18.10.11

"Close Enough To Hear God Breathe" Greg Paul



Greg Paul.  Close Enough to Hear God Breathe: The Great Story of Divine Intimacy. Thomas Nelson, 2011. 224 pgs. 

Greg Paul believes that the 'heart of the matter', the important center as we consider our relationship to God, is that we are His beloved children and we need to be in a close, loving, relationship with Him. Paul also believes that the best way to do this is to listen to the story of God. In his own words: "Listening to the Story ought to be like lying on my Father's chest, a vulnerable, beloved infant, rich with potential, the focus of his dreams for a great and noble future." Close Enough to Hear God Breathe is Paul's attempt to draw the reader closer to God by retelling that great story in four acts: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. 

I find both the premise and method of this book to be extremely laudable. I agree with Paul on the 'heart of the matter.' I also agree that one of the best ways to grow closer and more in love with God is to hear that great story again and again, with fresh ears and renewed hearts, until our passion bursts from within us out to the world. I further greatly appreciate the fact that Paul does not begin his story, as so many do, with sin and the fall. He does so self-consciously, noting that he disagrees with said starting point. The love of God always comes first. In many ways this is an excellent book. I only wish that he had told the story better, and I am keenly aware in saying that that it is highly unlikely I could have either. Maybe there were too many other stories throughout the book, maybe they weren't focused enough, or maybe I was just not in the right frame of mind as I read, but something didn't click.

Conclusion: 4 Stars, Conditionally Recommended. Despite my own reaction to this book, I do think it is worth reading. It serves as a good introduction to the great story, with the right end forward so to speak.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson".

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