Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: B&H Books; Revised, Expanded ed. edition (September 1, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (642 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #2,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #75 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Spiritual Growth #609 in Books > Religion & Spirituality
"Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby and Claude King (and now also Richard Blackaby) seems to be a book for which reviewers find no middle ground. Almost all of the reviewers give the book 5 stars (with one 4 star book) and one 1 star review. I find that the book has the potential to lead many to a deeper, more meaningful experience with God but also has the potential to lead many into false views of how God works with His people today.On the positive side, the book can be profitable as a devotional book that leads people closer to the heart of God. Blackaby is on target when he teaches that God is always at work around us, that He pursues a love relationship with us, that He takes the initiative, that He invites us to join Him in His work, and that God speaks to His people. He's also right when he emphasizes that joining God requires major adjustments and obedience. Reminding people of these truths and teaching them to look for a personal encounter with God is a good thing. "Experiencing God" can help God and the Bible become more personal in the Christian' life.This new, revised edition also has additional chapters on "Experiencing God as Couples," "Experiencing God in the Church," "Experiencing God in the Marketplace," and "Experiencing God in His Kingdom." These are helpful to the degree that they help Christians realize that God is present in every area of their lives.However, I find that Blackaby's presentation of how we experience God is misleading in some ways. For the reasons I list below, I can only give the book 3 stars. Although Blackaby includes a number of ways that we may experience God (the Bible, Prayer, Circumstances, and the Church), his fundamental approach is an individualistic one.
As I participated in a group study on Henry Blackaby’s book: Experiencing God, I not only discovered some great insights (like the value of focusing on being Christ-centered verses self-centered, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the importance of fellowship, prayer, and God’s Word), but I have also found some areas of concern in the author’s methodology and philosophy. It may seem like semantics, but men cannot do God’s work, only God can do God’s work. More importantly, only by following Christ as our example can we please God, and I believe that the only way to know how to be like Him is through careful (and prayerful) Bible study.Unfortunately, several of the author’s extra-biblical personal examples suggest that unless your goal or task is truly God-sized, it may not be what God wants you to be doing. Preposterous! Furthermore, I got the impression that Blackaby unequivocally believes that he indeed knew (and consistently knows) the will of God. Surely anyone can look back at a situation or an event and infer that God had a hand in the results (especially events that could be classed as miraculous), but to declare that you can accurately predict what is (or is not) God’s will is the height of presumption.Even more bombastic was Blackaby’s statement that, “If you have trouble hearing God speak, you are in trouble at the very heart of your Christian experience.”  Although obviously Scripture is quoted in each and every chapter, it reads like there is far more to a true relationship with God than reading and applying His Word in every aspect of your life; it implies that God speaks directly to us outside of His Word. This almost charismatic “sensing” or “feeling” of God’s will borders on mysticism which requires pure emotion rather than thoughtful biblical precision.
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