"God Is", by Mark Jones (book review)

Have you lost sight of the glory, majesty, and wonder of who God is?  Of who Jesus is?  While we cannot fully know God, we can know Him truly in how He has chosen to reveal Himself in His Word.  Sadly, however, much of our society has grown self-reliant, not needing God.  Even preaching abounds today that offers a hurting, broken world a feeble, small god.  For these reasons, “God Is”, by Mark Jones, senior pastor at Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church (British Columbia), is a seriously important and needed book on many levels. 

The book is comprised of 26 chapters, each dealing relatively briefly with a singular attribute of God.  I say “relatively briefly” because each chapter could indeed be lengthier, but for the purpose of readability at a non-academic level, the chapters are digestible in as little as 10-15 minutes.  Each chapter is further broken down into three sub-sections: (1) Doctrine; (2) How Christ manifests or displays the particular attribute; and (3) Application for believers.

Some Practical Uses  (certainly not an exhaustive list):

First, “God Is” has the God-Man Christ Jesus at its center.  Many “best-sellers” fall flat because they never truly address the Lordship of Christ or our need for Him.  Many simply treat Him as a genie in a bottle, here to make your life more comfortable.  This book will energize and renew your confidence in who Jesus Christ is.

Second, “God Is” could be used to direct one’s personal Bible study.  Anyone who chooses to dig deeper into the attributes of God would be helped by using this book.

Third, “God Is” could just as easily be used to direct a small group Bible study.  The chapters are short enough and readable for the average person to be helpful.  While there are numerous theological words throughout, Jones handles them very simply.  A small group could easily handle reading, studying, discussing, and praying through one attribute (chapter) per week.

Fourth, “God Is” is a WONDERFUL tool to direct one’s personal prayer life.  As I read each chapter, I found myself praying in thankfulness that God has revealed Himself to be as described in the particular attribute.  Praying with these attributes in the forefront of my mind as deepened my prayers.

Finally, “God Is” is well researched, providing biblical and historical support for the views explained.  Jones leaned upon several authors (John Owen, Herman Bavinck, and Stephen Charnock, to name a few), which inspired me to want to read those authors’ works as well.

In our society, even those within the church have a difficult time when someone may correct their theology, even when done correctly and gently.  Many say, “Well, who are you to say who God is?  We can’t really know Him anyway.  Who says I’m wrong?”  I appreciate how Jones summed up such a reproach: “What do we really say when we speak of God?  It is a wonder that we can say anything about Him, and yet he commands us to do so and to do it truly and well” (Loc. 2951)In other words, we may not know God fully, but we must know Him truly as He has chosen to reveal Himself.  After all, “a poor doctrine of God leads to a poor understanding of Christ, and vice versa” (Loc. 2969).

Rating: I give “God Is” 5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received the Kindle format of this book free of charge from Crossway in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine.

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