Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Review: The God I Don't Understand

Previously, Christopher Wright has written books on Knowing God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) through the Old Testament. His latest book might come as a surprise - as he confesses that he doesn't always understand God. Yet what might be a surprise is also a comfort, as we realise that because God is so majestic and glorious, we don't always understand everything about Him.

Wright helpfully identifies various different ways of not understanding God - for example, non-understanding which leads to us being angry or grieved (as a result of suffering), morally disturbed (for example the treatment of the Canaanites in the conquest of the promised land), puzzling (in relation to the last things, and how so many misunderstand and promote false ideas of raptures etc), and gratitude (for the cross, even though we can't fully understand how it works). These four areas are the four major divisions in the book, with each topic thoughtfully dealt with in turn.

Wright is painfully honest that there are things we just can't understand - but at the same time he engagingly and fully asserts that there are things that we definitely can know, which God has revealed to us. Therefore, while we're faced with uncertainties, there are nevertheless certainties which we can hold on to and trust in.

All in all, this is a great book for those who sometimes struggle with doubts, or face tough questions from friends. Well worth reading and remembering some of the arguments presented, as well as the affirmations of faith in God and his sufficient word.

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