playing God, Culture Making, and Tech-Wise Family. This is also a very timely book. We live in a moment of increasing isolation, and there are many consequences to that reality. Andy prophetically states amid the current cultural milieu that the way forward is not through the magic of technology but in recognizing and seeing people as heart-soul-mind-strength complexes designed for love. Our culture would be radically different if we all lived out the principles from this book. Thank you, Andy, for a thoughtful, challenging, well-written gift. (I received an electronic galley from the publisher in NetGalley.)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joseph R.

    Modern conveniences have only gotten more and more convenient. We can communicate with almost anyone on the planet, and not just in text or on the phone but with live video. We can order food, drink, books, clothes, entertainment, gadgets, and anything else at the click of a button, often with the item arriving in a matter of hours, let alone days or weeks. The world is at our fingertips. And yet, there is a crisis of genuine contact between people. Text messages are notorious for being misinter Modern conveniences have only gotten more and more convenient. We can communicate with almost anyone on the planet, and not just in text or on the phone but with live video. We can order food, drink, books, clothes, entertainment, gadgets, and anything else at the click of a button, often with the item arriving in a matter of hours, let alone days or weeks. The world is at our fingertips. And yet, there is a crisis of genuine contact between people. Text messages are notorious for being misinterpreted; even videos don't quite give us the same experience that we have when we meet in person. Convenience has come at a cost. Do you even make eye contact at checkout counters? Do you even see the same people at the same store? Do you even see them as people? Of course, the opposite is distressingly true--do others sees you as a person? A person is more than the spending power of their credit card or the entertainment value of their presence. What we learn in modern interactions is not knowing a person as a person. Andy Crouch looks at this dehumanizing quality of modern life and convincingly documents the ways that life has become less personal. Technology can do amazing things and can be helpful in certain ways, but the dominate tone is a false promise of fulfillment, fulfilling only basic needs and wants, not looking to deeper and more specifically human needs. Crouch provides ideas for how to counteract the numbing and isolating effects of our technologically-dominated world. He builds on ideas started two thousand years ago, when the Roman Empire was at its height of world domination. A new movement started, in homes and around tables, where everyone had equal dignity: the scholars, the government officials, the scribes, the slaves, the females. Christianity provided a sea change in human culture with its emphasis on human dignity and care for even the most marginalized and supposedly worthless members of society. While it seems that such a scheme is doomed to failure, look where the Roman empire is today (in history books and museums) and where Christians are (all over the world, in hospitals and hospices, in food banks and soup kitchens). Crouch recommends we build households, places where people of different stages and stations in life gather and truly live together. Some households only have family, but often people who are not blood relations live in common and still develop close bonds and give mutual support. These are communities like the early Christian communities, where people would gather to pray and eat and serve each other. Such a lifestyle is unglamorous and won't wind up in history books or museums, but it will last for generations to come and will make the world a better place. This book is inspirational without being ham-fistedly religious. While referencing Christianity, Crouch does not argue that we depend on grace or supernatural interventions in order to heal the wounds in modern society. He is not telling anyone to go to church or to pray to God (he does not write about that). Crouch keeps it on a humanist level, even while acknowledging that the problems of hedonistic, materialistic culture are the results of serving Mammon, which Jesus claims in Matthew 6:24 is what you are serving if you aren't serving God. People need to make priorities and some priorities are better than others. Highly recommended, and it's a quick read too! SAMPLE QUOTE: "The privacy we cherish is constantly in danger of curdling into isolation." [p. 160]

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michele Morin

    Once again Andy Crouch offers startling commentary on the culture and our relationship to technology. Picking up where The Tech Wise Family left off, The Life We’re Looking For addresses the state of our hearts, for our obsession with our devices is truly an obsession with ourselves. Over time, humanity has traded our search for significance in the eyes of another person for the self-affirming mirror of customized entertainment and digital distraction. Somehow, in a world obsessed with identity, Once again Andy Crouch offers startling commentary on the culture and our relationship to technology. Picking up where The Tech Wise Family left off, The Life We’re Looking For addresses the state of our hearts, for our obsession with our devices is truly an obsession with ourselves. Over time, humanity has traded our search for significance in the eyes of another person for the self-affirming mirror of customized entertainment and digital distraction. Somehow, in a world obsessed with identity, we have lost touch with some of the most important ways of being human. Part One of the book laments this loss, and Part Two responds by offering strategies and a mindset for a more fully human life. I have been personally challenged on some specific fronts: To continue to see my dining room table as a place where genuine change can happen. To be suspicious of the word “superpower” as a dehumanizing influence. Wherever the sensation of strength is separated form the sensation of effort, we have been diminished. To be cautious about making choices that mask emptiness, all the while deepening it. Crouch puts a finger on our “small consolations and addictions,” the things that keep us just barely comforted, when God has designed us to flourish. To beware of the allure of “impact.” What I really want to have with my readers is influence, a subtle and lasting change over time and through relationship and intentional, consequential contact over words and ideas. Rather than replacing people with cyborgs, the goal of truly valuable technology is to re-place us, to “put us back in our place as… the crown of creation.” (1480) As an instrument in the the hand of a skilled practitioner, technology benefits us most when it enhances our human capabilities and lifts our burdens. Many thanks to Convergent Books and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Grant Humphreys

    For many years, I have been a big fan of Andy Crouch. His other books have inspired, challenged, enlightened, and convicted me and very healthy in life-giving ways. This book, the life we’re looking for, is what I believe to be Andy’s Magnum Opus. It’s the capstone of his impressive body of authored works as it ties together ideological concepts and personal convictions that he has pointed to in previous books. And it does so with such grace and beauty that one might think that all of his books For many years, I have been a big fan of Andy Crouch. His other books have inspired, challenged, enlightened, and convicted me and very healthy in life-giving ways. This book, the life we’re looking for, is what I believe to be Andy’s Magnum Opus. It’s the capstone of his impressive body of authored works as it ties together ideological concepts and personal convictions that he has pointed to in previous books. And it does so with such grace and beauty that one might think that all of his books over the past 10+ years had been carefully and deliberately staged to the perfect climax. I typically don’t write such lofty words of praise and affirmation about a book, but this book is a “must read”. Well done, Andy. Thank you for processing the hard concepts of life, finding the truth like a buried treasure, and the. graciously walking us into these rich discoveries.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Samcwright

    This is a good book about technology consumption fro a distinctly Christian angle. It highlights how at the root of technology is the desire to turn people into “things”. Things that can be manipulated or standardized to create more effective machine learning models or simply things to perpetuate consumption. It’s a unique and interesting lens through which to examine the role of technology and how we can ultimately overcome this perspective to see people as people once again.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Helena

    I was so excited for this next book by one of my favourite authors, Andy Crouch, but this wasn't quite as good as his previous book Tech Wise Family. There are definitely plenty things mentioned to unpack further and to ponder on. A good, solid follow-up. I was so excited for this next book by one of my favourite authors, Andy Crouch, but this wasn't quite as good as his previous book Tech Wise Family. There are definitely plenty things mentioned to unpack further and to ponder on. A good, solid follow-up.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eli Johnson

    A quick and simple examination of our loneliness and disconnected world, as well as the call back to a household-love and community less focused on efficiency & productivity and more focused on self-giving & wonder. There’s a lack of practical advice which I appreciated, and the final chapter united the books themes quite beautifully.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amie

    Hit at the right moment. A Christian, though non-denominational, view to things so take that into account, and I can’t say that it said anything other similar books haven’t said (don’t put things above people, or treat people like dispensable service providers) but it was what I needed to hear right now.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Luke Evans

    Extraordinary book. Moving. Timely.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karyn Hall

    Absolutely fantastic. Drop the mic. He did it. You can all go home now. This is the book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy Fischer

    A book about technology yet not about technology. It's refreshingly absent from action points and simplistic to-do lists. Instead, Andy Crouch challenges deeper principles and ideas that reframe everyday opportunities. A book about technology yet not about technology. It's refreshingly absent from action points and simplistic to-do lists. Instead, Andy Crouch challenges deeper principles and ideas that reframe everyday opportunities.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Atwood

    Simply- beautiful. I could not give a book a higher recommendation.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    After reading a lot of denser books, the writing style of this one was a bit of a shock. There were many helpful observations Crouch made, but I had a hard time adjusting to his style—however, that’s my own fault, or just a matter of personal taste, not a judgement on his work.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nancy French

    This is more than a book on technology. If you feel the modern world is leaving you less fulfilled, this book helpfully explains the spiritual underpinnings of technology and reveals its false promises. Highly recommend!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Phenomenal look at what it means to be human. This isn't a jeremiad about technology; rather, it raises insightful questions and explores compelling answers. This is a book I will reread and share. Phenomenal look at what it means to be human. This isn't a jeremiad about technology; rather, it raises insightful questions and explores compelling answers. This is a book I will reread and share.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Beau Brown

    Fantastic book about how to understand and navigate our technological world with the love of Christ.

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