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What is my book about?

October 25, 2006

While I was at the conference I was often asked what I was writing. When I said a book the next question, of course, was what is it about? My response often began, “Well, it is a non-fiction Christian living book. It’s about God …” (!) Even after many different attempts to answer this question I am still struggling to find a concise way of explaining what it is about.

As part of my book proposal I need to think about “the competition” that is, other books on the market that discuss the same topic. So after reading numerous book summaries I decided that Philip Yancey’s book, “Disappointment with God” was the most similar and I am currently reading it. Already though I’ve decided that my book is quite different. Yancey looks directly at three questions, Is God unfair? Is He silent? Is He hidden? I only look at these topics indirectly. My book looks more directly at our struggle with God’s Sovereignty. At the moment the best way I can describe it is to say it is about the frustration Jonah feels in Jonah chapter 4. I wrote a post about this.

Interestingly Yancey also mentions Jonah and quotes Robert Frost summary of the book of Jonah who says, “After Jonah, you could never trust God not to be merciful again.” I was always find sentences with double negatives somewhat confusing but this one works quite well. It is more powerful and more accurate than saying, you can always trust God to be merciful (Ananias, Sapphira, Uzzah, Nadab and Abihu may not have considered God to be merciful.). Still it all gets back to God’s Sovereignty. God has the right to be merciful to whoever He chooses regardless of whether I think the person is worthy of mercy or not.

by Susan Barnes
8

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

8 thoughts on “What is my book about?”

  1. When you look at God’s response in terms of the vine and also mentioning “cattle” in v.11, it would suggest that God is talking about His overall Sovereignty not just about His mercy. So I think Jonah is frustrated with God’s Sovereignty.

    But I have an ulterior motive! My book is about many aspects of God’s Sovereignty that we struggle with and I want to use Jonah as an example 🙂

  2. When you look at God’s response in terms of the vine and also mentioning “cattle” in v.11, it would suggest that God is talking about His overall Sovereignty not just about His mercy. So I think Jonah is frustrated with God’s Sovereignty.

    But I have an ulterior motive! My book is about many aspects of God’s Sovereignty that we struggle with and I want to use Jonah as an example 🙂

  3. Wendy

    Check this out
    Talk about sovereignity

    From The Song of Moses
    Deuteronomy 32:39 …

    See now that I, I am He,
    And there is no god besides Me;
    It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
    ‘Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, And say, as I live forever, If I sharpen My flashing sword, And My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, And I will repay those who hate Me….

  4. Wendy

    Check this out
    Talk about sovereignity

    From The Song of Moses
    Deuteronomy 32:39 …

    See now that I, I am He,
    And there is no god besides Me;
    It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
    ‘Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, And say, as I live forever, If I sharpen My flashing sword, And My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, And I will repay those who hate Me….

  5. jON

    i think it’s hard because god desires to be merciful to all. and there are some we wish he would blast. but more often than not, when that is our attitude, we’re the ones in danger of blasting. and the ones we wish blasted will get the mercy.

    or maybe that’s just my house.

    jjwtw

  6. jON

    i think it’s hard because god desires to be merciful to all. and there are some we wish he would blast. but more often than not, when that is our attitude, we’re the ones in danger of blasting. and the ones we wish blasted will get the mercy.

    or maybe that’s just my house.

    jjwtw

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