Thus this book is written personally. It includes theories and analysis. Yes, theology and history and philosophy are all relevant. They certainly inform and inspire me, and we'll have glimpses of them along the way. They'll help us gain clarity and discernment. It's also important to tell stories, ones that will help us see issues from a different vantage point, expanding our imagination and suggesting innovative possibilities.7 And so we'll also speak on a small scale about big issues. I write from within my own experiences and weave in what I've learned from others who strive to live well in these challenging times.

Why do we need this book now? I keep running into people who sense something awry with life. Yet we rush on, as if sleepwalkers on automatic pilot, not knowing the right questions. Albert Borgmann quotes Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, who sees a "narrowing and flattening" of life that results in "a loss of resonance, depth, or richness in our human surroundings." Borgmann calls this a "diminishment of our lives."8 But it does not have to be this way.

This book attempts to get at some reasons why life for many is not as good and fulfilling as we might wish. And it offers hopeful strategies for living differently and moving forward. We are not without choices. It remains possible to live well. Albert Borgmann is one of my most important teachers on these matters, and I appreciate his counsel to me: "The best thing is knowing that there is good news: it is possible to live the good life."9

Return to the Patheos Book Club for an author interview and more conversation on Living Into Focus by Arthur Boers.