This is my first book review in a while. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did the book.
Excerpt to think about: "But what if being "close" to you isn't good enough for Jesus? What if he wants to be closer than close? Instead of simply having a "personal relationship" with you, what if Jesus longs to be "perfectly one" with you instead?
"Closer Than Close" written by Dave Hickman and published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc is wonderfully written and easy to understand. I was sent this book as a Complimentary copy for my review by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. The opinions are strictly mine and I was compensated nothing other than this book for them.
Sometimes it seems as if Christianity over-promises and under-delivers. A relationship with Jesus sounds great, but what does it mean? Disappointment and anxiety settle in as we strive to draw close to a God who often seems out of reach.
Dave Hickman was chasing that elusive God until he stumbled upon a foundational truth that often goes overlooked. God isn't looking for a relationship with us in the way we usually think of relationships. God takes up residence in us, inviting us to die to ourselves and become a new creation in him. Where we imagine a relationship between two individuals, God invites us into something infinitely more intimate: union with Christ.
I do want to say first and foremost that while I have doctrinal beliefs that do not align with everything Mr. Hickman is saying, I totally agree with the idea of his book and I have enjoyed his writing. I like the way he includes so many scriptures that I can go to my Bible and research which begins a long thought process. This to me is a sign of a well-written book.
I am not one who can retain easily, yet this book I was able to, and it kept my interest.
My own thought is not that He that is unapproachable and unattainable, but we ourselves put limits on Him. We keep Him at a distance because we want to live by our own standards rather than by what He expects of us. We limit Him, rather than thinking in terms of He being our Creator and bigger than any problem that we can imagine, therefore able to help us under any circumstance. We say to ourselves well, God could help me, but I can really handle this myself, I don't really need God's help. He's too busy for me, this problem isn't important enough for Him to get involved. WRONG. Mr. Hickman is saying God wants to be part of us part of everything about us. How we live, what we do, how we act.
What I understood him to say is that people are beginning to feel that there is no hope. That God is floating around out there not caring. We hear the phrase “He wants a relationship with us” all the time, but The author is helping us to understand that God wants us to be “closer” than parent and child. He wants us to be intertwined. By in-dwelling in us He wants to be part of us. After all, we are created in His Image. What better compliment can we give our Creator than to allow Him to live and dwell within us and be part of our being?
While I sing the praises of this book for how it was written, I had some reservations about it as well. He speaks of several different “unions”. The first being “in the beginning” Prehistory to Genesis 2 (Adam and Eve). This makes sense if you forget about “in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God. If we study, we find that “the Word” or Plan was Jesus.
This tells me that the first union was God with Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. This was His plan all along. He knew there would be no perfect human to use as a sacrificial lamb for our sins, after all, He made us. Of course then we have to get into Jesus coming to earth as a man, and being crucified as our sacrifice for our sins, but of course that is another story.
Anyway, while reading this book I have really begun to do research so that is a good thing. Even if I may not agree with his way of looking at things as a Trinitarian would, because I am not Trinitarian, but it is a very well thought out book and I would definitely recommend it for those who are, and for those who like do research and do what the Bible tells them to do and prove His Word. I find that the way I do it best is work my way backward. Read something I don't agree with and go back to my Bible to make sure what I am thinking is correct. That may sound silly to some, but it works for me. I learn a lot that way.
I also like the fact that it has questions at the end of each chapter so that you can ponder and study which I like also.
This book is a book, I believe that can be enjoyed by readers from teenage years and up. It is not written so that you have to be a scholar to understand the words (which I have encountered before), and the ideas and thought process are easily understood.
Have a Wonderful Evening and May God Bless!
Have a Wonderful Evening and May God Bless!