Friday, March 6, 2020

25. Seen. Known. Loved

Seen. Known. loved: 5 Truths About Your Love Language and God. Gary Chapman and R. York Moore. 2020. [July 2020] 96 pages. [Source: Review copy] [Christian living]

First sentence: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? MANY OF THE PEOPLE WE ENCOUNTER are looking for more out of life. They are looking for meaning—for a purpose for existence. They want to sense that their life has value. They want to be connected to others and work together to make the world a better place. In short, they want to love and to be loved. Both of us have met hundreds of people who have shared their struggles in life with us. Most have a history of broken relationships. Beneath all of these struggles is the cry for love.

Seen. Known. Loved. is a little book just perfect for readers who have worn out their copies of any of the 5 Languages books previously published in the past few decades. It applies the 5 Languages technique to "help" readers find a way to connect with God. This is what it says in the introduction, "What can we learn about God through the five love languages? How can we connect with His love—so we actually feel it? That is what we are exploring in this little book."

I'll be honest: I found this book to be a little unnecessary. I will agree that YES people need to feel seen, feel known, feel loved. And I will agree that YES God is a God who SEES, a God who KNOWS, and a God who LOVES. But what does "Gary Chapman's 5 Love Languages" have to do with the gospel?! Very little in my estimation.

The book is not clearly written enough to be a gospel presentation for nonbelievers, for so-called seekers. It introduces you to Chapman's 5 Love Languages and presents a couple of verses here and there to show that God has love languages too. That he is "communicating" to us in love languages as is evidenced in the Bible. But the emphasis seems to stay on the 5 Love Languages. And it never really explains or answers that a gospel presentation should. Who Jesus is. What he came to do. Why Jesus died. How he saves us. What he saves us from. What he saves us to. No, the emphasis is YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE WORTHY.

Okay. Maybe the target audience isn't unbelievers or seekers. Maybe the target audience is Christians.  Maybe the assumption is that the target audience doesn't need to know the gospel, hear the gospel, reconnect with the gospel. It's a silly assumption since we should preach the gospel to ourselves daily, because daily we need reminders. But maybe the book is written for those that are so well-versed in the gospel that it would be a waste of time to go there. If that is the the book one that satisfies?! Maybe. Maybe not. The book is redundant to anyone who regularly reads their Bible. To those who know their Bibles, the idea that God is a God who SEES, KNOWS, LOVES is nothing new. These essential doctrines are to be loved, treasured, hoped upon, lived and experienced. But these books don't celebrate these foundational doctrines of historic Christianity so much as proclaim how they fit into the 5 Languages program.

"Through your mobile device, you can read God’s words to you and experience love and companionship in a way you may never thought possible. Most people are not Bible readers, but studies have demonstrated the fact that regular Bible reading reduces stress, produces peace, and helps people live lives of love and appreciation. Why is that? Simply because there is a power in the words of God’s affirmation to us in the Bible that we cannot substitute with words from other people."
"When we hear words of affirmation coming out of our own mouths back to God, it helps us truly receive God’s words to us. And it will help us to feel more love and give more love."

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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