Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Closer Than Close by Dave Hickman

Christians are in union with Christ, but what does that mean? While it is a mystery and we cannot comprehend it, Hickman says we can be conscious of it and live in its reality. He has written this book for everyday Christians who long for a deeper experience with Jesus but feel stuck.

He shares his own story of accepting Christ in his youth and doing all of the things he was taught to do to have a “close and personal” relationship with Jesus. As an adult, he became frustrated. He was doing everything he knew to do to be close to Jesus yet felt distant.

To help us understand the reality of union with Christ, Hickman explores the union in the Trinity. He reminds us union with Christ is essential for salvation. He suggests we need a paradigm shift. Rather than doing spiritual disciplines to get close to God, “we are free to rest and savor the perfect union we already have with God.” (102-103) Our Christian walk is to be a deepening awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of that union.

Hickman surprised me with his first suggested spiritual discipline: do nothing. We abide, awakening to the mystery and wonder of the union we have with Christ. Just be in union and savor it. He then follows with a few more disciplines, such as prayer.

This is a good book for Christians who have not read much on union with Christ but want to know what it is and what it means. Hickman uses illustrations from his own life and from movies, television, and popular songs. Because of that, this book might appeal to new or young Christians. I have read a few other books on union with Christ in the last month and this one is probably the least helpful in actually living in that reality.

You can read my recent reviews of other books on this topic, One With Christ and Union With Christ.

Food for thought: “Being the beloved of God is not something you do. It's an internal posture of being.” (107)

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Dave Hickman is the mid-Atlantic regional president of Apartment Life. He is the founder of Charlotte/ONE and has an Mdiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. You can find out more about his ministry at www.davehickman.org.

NavPress, 208 pages.

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