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True Beauty Hardcover – 31 Mar 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books; 1 edition (31 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433540347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433540349
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By miss rg williams on 11 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Superb book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great Help in Understanding True Beauty 17 Mar. 2014
By Taryn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The newest book by mother-daughter team Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre is wonderfully encouraging and a helpful resource for discovering the source and purpose of True Beauty.

What this book is not:

This book is not about "inner beauty". In fact, the authors give a very clear explanation why this line of thinking is unhelpful.
This book is not prescribing a certain dress code or diet and exercise plan for Christian women. The authors expect us to think carefully about how our beauty reflects God's beauty and decide what is most appropriate and God-honoring as individuals.

What this book is:

It is an encouragement to think neither too highly or lowly of oneself. We all have value but apart from Christ, we are all ugly sinners who need to be rescued from sin.
It is an explanation of how beauty is a gospel issue. Through the beautiful sacrifice of Jesus, we have a way to understand our Creator's design for us and we can desire to reflect Him.

In seven chapters, the authors discuss how we should view True Beauty in relation to our culture, God, our hearts, our bodies, clothes, our trust and works.

Examples of great take-aways from this book:
Our Culture: Our culture has it all wrong. The standard is unrealistic and fake plus it is constantly changing.

God: God is the only perfectly beautiful being. He designed beauty and created us to reflect His beauty.

Our Hearts: Our hearts are jumbled and confused about what true beauty is. It can only be found in the redemptive work of Christ on the cross.

How we view beauty can have a large impact on our priorities and desires. Every woman would greatly benefit from reading this book to gain a godly perspective on True Beauty.

*Special thanks to Crossway through NetGalley.com for providing this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Benchmarks of True Beauty 25 Mar. 2014
By Dr. David Steele - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre tackle the sensitive topic of beauty in their book, True Beauty. The "benchmarks for beauty" are constantly changing and most of the criteria is propaganda which caters to worldliness. This book, on the other hand has a simple goal, namely - to point women to true beauty which is found in the pages of Scripture.

True Beauty challenges readers to see things from God's perspective. Henry Scougal writes, "The worth and the excellency of a soul is to be measured the object of its love." Herein lies the real value and beauty of a woman - as she contemplates and worships her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: "He is the ultimate, unchanging, eternal standard of beauty. He is the Author, Creator, and Bestower of beauty. His beauty transcends time and culture. It never changes and never fades." Therefore, true beauty is not fleeting. True beauty is not bound by cultural expectations. True beauty is rooted in the radiant beauty and majesty of the living God. He is the most beautiful Being in the universe. Therefore, all beauty must be measured according to his design.

Mahaney and Whitacre alert readers to the final standard of beauty - which is found in Jesus Christ. Women, must therefore, develop a "taste for beauty." However, "sin has blinded us to the beauty of God, and when we lost sight of this beauty, we lost interest." So instead of delighting in God, we delight in other things - things that are in the final analysis, tantamount to idolatry. This fascination with the mundane, with anything less than God is nothing new. Israel struggled mightily with the sin of idolatry: "Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water" (Jer. 2:11-13, ESV).

One of the central arguments in the book is that the "gospel of Jesus Christ transforms our taste for beauty ... True beauty is to behold and reflect the beauty of God." And to behold the great God of the universe is to trust him implicitly. The authors add, "Apply trust in God, with good works (1 Tim. 2:9-10) and you will not fail to become genuinely beautiful." Indeed, this is the touchstone as Mahaney and Whitacre weave this important reality through the remainder of the book and discuss the relationship of beauty to hearts, bodies, clothes, trust, and work.

Frankly, I cannot say enough about True Beauty. It avoids the pitfalls of legalism and props up the pillars of a gospel-centered worldview. It is gracious and thoughtful in tone. It is saturated through and through with Scripture. It affirms beauty and challenges women to pursue the highest standard of beauty - which again, is the Lord Jesus Christ. My hope is that True Beauty receives a wide readership and strengthens and edifies a new generation of women who grow more beautiful as they pursue their Savior.

"but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." (1 Peter 3:4, ESV)

Highly recommended!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Review: True Beauty 31 Mar. 2014
By Stefanie Kamerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through Net Gallery. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I loved this book. Really, I did.

Carolyn and her daughter, Nicole, start their book out by explaining the gospel according to beauty our society preaches to us and flat out tells us how that gospel is one big lie.

Yet again, God blows me away with how He uses authors-especially these two women-to preach His gospel and to show how the gospel applies to every aspect of our lives. Beauty included. Carolyn and Nicole explain how women-of any age-will be transformed by the truth in the gospel of Jesus Christ once they learn what true beauty is. Because it isn’t the latest hair styles, clothes, make up techniques, face lotions,or botox. It is the true Beauty of God. His Eternal Beauty. His design for us. His craft of man-kind.

This book addresses topics like our hearts, body image, clothing, eating disorders, and the beauty of our works as Christians. They surround these topics with God’s truth and wisdom. The gospel in which they preach sets us free from the limitations of our culture’s idea of beauty and directs us to the limitless beauty that rests in our Savior and God’s unfailing wisdom about beauty.

Praise and Glory to Jesus Christ for Carolyn and Nicole for writing this book. It was eye opening and life changing in many aspects.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An Important Topic 11 Oct. 2014
By Tim Challies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Over the past few years I have found myself thinking often about beauty. I suppose my interest in the subject may relate to the fact that I am the father of two girls. Though they are still young, they are already being exposed to so many messages about the importance of beauty and the kind of beauty society expects from them. They already know they will be judged on the basis of it. For this reason I want to equip them with a knowledge of what the Bible says about beauty. But what does it say? What should I be teaching them?

Beauty is the subject of a new book from mother-daughter team Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre. In True Beauty they go looking beyond society’s perceptions and misperceptions of beauty and attempt to bring the Bible to bear. They do it well.

Before I had two daughters I had three younger sisters, and for years I heard them grapple with being beautiful, looking beautiful, feeling beautiful. I heard them as they asked questions about the appropriate standards for beauty and as they doubted all we tried to tell them. I saw them try to deal with the false gospel of beauty: that beauty equals happiness, that more beauty brings more happiness, and that to be without beauty is to be without hope and fulfillment. What they didn’t want to hear is the too-easy message that outer beauty is meaningless while inner beauty is everything.

They could have used this book. Speaking for both authors, Mahaney says, “My hope is that you too will be encouraged to bring every question about beauty and every struggle with your appearance to God’s Word. My prayer is that you will trust in his Word and submit to his Word, finding hope, freedom, and delight in the beauty of his truth.” It is only God’s Word that can direct us to the deepest and sweetest beauty.

The authors begin by grounding beauty in the image of God. Because we are all made in God’s image, we all have inherent beauty. If God is beautiful, then so too are we, having been made in his image. “We are not beautiful because we fit the popular ideal of beauty, and we are not ugly or unattractive because we don’t measure up. Our beauty as human beings is not derived from ourselves. It comes from a beautiful God.” From Creation they go to the Fall and then to the gospel, showing that the gospel lays a double claim to our taste for beauty, first through creation and then through redemption. True beauty, they say, is to behold and reflect the beauty of God.

From the source of beauty, they go to the heart, showing that human beings are glory thieves, eager to steal the glory that is rightly God’s. A woman who wishes to use beauty to draw attention to herself, is robbing God of the glory that is his. From the heart they move to the body and deal with common issues—body image, weight, and the like. They speak here of stewardship, they encourage women to care for their bodies in ways that serve the Lord, and they warn against grumbling and dissatisfaction. They move outward again from the body to the clothing, discussing the importance of modest dress and rightly showing that clothing is simply an outer reflection of the inner woman.

As the book begins to draw to a close, they look at two important New Testament texts that speak to inner beauty and outer beauty. A helpful appendix provides guidance to parents who want to help their children understand God’s perspective on the subject.

What you will not find in True Beauty is the all-too-common attitude that frumpiness is next to godliness. You will not find the authors trying to convince you that beauty is a problem, that Christian women ought to be ashamed of the beauty God has given them, that they’d better not do anything to enhance it. You won’t find them saying that character is all that matters. What you will find is simple, clear, practical teaching on the nature of beauty and the sheer goodness of beauty.

Society gets beauty all wrong. As we examine the messages we see and hear all around us, we quickly spot the presence of idolatry. The beautiful are worshiped, while the plain are ignored or even reviled. Beauty is a cultural god. Mahaney and Whitacre do an exemplary job of going to Scripture to bring God’s wisdom to bear. And, as we would expect, his perspective is infinitely better. This is a book for any woman—an especially any young woman—to read and absorb.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Must Read 28 May 2014
By Joshua Aguilar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"The gospel of Jesus Christ really does redeem everything, including beauty. It really does reach into the heart of “if only I could get this taken care of” and takes care of it. Our beauty crisis is no match for the truth of God’s Word"

In True Beauty  Mahaney and Whitacre provide us with a much needed foundational theology of beauty. Now this isn’t Mahaney’s and Whitacre’s exhaustive concordance of beauty. But in 128 pages they provide a solid Gospel foundation and a springboard for further study on the topic of beauty.

To begin the book Mahaney and Whitacre inform us of the problem of beauty and our culture. They provide statistics and information to support the point that;

"Our society has taken physical beauty and made it a god. The message of the gospel according to beauty is proclaimed in every advertisement and television show: Beauty equals happiness. Beauty brings fulfillment. Beauty means success. Don’t have physical beauty? You are condemned."

Throughout the book they weave personal stories and stories from other women who have struggled in the area of beauty. Even though they paint a true and grim picture the authors don’t leave us hopeless and without a solution. They do an excellent job of pointing out the fleeting nature of beauty and holding it up to the unchanging and relevant truths of Scripture.

In the remaining 6 chapters of the book Mahaney and Whitacre provide for us a Biblical-Theological understanding of beauty. Each chapter reads like a New Testament epistle in the sense that they lay out a Biblical-Theological framework and then they point out the practical implications of the framework and how it relates to everyday life. They also do an excellent job of staying Gospel Centered. With a book about beauty it can easily turn into a list of rules and legalistic, but in True Beauty they keep the focus on the Gospel and the heart of the reader.

Each chapter is excellent, with that being said I thoroughly enjoyed chapter 2 True Beauty and Our God. In this chapter they point out that God is the sum of all things beautiful and more. As his children we are to reflect that beauty to the world. How do we do that? We compare our taste for beauty to the beautiful attributes of God.

"Take, for example, God’s holiness. If God is pure and cannot look on sin, then our style preferences should be in harmony with this aspect of his beauty. If we admire and enjoy clothing that is immodest, provocative, or seductive, then our tastes belie the beauty of God’s holiness. Rather, the Christian woman should value a style and appearance that represents the purity and holiness of God."

True Beauty is written with women in mind. Their target is women. My family and I sat and read this together because the principles apply to both men and women. I also wanted my daughter’s to hear the truths and testimonies in this book and I told my son’s as we read this book think about how this effects your decisions on a future spouse. I highly recommend this book.
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