Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Mike Erre
Publisher: David C. Cook
“We can know God but can’t ever fully figure Him out. And so we walk by faith and not by sight. As we do this, God gets bigger,” Mike Erre states in his fifth authored book, Astonished.
This two hundred and forty-two page paperback targets those interested in establishing or recapturing an amazing, wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. Using mainly the New International Version of the Bible, the ESV is also used. With a short author biography on the back jacket, ending chapter notes are included.
Separated into three sections, discussed are the nature of God, the nature of faith, and the faith-filled life, concluding with knowing God more intimately. Often blending personal experiences of the author/pastor’s life, he tells of his appreciation of infomercials, his struggle with panic attacks, the frustrations giving sermons, his marriage, and loving his Down syndrome son.
In this book, Erre reiterates that many of us incorrectly relate to God as a consumer product, wanting to fill a void in our lives. When the dry, harsh times come in life, we assume it is not normal, but God hiding from us.
Examining the “why” of God’s supposed hiddenness, the writer reflects that we purposely hide from Him, His timing is different from ours, we do not want or need to seek Him or we fear He will not acquiesce to our prayers. We separate the sacred from the secular, looking for sensational to hear His voice.
While God works through our human weaknesses, not our human power, the author promotes He actually gives us more than we can handle so we learn to trust Him, which increases our faith. We need to wake up, notice God’s sign language by looking backward in our lives, and reconsider where our treasures are placed.
Biblical characters such as Jacob, Moses, Job, David, Jesus, and Paul are examined. M. Scott Peck’s stages of human spiritual development are listed as chaotic/antisocial, formal/institutional, skeptical/individual, and mystical/communal. Walter Brueggemann’s three categories of Psalms show how orientation, disorientation, and reorientation affect our relationship with God.
As Erre reminds us, by having faith that demands mystery, desperation, and surrender, through joys, sorrows, and lamenting, we will become more astonished of God, His wonder, and awe.
Thanks to David C. Cook for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.
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