Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Review: Your God Is Too Small

Your God Is Too Small. By J.B. Phillips. (1952) 2004. Simon & Schuster. 128 pages.

No one is ever really at ease in facing what we call "life" and "death" without a religious faith. The trouble with many people today is that they have not found a God big enough for modern needs.

J.B. Phillips' Your God Is Too Small first deconstructs God in order to reconstruct him for modern readers. That is he first sets about showing how common misconceptions of God--some modern ideas, others not so modern at all--hinder people from really believing in God. The first half of the book attempts to break down these false ideas. He categorizes things nicely giving examples throughout. The second half of the book seeks to reconstruct God for the reader. To show that the real God, the true God is nothing like people have imagined him to be.

What did I think of this one? Well, it's short. But perhaps not as direct as it could be, should be. His arguments lacked appeal to me. Perhaps because he was hoping to reach a wider audience? An audience of skeptics maybe? Or was he trying to do too much in general? I found this one to be clumsy in the second half. The book, while short, seemed very heavy, very burdened in these last pages. I wouldn't say that his arguments were completely ineffective. But I would say that he was trying to be a bit too philosophical perhaps. With his talk of absolutes like truth and beauty and goodness. I'm also not sure I agree with his theology. Not completely anyway. Perhaps words have taken on different meanings, different associations since this one was written?

I did like the title, Your God Is Too Small. And I was hoping that this would be a good book showing how the God of the Bible is anything but small. I was hoping that this would be a bit more focused on God's attributes. Talk about who God is, how He has revealed himself to us, and talk about how incredible and amazing it is that we get to have a relationship with Him. I found this one to be sadly lacking in Biblical references, in the Biblical framework. I was hoping somewhere within this one was the message that if you want to know God, if you want to be in a relationship with God, read the Bible.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Annette said...

I read this small book years ago. It is a book that should be read I feel, I've read other books that have referred to this book.
I love the title the most, "Your God Is Too Small." The title alone speaks volumes.