Friday, July 27, 2012

God Is More than Enough {Book Review}

God Is More Than Enough
The headlines here in the last week have included the mass shooting in Colorado, the second local death from a mosquito-borne disease, and further compromise of our water supply by an invasive mussel. Panning out to the last month or so, there have been wildfires which destroyed hundreds of homes in Colorado Springs, devastating drought in the Midwest, civil war in Syria, and an election result which may exacerbate the suffering of a Christian minority on the other side of the world. That's not even taking into account the trials among my own family and friends.

Is any place safe anymore?

Into such troubled times, God Is More Than Enough by Tony Evans offers the only genuine reassurance: truth about the character of God. In a slim volume that walks the reader verse by verse through Psalm 23, Dr. Evans reminds us that true safety is not a place but a Person, Yahweh our Shepherd.

Dr. Evans has a knack for communicating even lofty theological concepts in rhythmic rhetoric which is as pleasing to read as to hear. Vivid, apt illustrations like the following make the teaching even more accessible:
If you’re where God wants you, even if it’s in the storm, you’re safer than anywhere else you could be. The prophet Daniel was safe and at peace in the lion’s den, while the king in his palace stayed awake all that night with worry. You’re safer with God in a bad place than you are without Him in what you think is a good place.
I had to learn this from my father, who still lives in the ghetto. I’ve been trying for years to get him to move, but he won’t. I went to visit him recently and as we sat on the porch, we saw drug deals going on down the street, and two women started fighting in the middle of the street like cats and dogs. It was another normal day in that neighborhood.
“Daddy,” I said, “why won’t you move? This is not a safe place.”
“Boy,” he answered (he still calls me that): “boy, let me explain something. The same God who got you out of this neighborhood, and the same God that got your brothers and sister out of this neighborhood, is the very same God that I’ve got with me right now. If God tells me to move, I’ll move. But He has me at peace right where I am, and if I’m in His will, I’m as safe here in the ghetto as anybody out in the suburbs.”
This book does not delve into scholarly linguistic analysis or much detailed agricultural information about shepherding in the ancient Near East, but neither of those is the primary concern here. Rather, Dr. Evans offers real sustenance and encouragement in the goodness, mercy, sovereignty, protection, discipline, and love of God our Shepherd. He is enough and more. Dr. Evans "puts the cookies on the bottom shelf" in readable prose and memorable illustrations which linger beyond the last page. In this reader's opinion, he succeeds admirably in bringing home his main point: God Is More Than Enough.
Full disclosure: Waterbrook Multnomah provided me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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