October 12, 2007

OUTSIDE SOURCE Book Review: "Discovering God's Will," by Sinclair Ferguson

BOOK REVIEWED: "Discovering God's Will," by Sinclair Ferguson
REVIEWER: Slaves of Rightousness blog
REVIEW: "I don’t normally take a lot of notes when reading a book, but with this one I took a lot. The topic is an important one for believers. How can we know God’s will? Sinclair Ferguson puts forth the idea that God’s will is shaped by the big picture-God’s ultimate purposes for us and creation.
"Early on he advises us, “In the first place, we need to recognise that we do not find God’s guidance for our lives by reading a book on guidance!” What he is trying to say is, there is no easy answer. He warns us, “There is no avoiding and no substitute for, the sometimes long, arduous experience of discovering the will of God in our own lives.” This does not deny absolutes, but is stated for any who may be looking for simple formulas to apply. “We learn about guidance primarily by learning about the Guide.” (italics in original.)
"Once he introduces the topic, Ferguson starts to look at God’s ultimate purpose. He advises us that the idea God guides us implies God has laid down a path for us, our lives have purpose now, and destiny for the future. He then breaks these points down and looks at them biblically. In speaking of God’s purpose, Sinclair tells us, “There is, in fact, no more basic question for us to ask than this: Will this course of action tend to further the glory of God?” (italics in original) From here he digs into what it really means to imitate Jesus.
"Then the book looks at guidelines. He warns us against the illusion that God’s will can be learned overnight. I have come across many believers who want just that—to know exactly and to know now. But it doesn’t work that way. So Ferguson looks to the Bible and tells us how three ways scripture provides us with what we need to know about God’s character and wisdom. He looks into scripture himself and gives examples. He also outlines how scripture helps us
"After that come warnings about the heart, and our need to guard ours. Our motives may be suspect for starters. Ferguson addresses the conditions in the heart, particularly what we need to have.
"The book continues in this vein through our lifestyles, conduct, calling marriage, and waiting. He addresses the reader who may have been hoping this book would tell would provide all the answers and do it now. What can that reader do now that it is apparent this is not a self-help book or a simple list of “what to do.”
"I always seem to enjoy and profit from reading Sinclair Ferguson. He communicates clearly, and biblically. This is a breath of fresh air given a lot of what is written by contemporary authors. It is tempting to merely post a multi-part series summarizing this book, but instead I will recommend you get yourself a copy and devour it for yourself. I think you’ll learn more that way."
For more information, or to purchase this book, CLICK HERE.