Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Review of The God I Don’t Understand

Author: Christopher J.H. Wright

Pages: 224 pages

Publisher: Zondervan

Price: 15.59

Genre: Biblical Studies, Theology, General

Quick Summary:

This book is exactly as it is subtitled: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith. If you are looking for a detailed theodicy then you will not find it here. If you are looking for a manual on engaging in apologetics concerning the problem of evil this book might be helpful but it is not the author’s main purpose. Wright tackles four very difficult subjects: the problem of evil, the Canaanites, the cross, and the end of the world.

I agree with Gary M. Burge’s endorsement of the book when he says, “Wright uses his long experience as a theologian/teacher to skillfully and winsomely bring us through the dead-end solutions we often hear and lead us in fruitful and promising directions”. That is very aptly put. Wright’s purpose is not to put a period on these discussions but to steer them in a proper direction; even if that means at the end of the day we are left shrugging our shoulders.

What I Liked:

I have only recently begun reading the writings of Christopher Wright; what I have read thus far I absolutely love. He informs with scholarly precision but communicates pastorally. This book is honest and transparent. When he is confident about something our author shares it as truth. When he is unsure about something he is refreshingly honest. If every believer engaged in these questions with this type of attitude I am convinced we would go a long way in accurately representing the greatness of God.

I also must mention that, in my opinion, the introduction and last chapter are worth the price of the book.

What I Disliked:

Have you ever had a really pretty picture or beautiful piece of furniture but it has to sit in your closet because you cannot find a place that it rightly fits? This book is like that. It is packaged for the average consumer but deals with issues birthed in academia. It would easily fit in my library next to all of the books dealing with the cross. But then again it would also fit in an eschatology section…or perhaps it would fit in my Old Testament section…maybe it will go in my apologetics section.

Should You Buy It?

That depends. To use a baseball metaphor: are you looking for a solid multi-position player that excels in nothing but is dependable in many or are you looking for a single position guy that knocks the ball out of the park but can’t hit for average? If you need a utility infielder then this book is for you. The truth is I think all of us need to read this book, because it outlines for us how to engage in tough questions of faith. Don’t read this book to answer your questions; rather, read this book to learn how to effectively ask them

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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