Book Review of Brett McCracken’s “The Wisdom Pyramid”

How To Be Wise in A Fools Paradise

By David P. Craig

The way McCracken opens his book grips you from the outset. He writes, “Our world has more and more information, but less and less wisdom. More data; less clarity. More stimulation; less synthesis. More distraction; less stillness. More pontificating; less pondering. More opinion; less research. More speaking; less listening. More to look at; less to see. More amusements; less joy. There is more, but we are less. And we feel it.”

I really enjoyed reading this book because it spoke to the negative and positive realities of living in the “information age.” In the first three chapters the author deals with the data, statistics, and illustrates the downside of our information age and the technologies that have become so integral to our lives. However, he also shows that though we have more information, it has not brought us peace, but more stress. Information has not brought us more unity, but disunity. It has not made us more whole, but more fragmented. He doesn’t take a negative turn, but draws on how we can be wise in a fools paradise.

At least seventy percent of the book is how to use the God-given tools we have been endowed with by our Creator to learn what is true, and apply this knowledge wisely. Thus, having less stress, and more peace; be less hurried, and take time to “smell the roses;” and how to make effective use of our time, including a proper and productive use of technology. 

The key analogy used throughout the book is a simple one; and because of its simplicity it’s extremely memorable and effective. He uses the example of the food pyramid that was developed to balance our physical health. In the author’s usage the Pyramid takes on a similar strategy with examples of resources that our Maker has entrusted to us that if we implement strategically and intentionally we can become more wise. The sources he gives in succeeding chapters (from most important to least important) are as follows: (1) The Bible; (2) The Church; (3) Books; (4) Nature; (5) Beauty; (6) The Internet and Technology.

He makes a clear and logical case for the fact that most people in our culture (including Christians) have their Pyramid of priorities upside down. We use the most unsound source (technology) as the place we get most of our information (which may or may not be true) and let that dictate our beliefs and actions. Whereas the Bible — God’s revealed truth, and the other areas of truth — The Church, books, nature, and beauty — tend to take a back seat.

McCracken is to be commended for writing a short, clear, cogent, and practical book for how to live wisely by pursuing all truth in God’s general and special revelation. Those who read it will indeed benefit from its wisdom and if applied will also be more at peace, happy, efficient, and effective in their influence for good in a world that desperately needs God’s common and saving grace.

Author: lifecoach4God

I am the Lead Pastor of Marin Bible Church (Bay Area), born and raised in Huntington Beach, Ca., and currently living in Novato, California. I am married to my best friend of 30 years - Dana - and have five adult children; and seven grand children. I have been a Teaching Pastor for over thirty years. I was privileged to study at Multnomah University (B.S. - 1988); Talbot School of Theology (M.Div. - 1991); Westminster Theological Seminary & Northwest Graduate School (D. Min. - 2003). I founded Vertical Living Ministries in 2008 with the goal of encouraging Christian Disciples and Leaders to be more intentionally Christ-Centered in how they live by bringing glory to God in nine key areas of life: (1) Intimacy with God, (2) marriage, (3) family, (4) friendship, (5) vocationally/ministry , (6) emotional and physical health, (7) stewardship of resources, (8) discipleship, and (9) mentoring.

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