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    « God at Work | Main | Where are you connected? How are you growing? »
    Thursday
    Jun122014

    Book Review :: Yawning at Tigers by Drew Dyck

    Next time you sit down for a conversation with a friend, old or new, ask them what they think about God. You'll likely hear that God is loving and forgiving, though you might also hear about God's wrath or anger. Maybe your friend thinks that God is distant and disengaged from our lives, if they believe God exists at all. There's a range of opinions about God.

    Within my tribe, however, the popular view of God is a bit fuzzy. God loves us, and it is a syrupy sweet kind of love. We mess up, sure, but God is right there to pick us up, dust us off, pat us on the butt, and urge us on. God wants us to have our best life, and if we spend time in the Word and claim the promises found therein, this loving, sweet God will deliver us everything we desire. God is here to wait on us, or to push the right buttons when we need things to fall our way.

    But that's not how God works, or is.

    Drew Dyck, in his book Yawning at Tigers: You Can't Tame God, So Stop Trying, challenges this soft notion of God. He claims that our deepest desire is to "know and love a transcendent God," and to encounter a God worth worshipping. Dyck has caught on to the fact that our polar swing away from distorted depictions of God majoring on judgment and wrath have led to a different form of misrepresentation--a God we can control and confine to a cage.

    I happen to really like Dyck's approach and overall tone, not only in YaT, but in his work at Leadership Journal and in Christianity Today. He's open and honest, inquisitive and opinionated, and has a deep concern for the world. That's why I was excited to read this book. In his acknowledgements, Dyck concedes the immensity of the challenge of writing anything about God, and candidly admits that he has never felt so out of his depth. This spirit shines through in YaT. Claims about God are made with confidence and humility. That kind of attitude, I think, give testimony to a knowledge of the true God.

    YaT explores God's person, human beings, and how the two have been brought together in Christ. Dyck challenges us through story, the examination of Scripture, and through the work of astute theologians, pastors, and scholars like Eugene Peterson, Matt Chandler, Miroslav Volf, and many others. He launches salvos toward those flippant in prayer or shallow in their representations of the Christian way, and calls us toward holiness. Dyck's thoughts on holiness, woven throughout the book, were particularly encouraging to me. We are called to be holy because God is holy (a truth woven throughout the Scripture), yet many today seem content with a lax spirituality that is as boring as it is feckless, a far cry from the eternal type of life Jesus has made possible.

    Dyck's writing in YaT will draw you to reconsider your own notions about God. You may find yourself disagreeing with some of his claims. But don't miss his message. God is wild and free, far grander than we have imagined. But God has also revealed himself to be trustworthy, wise, and good. God is love, and is loving, of course. But the meaning of that love is more earth-shattering and awe-inspiring than we have let on.

    Through relationship to this God, you will find that life is a grand adventure, lived in the company of the Redeemer of all things, who brings about his purposes through his people. Once you have beheld God, revealed in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you won't even be tempted to yawn. You might find your mouth agape, oh yes, but for far different reasons. It will be due to the glory you encounter, a glory that is yet to be fully revealed.

    Read this book, find encouragement, and recheck your theology.

    Set God in your sights, and worship.

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