Posted by: Keith Clark | February 24, 2012

Humilitas by John Dickson

In his latest book, Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership, John Dickson explores the virtue of humility. He begins by defining humility as “the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself” (24). In successive chapters he explores the role of humility in leadership, makes a logical case for the practice of humility, and argues for the cultivation of humility on aesthetic grounds. Dickson then traces the historical path by which humility came to be regarded as a virtue as opposed to being despised. He credits the life, teachings, and ministry of Jesus with launching out in a new direction (toward humility) from the midst of a culture which prided itself on the attainment and preservation of honor. Having recognized Jesus’s impact on the status of humility, Dickson suggests humility generates abilities, determines one’s ability to influence others, inspires those with whom one interacts, and has the ability to foster harmony in the midst of a warring and divided world. He concludes the book with a chapter of practical suggestions for intentionally cultivating humility.

In Humilitas, Dickson’s avoids preaching to the choir by simply citing biblical passages about humility. Instead he makes a compelling case for the cultivation of humility by any and all people, regardless of faith or lack thereof. If, therefore, one is looking for a Bible study of humility, this is the wrong book to read. But if one is looking for a concise, persuasive call to humility that is grounded in historical inquiry, logical reasoning, sociological observation, and familiarity with the Christian faith, this is a great book to read.

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