With all the doctoring that we have been doing lately for Paul, I have found I don’t have any mental space for my normal reading schedule. The result: The little number in black that documents my unread personal emails is sitting at over 1,300 (thankfully my work email is mostly caught up!). The books I began over the summer have mostly been untouched for several weeks. My google reader keeps telling me I have more than 1,000 unread posts waiting for me. I haven’t used my electronic access to scholarly journals in weeks.
This isn’t normal for me as I love to read. That space in my head normally dedicated to this issue of disability and the Bible has been swallowed up in this medical issue for Paul.
But it is a great example of how finite I am – which leads to worshiping the God who is not limited in any way!
And I’m grateful for books that let me read helpful chunks about who God is in smaller bites – like Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.
Yes, it is more than 1,200 pages long. Yes, it looks intimidating.
But when I need something to get me oriented on who God is, this book is very helpful. It is organized, written well, and covers an extraordinary amount of material. It should be on every Christian’s shelf.
Here’s an example of something that helped me yesterday:
“Wisdom: God’s wisdom means that God always chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals. This definition goes beyond the idea of God knowing all things and specifies that God’s decisions about what he will do are always wise decisions: that is, they always will bring about the best results (from God’s ultimate perspective), and they will bring about those results through the best possible means. . .
Yet we must also remember that God’s wisdom is not entirely communicable: we can never fully share God’s wisdom (Rom. 11:33). In practical terms, this means that there will frequently be times in this life when we will not be able to understand why God allowed something to happen. Then we have simply to trust him and go on obeying his wise commands for our lives: “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19; cf. Deut. 29:29; Prov. 3:5-6). God is infinitely wise and we are not, and it pleases him when we have faith to trust his wisdom even when we do not understand what he is doing.” (Grudem, pp. 193, 195)
Books like these are no substitute for the Word of God. But faithful men like Wayne Grudem certainly help keep me oriented to who God is and who I am in relation to him.
Particularly that He is absolutely trustworthy, no matter the situation or circumstance in which I find myself.