Good and Beautiful Life

Average Review (1)

Published by Inter Varsity Press

Description We have bought into false notions of happiness and success. Self-centered decisions lead us further into the vices that cause ruin: anger, lust, lying, worry and judging. Eventually we find ourselves living a beautifully packaged life of self-destruction. Following the Sermon on the Mount, this book guides readers to look behind these character flaws and to replace our false beliefs with Jesus' narratives about life in the kingdom of God.

Length of the study in weeks

The Good and Beautiful Life more

The Good and Beautiful Life

Crissa Letson - Asbury UMC

Overall Review
In his second book of The Apprentice Series, James Bryan Smith engages readers to set aside self-centered lives that prohibit us from the true life we have in Christ. The Good and Beautiful Life guides participants through an in-depth exploration of the Sermon on the Mount with God's Kingdom vision. Each book of this series is based on four components that are essential to transformation. Throughout the series, readers are challenged to examine false narratives they've believed about God and replace those narratives with the God Jesus reveals in scripture. This transformation process happens best in the context of community, all under the direction of the Holy Spirit. As with The Good and Beautiful God, this book includes Soul Training Exercises at the conclusion of each chapter. Some of the exercises are classical spiritual disciplines, while others offer fresh ways to grow in discipleship. This book works well in small group settings. If used in Sunday school, time constraints may limit the amount of discussion, but is nonetheless very effective for adults who desire a deeper walk with Christ. The appendix includes a small group discussion guide that walks leaders step-by-step through the small group process. There are scripture passages for reading and reflection. Discussion questions are insightful and engaging, challenging readers to live in a way that is reflective of Christ's character. The author even includes an estimated length of time with each activity to assist in planning. I found this book to be a wonderful follow-up to Smith's The Good and Beautiful God. This book was meaningful for my own spiritual growth and I recommend it often to individuals and groups who are seeking to deepen their walk of discipleship with Jesus.

Review Date

Time Per Week
30 minutes to read each chapter; additional time varies depending on Soul Training exercise at conclusion of each chapter

Level of participation expected from participants
Group discussion is enhanced when individuals complete the Soul Training exercises independently, then return to the group to share the experience

Other Special Expectations

Discipleship Lessons in Holiness Multiple Topics Are Covered Small Group Spiritual Disciplines Sunday School


All or mostly Gospels

Invites personal sharing Theologically sound Transformational

Group engage in lively and interesting discussion


Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.