Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Grand Paradox by Ken Wytsma

Life is messy and God is mysterious,” Wytsma writes. He has written this book to help those of us wrestling with the paradoxes of faith and life.

This is an honest look at many of those issues that puzzling us in our Christian life. He starts out with a great illustration from the Bible. Jesus initiated a boat trip in Mark 4:35-41 that turned into a dramatic life and death journey. Like the disciples, we may want a safe trip but that is not always God's plan.

Wytsma does a good job helping us with the messiness of life, reminding us that God is present in both the calm seas and the stormy ones. He helps us think about how we want God to act in our life and how He really does. He helps us remember the bigger view God has, as opposed to that of man. He looks at prayer, joy and godly contentment, doubt, God's will for an individual, modern technology and information overload, death and hope, and spiritual fatigue.

I was really impressed with his discussion on several topics. About the paradox of faith he writes, “Faith means holding these two things in tension: the goodness of God and our circumstances that scream out to the contrary.” About doubt, “Faith is not the absence of doubt; it is the remedy to doubt.” And I really liked his thoughts on Jesus and justice – that they are inseparable.

I appreciated this very readable and personal book on those aspects of Christian life that are so puzzling, so at odds with what we want the Christian life to be. Wytsma doesn't have all the answers but he certainly helps us on our way to being able to trust, be content, and flourish in our walk with God.

You can watch videos by Wytsma at

You can watch a video and get group study materials at

Ken Wytsma came to faith as age twenty-two at Clemson University and has been on a quest to understand the heart of Christian spirituality ever since. He has degrees in engineering, philosophy, and theology. He is a blogger and writer with articles in several magazines. He is the lead pastor of Antioch Church in Bend, Oregon, which he helped start in 2006. He is also the president of Kilns College, a graduate only school where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice. He lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife and their four daughters. Find out more at

W Publishing (Thomas Nelson), 240 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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