About This Blog

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Close Enough to Hear God Breathe"

TITLE: Close Enough to Hear God Breathe: The Great Story of Divine Intimacy
AUTHOR: Greg Paul
PUBLISHER: Nashville, TN: Thomas-Nelson, 2011.
REVIEWED BY: Conrade Yap

This book is packed with loads of stuff. If there is one word to describe this book, it will be the word 'intimate.' He begins each chapter with a passage from the Bible to let the Word set the tone for the reflection.  After trying to live out the ancient contexts, he almost immediately transitions back to our modern world with a close-up view of people he has met and got to know in his ministry. He then lets biblical reflection rejoin his ministry outreach before concluding with an intimate embrace, not of men seeking God, but God seeking men.

In order to know each story intimately, two things are necessary: "I must be quiet and I  must be close." (28)

In fact, the title of the book is inspired when he is rocking his only daughter, Rae, to sleep. The book contains many stories and Paul manages to weave them together through the framework of God's relationship with human people.

Part One - The Heart of the Matter
Part Two - Creation
Part Three - The Fall
Part Four - Redemption
Part Five - Consummation

There are rich and humbling stories of how the world has largely discarded and disregarded the marginalized, the poor, the weak, and the largely unnoticed lower echelons of society. There is the homeless like Rob, whom the author finds sprawled, almost dead. There is Chris, the alcoholic and heroin addict, who despite his lifestyle exhibits an amazing mind that stumps even the best doctors in the country, teaching the medical professionals the negative reaction of the liver to the prescribed drug. In his ministry to prostitutes, he discovers that when walking the slums and the dark streets, the danger lies not in the outside, but from within: Sinfulness. There is even a story of the author failing to find acceptance in his former church that he simply had no choice but to leave. Page after page, there is a story being told. Stories of brokenness as well as redemption. Stories of how damaged society is, and how God loves despite the errors of the world. Stories of the author's personal family struggles, as well as how God in the Bible has struggled with the people of Israel.

I must say that this is a very special book that cannot be read quickly, otherwise the intimacy will be lost through speed reading. There is no heavy theological treatise, but heavy heart-to-heart treatment. The best part of the book is how the author reminds the reader that in spite of the brokenness of the world, it is still possible, to come close to God, to hear Him speak.


Ratings: 4 stars of 5.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson".

No comments:

Post a Comment