Tuesday, August 6, 2013

what I'm reading: how well do you know God?

On my mornings off, I go to a cafe and pull out a book. I read a chapter, slowly and carefully. I drink it in, along with my spiced chai.

It's one of the highlights of my week. That slow, meditative reading feeds me, reshapes me, and fills me with thoughts of God and Jesus and the cross.

I've just started a new book: JI Packer's Knowing God. Or maybe I should say an old one. I've read it before. It's one of the greatest Christian classics of all time.

You might like to join me! Let me know if you'd like to read Knowing God along with me. I'm sure a few quotes and reflections will make their way onto this blog.

Here's a quote that helps me realise how much I need to grow in my knowledge of God.
I walked in the sunshine with a scholar who had effectively forfeited his prospects of academic advancement by clashing with church dignitaries over the gospel of grace.
“But it doesn’t matter,” he said at length, “for I’ve known God and they haven’t.”

The remark was a mere parenthesis, a passing comment on something I had said, but it has stuck with me, and set me thinking.

Not many of us, I think, would ever naturally say that we have known God. The words imply a definiteness and matter-of-factness of experience to which most of us, if we are honest, have to admit that we are still strangers. ...

Would it occur to us to say, without hesitation, and with reference to particular events in our personal history, that we have known God?

I doubt it, for I suspect that with most of us experience of God has never become so vivid as that.
Nor, I think, would many of us ever naturally say that, in the light of the knowledge of God which we have come to enjoy, past disappointments and present heartbreaks, as the world counts heartbreaks, don’t matter. ...

Those who really know God ... never brood on might-have-beens; they never think of the things they have missed, only of what they have gained. ...

What normal person spends his time nostalgically dreaming of manure? (Phil 3:7-10) Yet this, in effect, is what many of us do.

It shows how little we have in the way of true knowledge of God.

Time to get reading! Let me know if you want to read this Christian classic with me.


bombom said...

Happy to join you Jean, but as my copy of the book has gone AWOL, I will need to buy another..planned for Saturday . I have read it in the past, but I am sure it will be good to refresh again :)

Bronwen McCoy

Jean said...

Good to hear, Bronwyn! My friend Sarah is reading the book at the moment too.

Purplepal said...

Dear Jean
I would love to join you and anyone else in reading Knowing God. I have an e book copy of it. I belong to Quilt for Christ group.
Doreen Dewse

Jean said...

Welcome aboard, Doreen; and happy reading (and quilting).