Saturday, April 5, 2014

Astonished by Mike Erre

Has our Christianity become a substitute for real, vital, biblical faith? Being uncomfortable with not being able to see, understand, or perceive God, we make Him controllable, understandable, predictable. Erre wants to reintroduce wonder, awe, and mystery into biblical faith.

He has divided the book into three sections. The first is on the nature of God. Erre says that the norm for the Christian experience is that God is hidden. There is an excellent exploration of why we don't see or feel God's presence – the why of it. We also need to realize that God reveals Himself sometimes in the most unexpected places and ways.

He next examines the nature of faith and why it is difficult for us. It requires surrender and acceptance of mystery and tension. Third is a look at the nature of a faith-filled life. It is a new way of seeing, a waking up to His presence and work all around us. It takes practice.

I am impressed with Erre's book. It is a thought provoking look at Christian faith, including my own. Erre asks us, “Do you want Christianity to alleviate mystery, paradox, and tension, or amplify it? Do you see Christianity as a call to comfortable security or to an unpredictable life?” Those are penetrating questions.

I appreciate Erre's teaching on several passages of Scripture. His look at Matthew 6 is enlightening. “Jesus' answer wasn't that bad things won't happen; but instead that if you treasure the kingdom, it won't matter if they do.” Wow. That really puts a different light on that whole passage.

Here is another insight from Erre's look at 1 Corinthians 10:13. “God is all about giving us more than we can handle so that we'll actually have to trust Him.”

This book will shake up your concept of God and faith, I think, as it did mine. Erre's teaching is not your typical Sunday morning sermon. He calls us to return to a God unpredictable, uncontrollable, full of mystery and worthy of worship.

Mike Erre is senior pastor of First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, California. He is a graduate of Talbot School of Theology.

David C. Cook, 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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