Distinctively Christian Retirement

Distinctively Christian Retirement

I have recently published my second book! The cover looks like this:

 

What is this book about?

While the topic is retirement, this book explores what the Bible says about older age more generally. Here is the official blurb:

Most of us assume that when we reach a certain age, we will retire from work and spend the rest of our lives doing whatever we want. While the idea of an endless holiday sounds wonderful, the reality often ends up being very different. Retirement often brings with it relationship challenges, mental health problems, and lack of motivation or purpose. It is often not the paradise we have imagined.

Christians should live in a very different way to those who don’t trust Jesus, no matter what their age. While some older Christians may feel less important or that they have less to offer, the Bible teaches that our worth is not based on our work. This book aims to give Christians a Biblical vision for how our later years might be used to serve Jesus.

While the concept of retirement is not found in the Bible, God’s word remains very helpful for us as we prepare for our later years. The Bible is full of teaching about age and maturity, purpose, identity and death.  We can learn from a range of examples of older believers who have gone before us and discover what God’s word has to say about health limitations, nostalgia, money, and many other relevant issues.

Has anyone I know read it and reviewed it?

As I am a pastor and not yet retired myself, I asked two older pastors I trust to review the manuscript and give me feedback. They have kindly done this, and their endorsements are below:

 

With the wisdom of the Bible and the love of an astute and observant pastor, Simon has given us a timely gift regarding the much longed for or equally forbidden, R word. Retirement can see dreams of freedom dashed into nightmares of boredom. But by thoughtfully reflecting on retirement, he helpfully shows how, approached under God it can bring freedom through service. 

As an active and reluctant retiree of 5 years I found encouragement as Scriptural reminders of our worth in Christ and God’s design of us for freedom in service rather than self-indulgence, a tonic.

The challenges of the book come from an experienced and loving pastor, whose intent to help his readers catch, or re-discover, the joys of trusting and serving Christ clearly shines through. We are not being got at, but lovingly reminded, in very practical ways, that there is real life to be enjoyed in retirement. 

Simon’s book will be of great value to workers, their families, those approaching and already retired. With expectations vital to any life change, the encouragement to godly and realistic expectations is a great boon. Saving us from unhealthy cul-de-sacs by opening up new vistas for the last lap, is a gift worthy of personal reading and small group attention. 

I am very happy to commend Simon’s book and thank him for the work he has put in to helping us in this very practical way.

Rt. Rev Dr Peter Brain

 

Simon challenges us to rethink about the time God has given us on earth, and how we look at retirement against that backdrop.  Is retirement from gainful employment really our time to relax, or an opportunity to serve God with that extra time He has given us?  A most important discussion.

Rev Dr Stephen Rarig

 

More recently, a range of reviewers have written more extensive reviews. You can find one by Simon Manchester for the Sydney Anglicans website here, one by Murray Capill of the Reformed Theological College at the Gospel Coalition Australia website here, and one by an American pastor Dr Grover Gunn at the Aquila Report here.

 

Who is this book for?

Obviously, this book aims to be a help to those already retired. It is best, however, to think about retirement before it comes. I think that this will be helpful for most Christian adults.

 

Why should you read Distinctively Christian Retirement?

There is so much written about children, teenagers and young adults in the church. Much of the church growth and evangelistic literature out there is concerned with how we connect to an ever-changing culture, with an emphasis on the younger end of the spectrum. In contrast, many churches are held together by faithful older believers. This book aims to encourage older Christians in their service and show them their immense value to God and the opportunities they have to serve Jesus.

 

What does Distinctively Christian Retirement cover?

The book has four sections. It starts by challenging our usual cultural concept of retirement as an extended holiday. The second section looks directly at the Biblical material on older age, in general principles, examples, and the application of key ideas. The third section deals with some specific issues that face retirees such as nostalgia and health limitations. And the fourth section unpacks Biblical directions for serving God well with the experience and time that retirement offers.

You can find the table of contents at the link below:

Table of contents

 

Why did I write this book?

I have ministered alongside many faithful older believers, and also been frustrated at some of the cultural views of retirement that have become so common in the church. I realised while preaching through Ecclesiastes that all the issues we face around older age are dealt with in the Bible, yet few books seemed to delve into what God had already told us about it.

My aim was not to be especially creative or controversial, but to just simply and helpfully lay out what God has said to us about ageing.

 

Can I read an excerpt anywhere?

Yes, you can. I have posted a few short excerpts on my blog here and here. The Aquila report kindly published an excerpt here, and the Gospel Coalition Australia published a different excerpt here. A more recent excerpt was published on Modern Reformation here.

 

Where can I buy it?

It is available in many places. Here are the key ones:

ebook

You can buy it from Amazon wherever you are in the world, including the Australian site here and the US site here.

The ebook is also available on Kobo here, Apple Books, and most places ebooks are sold.

Print book

The paperback is available at Book Depository here with free shipping anywhere in the world, and in most online booksellers.

Koorong is stocking it in stores and online here.

Reformers Bookshop usually have it in stock here.

Audiobook

I have recorded the audiobook version myself. It is currently available through Audible here and at Booktopia here and everywhere good audiobooks are sold.