Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Living the Quaker Way by Philip Gulley (Book Review)

*Disclosure- I recieved a copy of the book from the publisher via Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book:

In Philip Gulley's conversations with spiritual seekers around the country, he discovered that many people are drawn to the ideals of Quakerism though they are unaware of the roots of those convictions. In fact, far more people embrace Quaker beliefs than even call themselves Quakers. Many of us are finding that Quaker values offer an ethical and spiritual platform on which we can build lives of faith and service.

But what is Quakerism- and what difference could tis traditions really make?

Living a Quaker life means fostering contentment in a chaotic world, mercy in an unjust world, and wholeness in a broken world. It means believing in the nearness of God. It means wanting what Jesus wanted. As Gulley wrties, "It is the life, the Quaker way. I urge you to take up and live. By that I do not mean for you to seek out the nearest Quaker meeting and become a member, though you may if you wish. I mean for you to embrace these values, to give your assent and your heart to these virtues, so that our world might be transformed. My interest is not in growing the Quaker denomination. My passion is in growing a world in which peace, love and justice reign. In the end, I am not inviting you to a church, but to a life."

Gulley's writing is both personal and provocative as he challenges us to understand nda practice the spiritual priorities of a beautiful, generous way of living.

My thoughts:

The premise of this book intrigued me from the second I read the above description. I was interested in learning about the Quakers and I also wanted to read Philip Gulley's thoughts on applying Quaker principles to live a better, more peaceful life. I did come away from the book feeling like I had my eyes opened to some new ideas that I hadn't thought of before or had thoughts that I have long held confirmed by someone else feeling the same way. The Quaker's are peaceful people and they are all about serving others, living modestly, having integrity, taking care of others and participating and being a part of a tight knit community. All of the Quaker principles mentioned are examined in detail in Living the Quaker Way. Sulley illustrates these principles by being open and relaying personal stories throughout his lifetime that relate to each. I love how honest the author is, he is not perfect but you can tell he truly just wants to be a good and peaceful person. I did feel like there were great thoughts in this book about making the world a better place, especially the section on community. I found myself nodding my head vigorously the whole time. I truly think if we were more connected, closer knit and relied on each other as our grandparents did with their neighbors and even their families, we would all be a little happier and there would be less of a prevalence of depression.

As far as learning more about the Quakers as people and a group, I really didn't feel this book delivered in that area, but then the point of this book was not to preach Quakerism, but to share ideals and principles that would indeed help this world be a better place. This book isn't one that is trying to convert anyone, but it does what it sets out to do, sharing some great insight. Because of that, I would recommend this book if you are looking to better yourself or just enjoy reading inspiration books.

You can purchase a copy of Living the Quaker Way on

1 comment:

  1. Phil Gulley clearly and beautifully spells out the joy of the simple life in community with integrity , peace and equality. This is the kind of book which gives one pause when thinking about dogma and heirarchy both of which are absent in the Quaker way of life.

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