Book Review: The Name Quest by John Avery


Pastor John Avery asked that I review his book the Name Quest over a month ago and I have to apologize because I meant to finish the book sooner than I did. So sorry Pastor Avery this was meant to be up much sooner.

Now I don’t personally know PastorJohn Avery so here is his bio from his web page namesforgod.net

John Avery is a trained teacher with over thirty years experience as a Bible teaching pastor, small group leader, and missionary. He has lived in England, Israel, Africa, and the Caribbean, ministering with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and local churches. He and his wife, Janet, now make their home in Oregon. John likes to hike, snowshoe, and cross country ski.

As far as I can tell and from reading this book Pastor Avery isn’t a Reformed Baptist/Particular Baptist we would probably disagree regarding soteriology which is fine if I just read books from people I agreed with I would never had read Martin Luther, or B.B. Warfield because they are both paedobaptists.

In the Name Quest John Avery looks at the various names and titles of God and then explains how they reveal the attributes of God’s character. There are twenty-three chapters plus a prologue and an epilogue plus end notes and resources. And while this is written for a popular audience it doesn’t mean that this is light fair. Pastor Avery goes in depth with each name or title.

The book is basically divided by the Old Testament’s names of God and the name of Jesus and his titles. And I think this is a natural split and works well.

Now I have to be a little nit picky here Pastor Avery uses a technique that I don’t care for and that is taking the same passage and using different versions of the bible to get the meaning of the word. I first saw this done by Rick Warren in his purpose driven life book. I didn’t care for it then, and I didn’t like it in this book but unlike Warren’s book where he tries to make the scripture fit his views Pastor Avery uses it showing the different meanings of the Greek or Hebrew word. I personally think that just using a good Greek or Hebrew lexicon and sticking to one version for quoting is better.

If you are interested in a study on the names and titles of God this would be a good starting study on them.

Book Review: Yawning At Tigers by Drew Nathan Dyck


 

Book Review:  Yawning At Tigers  by Drew Nathan Dyck

Drew Nathan Dyck wants to introduce you to an uncomfortable God. In his book Yawning at Tigers he examines the attributes of God but not just the comfortable ones, like love, but also the ones like wrath, holiness, transcendence, and immanence.

This book takes the layman on a guide of the attributes of God and using easy to understand examples of what each attribute is and how we can then look anew at who God is and how to rid ourselves of the comfortable idols that we’ve created instead of worshiping the true living God that can’t be tamed.

There is a lot to like about this book it is easy to read and the author uses real life situations to bring the reader to the understanding of what attribute of God he is teaching about. The author also points out a current problem infesting the Evangelical understanding of God: our tendency of worshiping a lesser god.

The only thing that I can say makes me uncomfortable regarding this book and this may have been the author’s intent, is some of the people that he quotes or uses for illustrations. My presuppositions are conservative, protestant, and narrow when it comes to sources of information regarding my theology. So when the author quotes from R.C. Sproul, Kevin DeYoung, or Louis Berkhof I’m happy as a clam in mud but when he quotes from Coptic Christian woman named “Mama Maggie” or Brennan Manning I grow uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read this book rather it means that this book will stretch your presuppositions and that is a good thing.

This book also has a discussion guide in the back of the book for use in study groups and I would say it is also useful for the lone reader who wants to go beyond just reading the book but actually studying what the author is writing about.

This is a book you should read.

 

 

Drew Nathan Dyck is the managing editor of Leadership Journal and the author of Generation Ex-Christian.  You can find more about him at DrewDyck.com