Title: Not God Enough: Why Your Small God Leads to Big Problems
Author: J. D. Greear
Rating: 4.5 of 5
“A god small enough to be understood is not big enough to be worshiped.” – Evelyn Underhill
The God of American Christianity often resembles a cross between a wish-granting genie and an inspirational speaker who wants you to know just how special you are. Such a God is inadequate for the real world and bears little resemblance to the God of the Bible. This book calls people back to “the fear of the Lord.” Fearing God is not about cringing terror (though it sometimes produces that), but about reacting in awe to how infinitely great (and infinitely holy, and infinitely loving, and infinitely gracious, etc.) the eternal I AM is and just how small, limited, and dependent on him we are in comparison.
J. D. Greear uses a skillful blend of Scripture exposition, illustrations, and humor to help give us some perspective (if such a thing is possible for our finite minds) on the infinite God who loves us and what implications that has for our lives. I might quibble with how he interprets a few of the passages he uses, but this is an excellent and encouraging book that I would highly recommend.
I would also recommend pairing it with The Imperfect Disciple by Jared C. Wilson which offers more “where the rubber meets the road” applications of what it looks like to live in light of God’s infinite grace in the day-to-day. In fact, I’m going to review that book now:
Title: The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together
Author: Jared C. Wilson
Genre: Applied Theology
Rating: 3.5 of 5
To be honest, I almost DNF’ed this book about 1/3 of the way through. As the author expounded upon the idea that being a successful disciple is about living in the infinite grace of the Gospel rather than doing a checklist of stuff (a great point), his style irked me. To me, he came off as repetitive, trying too hard to be edgy/funny, and maybe a touch prideful (as if this is the only non-legalistic book on discipleship for real people).
Then, around page 85 things suddenly got much better as he began describing what it looks like to “behold God” and live “in the rhythm” of God’s grace. It’s simple but profound description of what it looks like to get to know God in his Word, prayer, and church community. I still wasn’t enchanted with his style, but he had some great insights that pair nicely with the thoughts in J. D. Greear’s Not God Enough.