Have you ever read a classic book and found yourself struggling to read and comprehend, yet alone finish? There were many times where I would find myself reading the same page repeatedly. I sometimes even doubted if I knew how to read with the vocabulary being used. It can be a struggle to push past the dead language and stick with the book until the end, especially with old theological books. Maybe you totally resonate with this or remember a time when this would happen to you.
I remember when I was handed my first christian classic; everyone raved about how good it was, but I found myself struggling to read and to comprehend. I will admit, however, that with some mental fortitude, we can stretch our minds to read and comprehend these works. If you work through the “pain and suffering”, you might discover a really rewarding experience and the next time will be a little easier, maybe. I truly found it easier with each book, so be of good cheer and keep pressing on!
Why This Book?
When I first read Communion With God by John Owen, it was one of those experiences. It was first written in the mid-1600s but to this day is one of the best books on a Christian’s communion with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. I was excited to see, not a modernized translation, but a modern adaptation with a purpose of presenting the same ideas as the original. Enter Friendship with God by Mike McKinley. “The problem (and the reason for this book) is that Owen can be difficult to read and understand. His language is outdated, the world that he was writing to is very different from ours, he never tires of listing out points and subpoints, and his writing style can seem overly complicated at times (he never seems to explain anything in ten words if he can explain it in fifty!).”
God desires to have a close relationship with us. He not only died for us, but He calls us his friends, his bride, and his family. What does that mean for us practically?
In an even greater way, Christians might struggle to imagine that God would actually want to be friends with us. We have been given faith to believe that he has saved us from our sin and provided us with eternal life in Christ, and honestly that’s far beyond what we have a right to expect. But the idea that he wants even more for us, that he wants to be in a close relationship with us? That all seems like a bit much. The second difficulty that Christians run into is that it can be hard to know what it means, practically speaking, to have a friendship with God. When we become followers of Christ, someone usually gives us some sense of what to do next: go to church, avoid sin, read the bible, and pray. But the question is, what does any of that have to do with being God’s friend.
Therefore, I would like to recommend this book to you. The goal was to “mine some of the most precious diamonds of Owen’s spiritual insights and make them available and applicable to you as you grow in your enjoyment of the friendship of the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. Grab it from your favorite bookstore at church or check it out on audio read by the author. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me. Let me know if you read it.