'Are you STONE DEAF to the SPIRIT, or rediscovering GOD?' Do I hear a defensive 'No!', or a sigh of acknowledgement? Whatever your position, RT Kendall's latest book of the same title will have something to say about your Christianity. It is written in a clearer style than most of his books, and is a pleasure to read. In it he is incredibly frank about his own personal encounters, and speaks of those times of spiritual famine where we feel that 'we will never again experience his warmth and closeness'.
'Rediscovering God' is based on an exposition of Hebrews 5:11-6:20, which took Dr Kendall two and a half years to cover at his Friday night school of theology at Westminster Chapel (the whole book took ten years to complete!) His writing also has the benefit of his fifty years of being a Christian. It appears that the very best of quotes from those years are collated in one book, making this a goldmine of wisdom. This is the type of literature you could use as a commentary for your personal devotions. But be warned: once you have started it will be difficult to put it down.
'Rediscovering God' is split into three separate sections. The first of these is entitled, 'God's requirement for spiritual growth'. This discusses the basis of our faith; the milk. After encouraging the reader by this and reminding him of his security in God, the book moves into a second part, 'God's chastisement can be tough'. This deals with the worries that Christians have about falling away; the result of doubting the basics of faith that the first section deals with. Dr Kendall answers these fears completely, with his solutions set firmly on the promises of eternal salvation that God gives us. Lastly, he deals with the meat of our faith, finding out what God wants us to be doing, and how to seek God's will for our lives. This part is aptly titled, 'God's encouragement can be great'. It will greatly inspire you to move on with God, whether you began the book in the full assurance of God's presence, or indeed doubting it.
If I quoted all the snippets of 'Rediscovering God' that I really liked then this would be a major length article, and you would have less reason to read it. However, one quote that really sums up the message of the book is:
'Now, if you have been a Christian for any length of time at all, it is a happy discovery to know that God wants to bless us more than ever. There is a deeper level of knowing God, when God becomes more real, and his Word becomes more revealing, and there comes a time when we are excited about the Lord in a way we hadn't been before'. (pp189-90)
This book has made me more excited about the Lord, and has caused me to stand back and look at our relationship in a new light. Apart from the Bible, I would say that it has made more impact on me than any other piece I have read. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that it is based directly on an excerpt of Scripture, and is packed with the practical outworkings of that passage.
I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who doesn't quite have the verve that they want in their relationship with God, but it must only be read if you are prepared to change!
Reviewed by Peter Williams, Clinical Medical Student, University College Middlesex