Book Review: The Good God

good godI read this book over Christmas and I’m not entirely sure why it’s taken me so long to review it but it has, hopefully it’s worth the wait. The Good God has garnered rich reviews from all over the place and so in coming late to the party I wonder what I can add.

So let’s start with some basic positives. It’s short. It’s easy to read. It’s about God. Three excellent plus points right there. The whole thrust of the book is why our view of the Trinity matters, really matters and how if we get it wrong our relationship with God suffers. Reeves looks at with regard to Creation, Salvation and the Christian Life.

I particularly appreciated the chapter on salvation and found it sharpened my thinking, clarifying and putting pieces together. It really blessed me, it helped me and stirred me. It fuelled worship in my head and heart.

This is all well and good but I’ve been thinking about why Reeves’ book has appealed to so many people and I think I have the answer: adjectives.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean:

What Reeves could have written: “Not only is God’s goodness the very reason for creation….”

What he actually wrote was: “Not only is God’s joyful, abundant, spreading goodness the very reason for creation….” (p44).

These adjectives are sprinkled throughout the book like hundreds of thousands on a bowl of ice cream – God doesn’t just love but loves warmly, delightfully, joyfully with a twinkle in His eye and a spring in His step. God’s goodness doesn’t just go out to us but is yeasty and spreading. The response is lively, throbbing, pulsing, beating, and embracing. It’s like reading a book on doctrine in the style of the Amplified Version of the Bible or The Message.

The result is telling because it surely is right that God is attractive, that words like goodness and kindness and love should stay dead on the page and still in our hearts but that they should come alive in us as we think of who God is and what He has done. But this style of writing about God is actually not as common as it should be, which is good for the sales of The Good God because it is exuberant, cheeky, and rambunctious in its use of language.

I highly recommend The Good God as a book for anyone to help them not simply understand God but to know God, to enjoy knowing God, to delight in enjoying knowing God. Well you get the point….

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