I learned early and I learned well: everyone has a worldview, everyone has a set of precepts and presuppositions upon which they speak and act. Discover the worldview of a person, and their actions become completely understandable.
Hugh Hewitt, lawyer, radio talk show host, Con Law Prof, former official in the Reagan administration, and writer, has authored 12 books, co-authored at least 3 books, and was at one time Richard Nixon’s ghostwriter. But to really know Hugh Hewitt, read his book In, But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition and the Desire to Influence the World. This small volume is, perhaps unwittingly, a blueprint of Hugh’s precepts and presuppositions.
In, But Not Of was initially published in April 2003, but the new, revised edition with Study Guide came into existence in 2012, and is a collaborative effort with Bill Blankschaen, who wrote the study guide. [note: Bill Blankschaen has since joined the ranks of contributors to Right Voice Media]
This small, but powerful book is a must read for the young person who is college bound and determined to make an impact in the world.
But lest you shrug off the suggestion, assuming this is only a book for those 20-somethings who have yet to chart their course in life, Hugh admonishes on page 5:
“This generation and the next may not be blessed with giants, and even if they are, they will need–absolutely, positively need–hundreds of thousands of leaders of character, purpose and ability. Even if you have not shown such traits to date, and even if you have spent half a lifetime discouraged by the flow of events, there are decades ahead and opportunities stacked up to the sky.“
Hugh guides the would-be collegian through chapters of advice such as know the history of the West (the Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Brits and America). “…curiosity is the first ingredient of leadership. How do leaders recognize this curiosity in the next generation? If job seekers haven’t been curious enough to figure out how we came to be here and why we have become the people we are, it is hardly likely that their curiosity is other than a personal sort.”
Ever wonder why Hugh is such a top-shelf interviewer? Read chapter 37 and this closing graf:
“…ask questions. In every conversation and with every sort of person. And listen very carefully to the answers. This practice will set you apart from a vast mass of people too absorbed in themselves to notice the world round them.”
Are you like so many, and hugging the security of a job in hand tightly around you? Listen to Hugh’s advice on page 74 (chapter 13), “A good job can always be succeeded by a perfect job, and a salary can always be increased.” Another key pointer for those yearning to advance their level of influence, page 91, “Deposit making in the favor bank is the critical ingredient to rising in the world.”
Interesting. Hugh’s book is about a life of habit and discipline. The habit of doing favors for others, is biblical AND will yield friends anxious to reciprocate when their assistance is needed.
Chapter after chapter in this book admonishes and instructs the influence intern in matters practical and deep.
But the heart of the book may very well be found in chapter 29 “Always Keep in Mind that Your Work Is Far from the Most Important Work in the World”.
Read his insight on page 132:
“The most powerful people in history hold the stage for at most fifty years. The revolutionaries of the last century–Lenin, Stalin, Mao–all are almost totally eclipsed already if we measure their influence today.
By contrast, C.S. Lewis–a quiet academic and writer of children’s books–is everywhere read and still being felt. But even Lewis’ earthly achievements may pale in comparison with the influence of a missionary to a remote tribe who provides the occasion for a single conversion that leads to more conversions, which in turn reverberate through human time. This is the simple act of infinity at work.”
Hugh makes it clear: influence in the world is necessary and valuable and important. But the real importance of worldly influence is to effect and maintain liberties that allow the most important work of all: the work that touches souls with the gospel, the work that secures a person’s eternal destination.
Yes, read this book and you will not only learn much and gain tools to learn more; you’ll gain insight into Hugh Hewitt and what makes him the influencer and gracious man he is. In, But Not Of is surely a subliminal map of Professor/Lawyer Hewitt’s worldview.