In Escaping Escapism, Dave Griffith-Jones hopes to motivate readers to move from fear to courage through the person and work of Jesus Christ. In Chapter 1, the author discusses how escapism is rooted in a divided heart that refuses to commit to God’s ways while seeking selfish solutions that exacerbates the issue even more. Furthermore, Chapter 2 explains how fear is the fuel of escapism so that all our decisions become subject to those fears instead of the only One we should fear which is God Himself. In the next chapter, Griffith-Jones points out that the solution to fighting escapism is through Jesus who lived a perfect life in accordance with God’s will. Through His life, death, and resurrection, we are now filled with His Spirit who changes us to become more like Christ. The author highlights in Scripture how God is the One who re-creates our divided hearts to be completely devoted to Him. Moreover, we need to constantly fix our eyes on Jesus instead of focusing on the idols of our escapism. The next chapters describe how seven aspects of who Jesus is to us can stir us to courageous action. Firstly, Jesus is our refuge so we find solace and security in Him against our fears. We also know that Jesus is our shepherd so He guides us through the ups and downs of life. Moreover, Jesus is our light that illuminates the darkness in our lives and helps us to see the truth that is in Him. Next, Jesus is our portion so we can be content with all the goodness and blessings that flow from Him. Jesus is also our rock giving us a firm foundation to stand against the pressures of life. Furthermore, Jesus is our strength so we do not need to try fixing life’s troubles in our own power. Lastly, Jesus is our salvation thus our identities are rooted in Him and do not need to fear failure. In the final chapter, Griffith-Jones concludes by using the analogy of mountain climbing to describe practical steps that one can take to begin the journey away from escapism.
I recommend this book to Christians who may be gripped with fear which often breeds apathy and indifference. Many of us experience great joy when we were first converted but difficulties and troubles eventually choke all joy out of our lives and we become dominated by fear. Griffith-Jones reminds us that we are not alone treading water in the storm but have Jesus as the One who carries us through every trial and tribulation when we feel weak and helpless. This does not mean that we sit idly waiting for God to remove our troubles but rather, we move forward by constantly meditating on God’s Word, submitting ourselves to Him in prayer, and encouraging each other to carry on. Every little step that we take allows us to pursue godly initiatives that grow our love for God and others instead of satisfying our own selfish desires. When we take enough of these steps, we find that we no longer take the easy way out through escapism but progress towards greater holiness and spiritual maturity.