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Monday, March 7, 2016

"Still Restless" (Jan David Hettinga)

TITLE: Still Restless: Conversations That Open the Door to Peace
AUTHOR: Jan David Hettinga
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2016, (200 pages).

Ever since the Fall, man has been restless. It has resulted in a frantic search for identity, for meaning, for significance, and for some ultimate rest. Even for people of faith, or all their bold profession of beliefs, there is no guarantee that they are any less restless. This book helps us recognize our sources of restlessness and points out that true rest comes only in Jesus Christ. How does it all pan out? According to Jan David Hettinga, the short answer is to imitate Christ. The long answer is this 200-page long book. Hettinga is pastor of leadership development at Cascade Community Church in Monroe, Washington. He is also chair of MissionsFest Seattle and has authored several other books on leadership. In this book, he shows us that we need to confront head-on these sources of restlessness. In trying to build kingdoms based on cultural idols, or trying to control our destiny by playing God, we end up depending on ourselves rather than on God. Whether it is educational pursuits, career building, sporting excellence, or even religious zeal, we can easily become like the rich young man who walked away from Jesus when asked to sell all he had to give to the poor before following Jesus. In our desire for these things, not only will we be locked in an endless cycle of restlessness, we become spiritually negative when we fail to get what we want. We blame, accuse, and turn our anger at God. If we are able to honestly identify our idols and our sources of restlessness, we will be on the first step on the path toward true rest. This is only if we are able to re-orientate ourselves away from the world and self toward God. Hettinga shows us the way.

Refresh our curiosity of God. Tell the truth. Thirst and hunger after God. Question God honestly but reverently. Ask God to reveal himself to us. Be ready to meet God. If need to, give up things that impede our embrace of God. Through a series of conversations and spiritual narratives, readers are urged to move through a process of unbelief to belief; from submission to repentance; and from following Jesus to leading for Jesus. This transformation is necessary if we are to find true restfulness in God. The choice is very much up to us. If we are grouchy and unwilling to let go, we choose to be restless. If we are not sure of what to do, and to retain the status quo, sooner or later, we will come back to the spiritual quagmire of restlessness and frantic activities that do not bring any peace. If we make a decision to submit, and to obey God's prompting, we might not get rid of all restlessness altogether. We may even suffer some disappointments and various tribulations along the way. At least, we know that we are on the path to true rest. The most important part in this book is to recognize our sources of restlessness. There is no point talking about peace and serenity when there is trouble brewing inside. True peace is not about emptying ourselves from stress and hectic programs. True peace comes not from the absence of trouble but in the presence of God. This is what this book is essentially about. The title of this book sums up what the typical human condition is. The inside of the book tells us that it need not remain that way.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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