Monday, November 7, 2011

Book Review: Ten Lies About God

Ten Lies About God And How You Might Already Be Deceived. Erwin Lutzer. 2000. Thomas Nelson. 238 pages. (Newly reprinted as paperback by Kregel publications in January 2009).

Does what you believe about God matter? Does believing wrong things about God put you in danger? It may if the God you profess and worship is more of your making than His. If your 'vain imaginings' of God are held more strongly, perhaps, than those revealed in His Holy Word. Of course, no one knows God completely--except the Son (and Spirit). But the Bible does communicate with us. From the Bible we learn of God, of his nature, of his commands. We learn who he is. We learn what he has done. We learn what he is going to do. We see brief glimpses of the big picture. We learn truths that cannot be put aside without risk. When you choose to put your ideas about what God is like over and above the revealed Word of God, well, it may be time to think and rethink.

I love Ten Lies About God. I do. I wouldn't say it was my first Christian nonfiction read--that would probably be Knowing God by J.I. Packer--but it is one of the first that made a BIG, BIG, BIG, BIG difference in my life. (There were probably about five or six that did all around the same time period.)

So here are the ten lies:

Lie 1: God is whatever we want him to be.
Lie 2: Many paths lead into God's presence.
Lie 3: God is more tolerant than He used to be.
Lie 4: God has personally never suffered.
Lie 5: God is obligated to save followers of other religions.
Lie 6: God takes no responsibility for natural disasters.
Lie 7: God does not know our decisions before we make them.
Lie 8: The Fall ruined God's plan.
Lie 9: We must choose between God's pleasures and our own.
Lie 10: God helps those who help themselves.

Each chapter discusses 'the lie' and uses the Bible to present the truth of the matter. Each chapter is clearly written. Each chapter is relevant. Each chapter invites you to THINK DEEPLY about what you believe, what you actually believe. Do you say you believe one thing but act as if you don't? This book may challenge you to reconsider matters. Honestly, some of these "lies" were about issues that I'd truly never thought deeply about before. (The first time that is! This book is a reread for me.) And I imagine your experience may be similar to mine. I believe this book encourages and invites you to seek God as He is, and challenges you to grow stronger in your faith.

I also love how rich this book is in quotes by others. For example, this one by A.W. Tozer:

what we believe about God is the most important thing about us. (ix)

Here are some of my other favorite quotes. If it is Lutzer quoting someone else, I'll let you know who.

as much as possible we must ask not what we want the Bible to say, but what the Bible does say. (xi)

No man can know himself unless he first knows God ~ John Calvin (xii)

Our temptation is to invite ideas of God into our minds that are either just wrong or are notions that diminish Him. (3)

Idolatry is giving respectability to our own opinions of God, formed after our likeness. (3)

To be thoroughly biblical is to be controversial; it is to challenge cultural myths that have developed over generations. It is also to be confronted with a God who will not leave us as He finds us. (15)

The majesty of God should not discourage us but invite us to draw near in contrition and humility. Only a God who judges us can save us. Idols do not judge us, but neither can they redeem us. If we are put off by God's holiness, we probably will also be put off by His grace. (19)

We are invited to come into the "Most Holy Place," but we cannot come alone. (29) 

Only in Christianity do we find that the mediator and the sacrifice are the same person. (36)

The more clearly we see our sin, the more clearly we must see the wonder of Christ's sacrifice and intercession. (37)

The command to love the unlovable is rooted in the very character of God. (45)

God has built a bridge to us and paid the entire cost of its construction. (63)

If you want to see how much God is angered by the sin of the world, look at the cross. (74)
I would definitely encourage you to read this one! It is one of the best books I've ever read!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible


Annette said...

Oh, Becky this sounds like a book I will want to read! I do love to think deeply about God.
I also love A W Tozer.
Hmmm I'll have to think about what my first Christian non-fiction book I read was.
Great review!

Lenny said...

Wow, I haven't read the book but even just seeing the list makes me think about what I might think about God that might be totally wrong! Thanks for posting!