Monday, October 9, 2017

Enjoying God - R. C. Sproul

R.C. Sproul's book, Enjoying God: Finding Hope in the Attributes of God is meant to draw the Christian's attention to the greatness of the God we serve.  How awesome, powerful and yet how loving and merciful He is toward His own.  As Sproul points out,  "Worship is the duty of every creature.  But any kind of worship is not enough, God commands us to worship in a proper manner."  And part of that worship is knowing God accurately.

Sadly, there were many things in this book that bothered me about this book.  First, I had thought that it was going to focus more on the attributes of God and how those affect how we live.  But, it didn't go into that as much as I thought it would.  I felt like it focused too much on questions like, "Does God's immutability, His unchangeableness, mean that He doesn't move around?" Or, "Can God limit His power?"  "If God did something bad would it really be bad?" I guess I just thought the book would focus more on God's attributes as presented in the Bible and how we live in light of them rather than on superfluous questions.  It just seems as though it would be more edifying if it didn't delve into those types of questions, they do not build one's faith or one's hope.

And then Sproul made some surprising and very unnecessary statements.  When discussing Christ's ability to not know something, like the day or the hour of His return, Sproul makes the statement, "I doubt if the human Jesus knew that the earth was round." Where did that come from? How is that biblical? Why does His not knowing the day or the hour make one think that He didn't know the shape of the earth He created?

And here's another one that took me off guard: speaking of Mary's response to Gabriel's news that she would give birth to the Messiah he says, "This response of the mother of God may be the most profound…"  I would be very wary of using the term "mother of God' to refer to Mary.   For one thing, it can give the impression that Mary was Christ's mother from eternity, and she was not;  Or it can elevate her in people's minds to the status of a 'goddess', which she was not, she was a sinful human being.   And for another, it disregards the Trinity.  Yes, yes, I know that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One, and "in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily"(Col 2:9) but biblically we still need to differentiate between them at times.  God the Father sent His Son into the world to be born of a woman (Galatians 4:4).  That statement is just too dangerous to use, in my opinion, and it's not a biblical term and it's not a necessary term. 

There were good things in this book, but not enough for me to want to recommend it. 

Many thanks to the folks at Baker Books Bloggers for sending me a free review copy of this book! (My review did not have to be favorable)

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