Smith knows that there is no magic formula or secret practice that will make us godly: The Spirit of Jesus does that in us. By replacing false narratives with the stories of Jesus this book , engaging in spiritual disciplines The Good and Beautiful Life , and participating in Christian community The Good and Beautiful Community , we provide room for the Holy Spirit to do his work. Many of the false narratives rang true for me.
Smith challenges the idea that God judges us by bringing catastrophe into our lives when we sin. He advocates the spiritual practice of creating margin. Just like white space surrounds the text on a page, breathing room should surround the events in our life.
While this is not a how-to book, Smith does get practical. Dallas Willard , James Bryan Smith , narratives , spiritual formation. The false narratives, each and every one, are, to me, more important than anything else in the book. Like Like. It is a shame, because I agree with you that the contrast between the false and true narratives are extremely important. I just think he could have said things so much better. Perhaps I am just a little grumpy because I wrote James Bryan Smith an email with some questions several weeks ago and he has never responded. But it is still disturbing that such an important message got muddled over.
I have kept all of their books because they are so good. This one, well, I am not sure what to do with it now. I got more out of what he quoted from other writers than what he said himself.
Review of The Good and Beautiful God
A faithful Veracity follower emailed me the following that says it a lot more succinctly than I did in my blog post:. There is just one gospel and negative consequences for trying to change that gospel. John Alpha and the Omega. Even the title may have been off , because He is so much better and more than our finite minds. Yes God is Good.
Book Review: The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows
But also more than we can have knowledge in this world. More than we can think or imagine ….
Apparently, my earlier email had gotten lost, and eventually the author was able to respond to my questions. I am very grateful for his response. Nevertheless, I still stand by the basic substance of my review: Good intentions, made a few excellent points, but overall the needlessly provocative delivery made the task of reading the book a chore for our small group. One could be better served by simply going back and reading the earlier classics by folks like Henri Nouwen, Dallas Willard, and Richard Foster.
This review was very good. Also if they miss the fact that we are sinners. Ravi Z. The narrative part was highly questionable I think.
Good and Beautiful God (The)
It seems as if we are just putting these things in boxes. For example I can tell myself over and over smoking is bad for me, I should quit. But if my heart soul is not changed what good are my narritives to myself. Maybe that is why they say talk is cheap.
No book will ever do it for as the Bible will. So I understand what you are saying. But I think this ties in with your point that I wholeheartedly agree with. Christian books should be tools that help to dig in the Word, but sometimes they miss their purpose if one focuses too much on the book as opposed to THE BOOK. Ran across this quite a bit later than the rest of folks here. I would suggest that it is the latter. The discussion is intellectual, not experiential or spiritual.
Thoughts on books, reading, and life
I am hopeful that is not the case, but you could fool me. I am not really sure what to make of your critique. They got the idea that Smith was claiming to have some special insight into the mind of God that exceeded what could be found in Scripture. My point was that making unnecessarily inflammatory statements, without explanation, does very little to advance his otherwise admirable case.
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I had a very good email correspondence with Smith several months after I posted this review. Along with Markos, I believe Smith to be orthodox, but his style of argument is something I find frustrating. I appreciate where he wants to lead people, but the type of rhetoric he uses to get people there makes a number of assumptions, that I do not think all of his readers share. You are commenting using your WordPress.
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