This review is sponsored by Baker Books, who provided me with the book for the purpose of reviewing. There is an affiliate link by which, if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission (at no cost to you).
I’ve been a Christian my whole life. I “prayed the prayer” accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, the first time, when I was four years old. At different points throughout my life my understanding of salvation changed and evolved and now, at nearly half-a-century of living, I understand this:
I KNOW NOTHING.
I can echo with Paul that the things I want to do (live and love like Christ) I don’t do, and the things I despise (living in fear and judgement and overall human nastiness) I do. Once a preacher and a youth pastor, at times a music minister and and a women’s leader, once a speaker-into-the-lives-of-others and a teacher and an inspirational writer…now just a middle-aged broad who realizes just how horribly imperfect she is and how much damage she’s capable of.
I have no right to speak to anyone. I can’t even get my own crap together.
I think Dr. Larry Crabb has been in the same place. Well, not the woman part, but everything else.
I think that because, in his newly published When God’s Ways Make No Sense, he asks the question that drives us all crazy, the question that has even driven some people away from Christ:
“If God is good, then what is He good for?”
And with that question he dives into the heart of the matter. If God isn’t bent on punishing the wicked and causing His people to do the right thing – just LOOK at the world, LOOK at those who call themselves “the Church”, LOOK! God! It’s disgusting out there! – what is He bent on? Is He even there?
With this review, I could outline how three biblical characters – Jonah, Saul of Tarsus, and Habbakuk – are compared and contrasted. I could look at the different thoughts about God’s sovereignty are examined and evaluated.
But I won’t.
Instead, I will share with you the statement that put a lifetime of walking and falling and sinning and failing and wondering if I would ever live up to God’s expectations of me into eternal perspective:
“Let me try to express the inexpressible good purpose toward which God is faithfully moving us: His Spirit is overwhelming the fallen power of self-centeredness so deeply imbedded [sic] within us with the thirst always stirring in even deeper places within us, a thirst to delight God by trusting His goodness in the worst of times. That overwhelming thirst frees us to relate in the divine energy of other-centeredness. And when we fail, as we surely will, we trust that God’s love is not weakened and that His good purpose in us will yet be accomplished.” (emphasis added)
This book has renewed my faith in a God I don’t always – or ever – understand. Before walking away in despair and discouragement and disbelief, read this book.