Cover image for The consolations of imperfection : learning to appreciate life's limitations
The consolations of imperfection : learning to appreciate life's limitations
McCullough, Donald W., 1949-
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, MI : Brazos Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
203 pages ; 23 cm
Colliding with the inevitable : the limitations of a masterpiece -- When getting out of bed hurts : the limitations of the body -- Okay, so I wasn't a perfect parent : the limitations of relationships -- Giving up on the New York times crossword puzzle : the limitations of knowledge -- On not being elected president (or member of the condo board) : the limitations of achievement -- Yet another year without winning the nobel peace prize : the limitations of moral goodness -- Don't expect a halo on my portrait : the limitations of spirituality -- When the roses wilt : the limitations of romance -- Two cheers for the little blue pill : the limitations of sex -- Mind if I lean on your arm? : the limitations of confidence -- Ignoring the reviews : the limitations of public approval -- A sudden interest in the future of social security : the limitations of money -- Playing monopoly without getting into a fight : the limitations of competitiveness -- The world didn't even notice when I quit trying to save it : the limitations of responsibility -- When someone else needs to drive : the limitations of freedom -- Are we still having fun? : the limitations of pleasure -- What did you say? : the limitations of the senses -- The relentless, inexorable, and maddening tick of the clock : the limitations of time -- It won't get any better : the limitations of optimism -- Finally, the best news : the limitations of limitations.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BV4905.3 .M347 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



It is easy to hate or even deny our limitations, but despite our greatest efforts, there are things we cannot change. In The Consolations of Imperfection, Donald McCullough explains that everyone lives out a particular story, and the very limitations that frustrate us may also be freeing us toward new growth. An aging body, for example, reminds us of the transcendent power of the human spirit. Broken relationships remind us that love is a gift, not an obligation, and death is the beginning of something greater, not the end of everything. Weaving anecdotes and inspiring stories into this well-written book, McCullough covers topics ranging from limitations on the body, senses, and knowledge to limitations on moral goodness, spirituality, and time. If you are looking for encouragement and a better way to approach life's inevitable limits, you'll enjoy this witty and insightful book. Book jacket.

Author Notes

Donald W. McCullough has pastored congregation in Solana Beach, California, and Seattle and served as president of the San Francisco Theological Seminary and professor of theology and preaching.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

An ordained pastor and former president of the San Francisco Theological Seminary, McCullough (Say Please, Say Thank You) explores various areas in which we often experience disappointment-physical, professional, financial, sexual, and familial-and ends by discussing the inevitable approach of the grim reaper. His book reads like a diary of his thoughts about limitations he has faced and continues to encounter as he ages. Too often, he says, we ignore or gloss over changes we experience, perhaps because we don't want to admit that we are fast resembling our parents. McCullough advocates turning to God, not with the desire that God wave a magic wand and make our troubles disappear, but to gain sustenance and to realize that while our earthly lives are far from perfect, there is an overall plan in which eventually good will prevail and death need not be feared. McCullough relates his and other people's experiences to the example set by Jesus by considering how Jesus advised his earthly contemporaries to deal with setbacks. This is not a cure-all book, and non-Christians may not agree with McCullough's outlook, but many of his thoughts apply to the secular world as well. For public and church libraries.-Mary Prokop, Savannah Country Day Sch., GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 9
1. Colliding with the Inevitable: The Limitations of a Masterpiecep. 11
2. When Getting Out of Bed Hurts: The Limitations of the Bodyp. 20
3. Okay, So I Wasn't a Perfect Parent: The Limitations of Relationshipsp. 32
4. Giving Up on the New York Times Crossword Puzzle: The Limitations of Knowledgep. 44
5. On Not Being Elected President (or Member of the Condo Board): The Limitations of Achievementp. 54
6. Yet Another Year without Winning the Nobel Peace Prize: The Limitations of Moral Goodnessp. 63
7. Don't Expect a Halo on My Portrait: The Limitations of Spiritualityp. 75
8. When the Roses Wilt: The Limitations of Romancep. 82
9. Two Cheers for the Little Blue Pill: The Limitations of Sexp. 91
10. Mind If I Lean on Your Arm?: The Limitations of Confidencep. 98
11. Ignoring the Reviews: The Limitations of Public Approvalp. 109
12. A Sudden Interest in the Future of Social Security: The Limitations of Moneyp. 120
13. Playing Monopoly without Getting into a Fight: The Limitations of Competitivenessp. 129
14. The World Didn't Even Notice When I Quit Trying to Save It: The Limitations of Controlp. 138
15. When Someone Else Needs to Drive: The Limitations of Freedomp. 145
16. Are We Still Having Fun?: The Limitations of Pleasurep. 154
17. What Did You Say?: The Limitations of the Sensesp. 162
18. The Relentless, Inexorable, and Maddening Tick of the Clock: The Limitations of Timep. 173
19. It Won't Get Any Better: The Limitations of Optimismp. 182
20. Finally, the Best News: The Limitations of Limitationsp. 191
Notesp. 197