Godology (HTML)

RPM, Volume 11, Number 8, February 22 to February 28 2009

Godology

Because Knowing God Changes Everything
A Book Review




By Joseph R. Nally

Theological Editor
Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill)



Christian Timothy George, the author of "Godology: Because Knowing God Changes Everything" is author of several other books including, "Sex, Sushi, and Salvation: Thoughts on Intimacy, Community, and Eternity" and "An America Genius, Jonathan Edwards. 1 " Besides being a writer, Christian is a PhD student at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Visit his website.

Christian George has done it again. Another book written in a simple format explaining some difficult concepts regarding "God." As Christian explains: each chapter of the book includes a traditional teaching about God, a spiritual discipline that helps us to know Him better, and a practical way to express the Christian faith. This book is aimed at young adults, students, campus ministries, and local churches and home groups. It's a homerun in the green grass of Heaven!

As a Theological Editor, I am regularly asked to simplify theological concepts found in the Bible. Systematic theologies are helpful, but rarely are they simple and devotional. 2 Godology fills the gap of simplicity and devotional. As Tom Nettles has stated, "Christian George writes with snap, crackle, and pop, pours out images by the bucket-loads, and interweaves our contemporary context with sound Reformation, Puritan orthodoxy. 3 " Christian writes with extreme clarity and helps the reader understand God's transcendence and imminence. He is engaging, full of wit, and yet passionate about God and the reader's understanding of Him!

The chapters are uniquely written and titled as well. For instance, the first chapter is called, "Mardi Gras and Icicles" and concerns God's unity. The second is entitled, "Jesus Ninja" and reflects on God's power. The remaining chapters deal with God's creativity, vulnerability, His holiness, love, jealously, wisdom, patience, mystery, and eternity. However, do not let the titles fool you. As J.I. Packer states, "The bottom line for George is the prime importance of knowing God. …But I applaud this book for its purpose and content, and commend it enthusiastically to those for whom it is designed, and with whom it will surely ring bells. 4 " Christian understands his contemporary audience well and communicates the Gospel effectively bringing the reader into a deeper relationship with God.

An example of how Christian communicates is seen in Chapter 4, entitled, "Showing Some Skin — God's vulnerability." Christian begins by saying:

Let's get right down to business. Jesus took off his clothes. From the beginning of time , He planned to do it—trading heavenly silk for soiled humanity. And in obedience to His Father, He came to earth as a man. "What can be stranger than God in a manger?" asks one song lyric. 5
As one will readily note, Christian understands the contemporary audience and yet remains true to both Christ's humanity and deity in words which are both captivating and yet unforgettable—Jesus took off His clothes! Christian goes on to speak in simple and yet profound terms concerning some Gnostic beliefs, those of Athanasius, and Oprah and Dan Brown! Therefore, Christian is contemporary, historical, theological, and biblical. He even gets away with quoting statistics without boring his readers. All along the way he speaks in practical terms of what his reader can do to both strengthen and understand his walk with God at a deeper level.

As Christian states:

Our faith has been fossilized too long. We need to go deeper. We're on the verge of awakening, trading a kiddy pool Christianity for the deep things of God… In a world created by God, sustained by God, and renewed by God, nothing is more important than knowing God.
To this end, Christian gets into practical matters of the faith such as: prayer, obedience, journaling, silence, fasting, meditation, and solitude.

This book is a valuable asset, if you are part of this contemporary audience attempting to understand God better. However, you will also enjoy it, if you are not so contemporary — as myself at 53 — and you desire to understand our present society more fully, so you can better share Christ with an ever changing world!

Notes:

1. Joseph Nally. An America Genius, Jonathan Edwards, A Book Review. Last Accessed 01/10/2009: https://thirdmill.org/newfiles/jos_nally/ jos_nally.JE.html

2. An exception to this is Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. While, I have several points of disagreement with Dr. Grudem such as on baptism, etc., it is devotional and provides a simple introduction into understanding God more fully.

3. Credits. Front cover.

4. Forward. Page 11.

5. Lyric from "God Speaking"; written by Ronnie Freeman and sung by American Idol finalist Mandisa Hundley in 2006 (season 5), page 51.



This article is provided as a ministry of Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill). If you have a question about this article, please email our Theological Editor.

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