Thursday, June 20, 2019

Book Review: Fearfully and Wonderfully

Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image. Paul W. Brand and Philip Yancey. 2019. InterVarsity Press. 264 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: A curtain screened my group of interns and medical students from the rest of the forty-bed ward at a training hospital in Vellore, India.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made is an updated and combined edition of two classic books: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and In His Image. I have not read either book before so I'm not sure exactly how these two are merged together. (I am curious though!)

The book is one doctor's perspective on the human body and its Creator. What can learning about the human body teach us about our Creator? What spiritual lessons can be gleamed from the natural world? One thing is stressed throughout the book: we are God's image-bearers. The church especially has the unique opportunity to do God's work on earth and be a blessing to the world. In the first chapter he writes, "we can take on God’s qualities—compassion, mercy, love, gentleness—and express them to a needy, broken world. As spirit, God remains invisible, relying on us to make that spirit visible. It is a supreme mystery that God has chosen to convey likeness through millions of ordinary people like us. We bear that image collectively, as a Body, because any one of us taken individually would present an incomplete image, one partly false and always distorted, like a single glass chip hacked from a mirror. Yet in all our diversity we can come together as a community to bear something of God’s image in the world." Towards the end of the book, he shares, "When God seems unreal, we can demonstrate that reality to others by expressing Christ’s love and character. Some may see this as God’s failure to respond to our deepest needs: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” I see it as a calling for the rest of the Body to unify and to embody the love of God. I say this carefully: we can show love when God seems not to."

I enjoyed reading this one. I did. I liked hearing his personal stories--stories about his family, his experiences on the mission field, his experiences with patients, his experiences as a student, etc. I liked his insights as well. He offers much food for thought.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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