Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: The Emotionally Secure Couple by Joe Martino

Change is possible. One of the biggest changes we need is the courage to engage in conflict rather than run from it, only to have an explosion. In the entirety of my ministry, conflict resolution, or peacemaking, is the most often used skill set used. I discovered the norm for most people is naivety on how to fight clean. If only there was a book that deals with this topic well, is positive, and gives hope. Joe does a masterful job laying out a philosophy and tools to help us engage in conflict.

The Emotionally Secure Couple: The Key to Everything You Want in a Healthy Relationship” would be best read in order for the first reading. While one can go back and use the book as a reference guide later, each chapter does an excellent job of building to the next. The foundation is built well in the first 13 chapters. Chapters 14 through 22 give you the tools to live out a productive, healthy, and loving way to address inevitable conflicts. Make no mistake, even the foundational chapters are practical in nature. When we change how we think and process things, ultimately our actions will change.

A thing that is great about the book is exercises are given to help make the point of a chapter. Many books I’ve read have these (dreaded) discussion questions at the end of the chapter. Joe hits you with helpful questions or activities in the middle of the chapter. It is refreshing and honestly takes the sting out of books that give questions at the end. This also helps do something that is challenging for a book, it makes you feel like you’re getting a counseling session from the author.

Engagement is a word used often throughout the book. Don’t run. Don’t explode. (Joe uses different terms that challenge the way we view conflict.) Rather than becoming defensive or shutting down, the push in the book is how by engaging we not only resolve the issue, but we actually help the other person become better. Fighting does not have to be messy, it can actually be a time of growth and building a stronger safer marriage. This is different than thinking win-win. It is intentionally helping the other person know they are valued, heard, and secure.

Emotional Equity
“When we build relational equity, we create a space where bad things can happen but not define the relationship. We create space for a fight to occur and no one has to pay. We move back to a time where differences are celebrated.” Often people hear the term “emotional bank account” for this concept, but that is a little simplistic. It is more knowing the person you love to the extent that when there is an issue, it is safe to be dealt with by both. The book invests significant time explaining emotional equity, but also demonstrating how by fighting clean you actually build on this. This concept is the keystone to the book. The philosophy and the practical tools all hinge on building emotional equity in a marriage.

“It is my belief that any couple can come back from anything. They simply need to learn how to build the most important ingredient into their relationship and answer some basic questions every day.” The book doesn’t come from a perspective of fixing you, but rather equipping you. The power of choice is real and too often ignored. Choice is critical to the book. While there is trauma we may face and need help processing, it does not have to define the decisions we make moving forward. While Joe often challenges conventional wisdom, the challenge actually brings more hope to us rather than slavery to whatever.
“When you engage them by obviously seeking to better understand what exactly it is that they are saying and the emotions that are driving those words, you are telling them by your actions how much you actually love them.”

“Being intentional is the lynchpin that holds everything else together when you are working on building your relationship.“ While this is one of the rules of conflict resolution, it is truly the bottom line of the book. We get out of a relationship what we put into it. If we want our relationships to grow, we must choose to use skills that will build the other up while we are and or frustrated.

While many of my ministry minded people may not like the lack of Bible directly referenced in the book, it is there. The book is not a theology of conflict resolution or marriage. There are plenty of other sources out there. But when applying Peter’s instruction to “Love your wife in an understanding manner,” this book unpacks how to do that. I would highly suggest that while teaching on marriage to use this book to make the love aspect happen.

In pre-marriage counseling one of my key aims is to equip couples to fight clean. This book will be the cornerstone to making that happen. The other aims is to connect them to a counselor for key issues that need to be processed, financial planning, and planning the wedding. Wedding planning often allows couples to immediately practice the conflict resolution skills they’re learning.

Read for your own marriage. No marriage is perfect, and often those of us who help others can struggle to take care of our own family. Read the book. Do the exercises. Fight cleaner than you already are. The approach to the book is refreshing. Too often, especially in church contexts, we go to the honor, love, authority issues in marriage conflict. This neglects when the writer of the Song of Songs says: ‘This is my lover and my friend, in me he finds peace.’

The bottom line:
“The Emotionally Secure Couple: The Key to Everything You Want in a Healthy Relationship” is a must read because it changes the way we view conflict in relationships. It is more than conflict can be good. Joe gives a clear pathway to how you can make it good. This work seeks to change the perception of marriage. In doing so this book is not a shot across the bow, it’s a direct hit. We would be wise to engage and be intentional about changing the narrative around marriage. “The Emotionally Secure Couple: The Key to Everything You Want in a Healthy Relationship” shows us how.

Why a hard copy Bible is best

I tried the tech thing for a few years. It’s not working. I do not think this is an issue of generational shifting. I got scolded in elementary school for handing in a printed essay, I grew up techy when it was know as being a nerd. Some things are not replaceable. A tech Bible is such a thing. We need a hard copy Bible.

1) A hard copy has the benefit of legacy. It is much harder to toss a meaningful book away than digital notes.
2) Tech is often distracting when there is pressure against being still and knowing He is God. Stillness with the word is huge for sermon prep.
3) You can make the Bible digitally accessible and even preach from a tablet while still having a hard copy as your main Bible.
4) Hard copy Bibles don’t crash and are instantly available when the power is out or a recharge station is no where to be found.
5) A hard copy Bible inspires beyond your earthly life. Think beyond conscience and thing longer term.>

Book Review: A Call to Resurgence by Mark Driscoll

resurgence“You didn’t think you were here just to kill time listening to Christian music until Jesus returned or you died, did you? Get to work.” P. 246

“A Call to Resurgence: will Christianity have a funeral or a future?” can be summed up in a simple sentence: Jesus’ church needs to aggressively refocus her attention and energy on the mission of making disciples of Jesus. Pastor Mark nails down the issues the church is facing in the culture of the United States. Regardless of your view of Pastor Mark, this book is a critical read for church leaders. It is a wake up call.

Things have changed
Over the last few years I noticed that culture shifted greatly. The light went on when speaking at a boys camp. When the least intellectual Christian sports jock asks a deeply apologetical question with antagonism towards Christianity- a paradigm shift has come and gone. Mark declares accurately that Christendom is dead in America. Culture will no longer carry Christians’ water and will instead be antagonistic towards it. If this thought is new to you, chapters 1 & 2 will be very helpful in describing the fall of Christendom.

Call it for what it is
Pastor Mark pulls no punches. (He often mentions or alludes to stories where this tendency may have caused some turmoil.) The interplay of humor, truth, humility and a call to focus on Jesus is interesting. He makes his point clear. Throughout the book is a clear message to pastors: It’s time to show courage in our calling.

Loving is a must, character is core, but Jesus is central!
Demonstrating biblical love is critical. I appreciate the issue of community and helping people the book brings out. Also running throughout the book is the issue of character, particularly in men. It is foundational to ministry, but is only accomplished through Spirit-empowerment. (Yes, there really is a 3rd member of the trinity!) All of that is to make Jesus known. We must proclaim a risen savior, Jesus. None of our acts of love or our character maters if we’re not sharing the Gospel.

Tribes & the Holy Ghost
Pastor Mark is not calling for weakened theology, but he is calling for us to speak with each other. Given the rising antagonism that the church is now and will continue to face we simply don’t have time to attack one another. There are issues where we disagree and conversations that should be had, but they shouldn’t distract us from our primary mission. That said, Mark accurately states that the Holy Spirit is a major issue that tribes need to work through. This may sound strange to some, but we must not put out the Spirit’s fire.

The bottom line:
A paradigm shift has come and gone for our country and Jesus’ church needs to quickly sharpen her focus without watering down or editing her message. There is no longer a dominate Christian view like “evangelicalism” anymore, but instead various “tribes” that must get back on mission. I appreciate Pastor Mark’s work and his communication on a much-needed message.

Book Review: reWritten by Bruce & Heather Moore

“With each life opportunity, God reveals to us more of His story for our lives and the potential for what we can become if we trust Him to author our future.” p. 35

Many of us have wondered, is this really how my life is supposed to be? Maybe your life’s story is marked by poor decisions or the hurtful actions of others. How can you turn things around? Is God still interested in using you? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Rewritten guides you through five life opportunities to exchange your story for God’s story. When you become the person He designed you to be and accomplish the tasks appointed to only you, you will experience the greatest fulfillment you could ever know and bring hope to a broken world.

The authors
Bruce & Heather Moore made the most extreme decision of their lives by leaving a large suburb church to rebirth a dying church with one year to live. They have seen the radical transformation of a church and the stories of countless lives rewritten. Bruce serves as Senior Pastor at Christ Fellowship Tampa and they have a very active preschooler.

reWritten is logical and flows together well as a book. The book is written in three sections: Your Story, God’s Story and The Exchange. The aim of the books is towards those whose lives are a wreck, though anyone will benefit from reading it. The first part had me skeptical at first of the book, until I remembered that ministry is really that messy. The second part is well written. The third part is pure gold. I appreciate discussion and thought questions, ‘story builders,’ were well placed throughout the chapters than merely as an after thought.

Story as metaphor
The Moore’s use the concept of story as a metaphor throughout the book. The over all concept of exchanging our story for God’s story. reWritten reflects this in the layout. The metaphor adds significance to how God uniquely designed each one of us for His good purpose. What stands out from this is how approachable the book is; gracious and dealing with truth.

He said what?!
My heart leaped when I read the table of contents. We too often get locked into the idea that if life is good, then God is blessing. The Moore’s deal with the topics of humility and suffering! Too often these areas are ignored. Of note, the section of forgiveness is well done. It’s important to read the book from beginning to end to get the full scope, but mark the last section up well. It’s an excellent resource for counseling. I appreciate in how the personal stories shared makes God the hero. Some stories end exceptionally, while other end with ‘because this is what God wants of us.’

“With each moment that we suffer, God brings us gifts that change our perspective and allow other people to see His grace in our lives.” p. 139 on suffering

The writing
reWritten is approachable without being inaccurate. It is definitely written from a pastoral heart that cares deeply for people. The book has one of the best rhythms I’ve seen in a long time. The first section had me on edge a little as almost being cliché. When starting to read remember that, yes, ministry is that messy. We forget that too often. The second part is a clear description of God’s image in our lives and the rhythm really picks up there. The pattern of the book is one we should model in ministering to people; moving from where they’re at to where God wants the to be.

The bottom line:
reWritten is an excellent resource to help people to take the mess of their story and to seeing what God wants to do in their life. This is a book that pushes us to live Godly, seeking what He is doing in our circumstances. It builds a big picture of the great God we serve. Well written, the book also addresses topics we often ignore, such as humility and suffering. For those who actively council and minister to people, reWritten is a helpful guide to keep on hand.

Book Review: Dream House by Barry Bandara

“In many ways, our families are in a battle- a battle of priorities. If we don’t take the time to account for all the movement of our family now and then, we can easily become overwhelmed with all that we have to do.” p. 70

Pastor Barry Bandara gives us an excellent blueprint for developing our own “Dream House.” The book is humorous, insightful and usable. Often books on parenting place a massive guilt burden on parents. Make no mistake about it, there are times when you will say ouch. Overwhelming, you’ll walk away saying “I can do this!” We need more resources that are refreshingly humorous while also giving clearly communicated wisdom.

Taking from the three best sources possible: God’s Word, wisdom from others and his own failures & success, Barry takes us through the various “rooms” of our dream house and how it relates to family. Along with each chapter and at the end, Barry also shares resources he and his wife found helpful. The metaphor and the warmth of his writing keep the principles understandable and approachable. (Some books I’ve read you almost need a PhD to understand them!)

The big win
Dream House is written by a man who practices what he preaches. I’ve had the privilege to serve with Pastor Barry and to see him as a father. He practices what he preaches. I’m a better husband and father because of his ministry. Often with family resources we ask: will this work? The answer is yes.

The book
What is helpful is the book gives us principles and not programs to add in our homes. Dream House gives you what needs to be done, how it can be done, as well as other resources to do it. This leaves the book highly adaptable for different family contexts. The questions at the end of each chapter are also helpful to figure out how to apply what was said in your own family.

Marriage counseling
Pastor Barry presents a 10 year rule in his book. The idea is to think 10 years down the road. If your child is 2 how do I want them to act when they are 12, and so on. Dream House is a book I’d highly recommend for marriage counseling. It gives a blue print of raising a healthy family and many of the needed principles need to start before kids. You may think “we’re just getting married,” but kids are not that far off.

The bottom line:
Dream House is an excellent resource on leading your family well. It’s written with a warmth and practicality often lacking. I’m looking forward to using Dream House in my own ministry and my own family.

Book Review: Love Wins

 Guest Post by H.H. Comings of

I would strongly recommend Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins, to anyone teaching a course on Christian worldview and philosophy. It would provide the class with three things. First, it is a book rich in worldview language such as story and imagination and dualismand the issue of a closed or open system of the cosmos. Second, it reveals how people who hold an orthodox view of doctrine are judged by those who do not and, on occasion, reveals things we do which exacerbate that judgment. Third, it reveals the convolution of thought which results from faulty presuppositions.
With regard to presuppositions, students would uncover and evaluate at least four which compete for primary-presupposition status.  There would be the proposition that the Scriptures are a trove of mystery messages with a preferred theme around which all those messages revolve. In this case, the theme is itself a proposition: namely that love is the overarching character of God and all other character qualities are malleable subsets. A companion proposition to these two would be the unspoken allegation that the author and his readers are capable of applying the proposition of love to the Scriptures and, thus, making an art form of adjusting defiant scriptures to fit the theme or else ignoring them altogether. Beyond that students would wrestle with the question of whether the human problem is rational misinformation, circumstantial confusion or treacherous rebellion and whether the answer to that problem has any bearing on the character of repentance.
Besides examining the consequences of faulty presuppositions, students would be exposed to twenty-first century expressions of Platonism, Gnosticism, Universalism and allegorical interpretation. They would also confront rhetorical reasoning fallacies such as circular reasoning seen in disparagement of people who think of themselves as being part of a self-righteous “in” group, a disparagement which puts them “outside” the author’s approved circle thus implying his own “in” group.
Other fallacies include but are not limited to:
  • Guilt by association (if you believe in the existence of hell you are one of those guys who berate people);
  • Straw men (if you believe separation from God is eternal you must believe if someone in hell begged for mercy God would say, ‘Sorry, too late’);
  • The excluded middle (the assertion that Paul’s reference to the rock in the wilderness in Israel’s story  as “Christ,” means other people may be worshiping Christ and not know it);
  • The appeal to antiquity (the statement that Origen held to this view and implies the student should accept the assertion that Origen is a great light in the church);
  • The appeal to sympathy (presenting anecdotes which call on the student to make a judgment based on insufficient information about the person or persons involved);
  • Appeal to the crowd (the fact that a lot of people are offended by those who believe in a literal and eternal hell or in the exclusivity of Jesus as one’s direct object of faith);
  • Faulty cause (people who believe in hell cause people to reject Christ);
  • Bifurcation (you cannot believe in an eternal hell and believe in a loving God); and,
  • False dilemma (seen in the rapid-fire sequence of questions at the beginning of the book – questions designed to break down resistance by implying dilemmas which cannot be explained).
Added to all of these learning opportunities, of special interest would be the author’s ability to dance a hermeneutical salsa with passages of Scripture until, as in the case of John 14:6, they say something completely different than the clear meaning the words convey based on simple laws of language.
In short, other than as a teaching tool, Love Wins translates to mean the Gospel, as set forth in Scripture, loses – not, in this case, because of the self-righteous demagoguery of those who misuse it, but because of the self-congratulatory twists and turns of someone who finds it easier to conform God to human specifications of love governed by human reasoning than to submit to God’s specifications of love governed by his revelation of holiness.

Book Review: Onward by Howard Schultz

 “Starbucks never set out to be cool. We set out to be relevant!” p. 159

Starbucks always fascinated me. I picked up a book “The Starbucks Experience” and read about the amazing organization. Starbucks produces the perfect cup of what I call liquid love. I found Starbucks stores around the area did not follow what was written in the book. This took place at the start of Onward’s story. Onward is an excellent book on leadership. It offers a transformational plan of hope that doesn’t forget the human side of things.

The perfect cup
The book talks about the romance of coffee. While this may not seem to have anything to do with leadership, as you read you’ll see it has everything to do with it. For Starbucks coffee is the main thing. It is easy for organizations to get off the main thing. I picked the book up at Starbucks. As I read I found myself sipping my grande vanilla latte triple shot with whip cream, day dreaming about my first cup of Starbucks. In the business of life I forgot how much I enjoyed coffee. Organizations can forget the romance of what they’re about.

Growth can distract
One key thing I discovered is rapid growth can knock you off the main thing. Growth becomes the objective and not your core. Growth is a good thing. It’s key to many organizations. When growth dominates losing the main thing is very quick and subtle. I became stuck on good coffee after a month of drinking nothing but Starbucks. Coffee went from a drink to an experience. When I got back home, I put in the ‘current brand’ of I used at the time. I took a sip. I spat it out and visited my first Starbucks store. When an organization loses what’s core, it’s not palatable.

The right tools
A proverb my Grandpa often said: “If you want the job done right you need to give people the right tools.” Starbuck’s rapid growth masked a venti sized whole… infrastructure. The discussion on equipping people with the right tools and supporting the team was critical to Starbucks turn around. Infrastructure and the right tools places a foundation to sustain growth.

“The volume and duration of our partners’ jubilation exceeded anything we had heard or seen that day, providing proof of just how desperately our managers needed better resources and how hungry they were to do a better job.” p. 206

The most refreshing thing about Onward is something so vitally missing from our culture: humanity. Howard Schultz should be commended for running a business that does not forget humanity over profit, humanity over difficult decisions and humanity over what’s best for each store. This stood out most in the discussion on why Starbucks offers healthcare to even part time employees. Howard’s love for his dad was evident. Never forget where you came from. It would be a different world if organizations helped people didn’t just use them.

The Abstract
Abstract aspects that detail number cruncher types cannot wrap their minds around came up often. I’m not criticizing these types of people, they’re important. It is difficult to lead the ‘numbers types’ when you’re a dreamer. Onward will help you greatly in navigating this challenge in building your team and organization.

The bottom line:
Onward by Howard Schultz is a must read leadership book. It combines all the essential elements for leadership. It also offers hope. Even when an organization loses its way, it can turn around and get back on target. And, in that turn around it, organizations can embrace humanity in the process.

Book Review: Decisions Points by George W. Bush

I highly recommend President Bush’s book, regardless of one’s political disposition. The book deals well with the Learn. Dream. Live. focus of this blog. The book reads well and offers much insight to things other than politics. This review is not intended nor should be viewed a defense of President Bush.

I am impressed by the President’s quest for civility and new tone. This is something that Bush learned and grew in. The focus on respect for the office of President is profound, and the process of growth in being civil is a skill everyone would benefit from learning. Reading the book also gives a larger reason to be civil; we often do not have the full story. Frankly, if more people were as down to Earth as Bush, or aspired to the civility he describes, American politics would be better.

Choices & Consequences
Responsibility is not a popular term. The book brings about a healthy view and reality of making choices and living with the consequences. Hard decisions are often controversial. The process that repeats throughout the book is: understanding one’s responsibility, gaining wisdom from others, and making sure you have the best view or data of the situation possible. Then, after that, one must act and be willing to face the consequences. Bush does not describe himself as perfect nor do we all agree with the choices he made. But, his process is sound and he acted as a man should.

Bush is a family man. The profound respect he has for his dad is amazing. Honestly, I think the strength of the Bush family is foreign and almost incomprehensible today. I’m sure this issue in spun hundreds of different ways. (Skepticism abounds with public persons.) Taking Bush at his word, his relationship with his dad is one we should all value and aspire to.

The book reads well and has a refreshing pace. Each chapter focuses on a particular decisions or related decisions. The book is not a biographical timeline, which I found refreshing having read a few biographies of leaders. This style gives you better insight into the real job the president does- making decisions- then the life of a president.

A Warning
The overly political disparity of our country tends towards party rhetoric instead of focus on truth and history. Bush correctly asserts that history will make its own judgments; noting in one point in his book that people are still debating the “first George W.” Sometimes extremely unpopular decisions that people are against are viewed years, decades or even centuries later as wise. Regardless of our political views or our views on Bush, we should listen.

Dismissing what Bush writes as political fluff or just a book written by a ghost writer creates a most dangerous of scenarios: ignore history and you’re doomed to repeat its mistakes. Could such be true? Possibly. But giving the complexities of the modern age, writing such book as this is no easy task. As with all things, discernment is in order.

The bottom line:
Decisions Points by George W. Bush is a worthwhile read regardless of viewpoint. It offers much insight into the job the presidency, a turbulent time in history, and offers much about how to conduct ourselves. As in all things it is wise to listen and to always exercise discernment.

Book Review: The Land Between by Jeff Manion

The Lang BetweenThe sub-title of the book says it all: Finding God in difficult transitions. Jeff Manion is not dealing with a hard day. The Land Between deals with gut wrenching periods of time. This book ranks as a must read. If you are in traveling in the land between, you’re crazy to ignore what Jeff is communicating. Strong words but true, and coming from a guy in such a transition.

The premise
Using Israel’s trek from Egypt to the promise land, Jeff uses lessons from Israel to help guide us in our own land between. The book handles the Bible passages with excellence. Often the Old Testament is moralized and man centered. Jeff brings out what these passages are really about: God at work preparing and refining His people. He describes God as the hero; not just for Israel but you and I as well. Throughout the book the choice is clear between trusting in God and the pit of complaining & bitterness.

Serious stories
Jeff’s places stories a the right spots like an expert chef using spices. They are brief, real, and at times very raw. (Challenging transitions are like that.) While at times he gives the result, there are times where he does not. Jeff’s own land between ends in blessings. In difficult periods, we need to remember that God does get us through. The stories shared bring reality to light. (Like wondering when the transition will be over.) He clearly articulates the dirty reality of hard times.

The book
The book reads easily and conversationally. I appreciate how the book handles Bible texts well, while not academic in their explanation. That skill is hard to find. The book is applicable in the sense of our relationship with God; the choices we are faced with, the emotions that will boil in us (they will boil) and the intimate involvement of God throughout. Jeff took roughly 200 pages would could be volumes. The Land Between is the perfect size, depth and readability for his intended audience; those of us in the land between.

The bottom line:
The last thing we want to hear is another book we should read when in difficult transitions. This is a book we should read. Why? 1) Israel made costly mistakes that can be avoided. 2) We need to remember that God is not merely with us, He is intimately at work in us. 3) It is not a lassie tale of hard times turned good. The Land Between lays out the road map for our hard journey. More than the insane details of our challenges, we must embrace God. The feeling I got after reading The Land Between was calm resolve. Not the emotion I expected.

There are not many books I’ve read were I have a wish to thank the author in person. Jeff, thank you for you for the map of the desert!

Book review: No One Like Him by John S. Feinberg

Defined systematic theology as that branch of theology which studies the whole of Scripture and presents the results on the basis of logical connection, detailing what the scriptures mean in our contemporary context. This is the greatest strength of Feinberg’s work on the Doctrine of God. This doctrine has been brushed over in my life and “No One Like Him” is the first serious discourse I have read about the Doctrine. It raises the question of why this doctrine is often taken for granted.

The question being asked
Feinberg’s task in the book is to give a constructive overview (understated) of who God is, in terms of our contemporary culture. Constructive and contemporary are key elements in the book as Feinberg takes on a unique approach. Instead  of a flat-out rejection of any theological system that contradicts itself or his own system, Feinberg looks at what the issues of such systems are. Within process theology or the open view of God, the driving force, driven by contemporary culture, is a highly relational God. Feinberg brings out the value of such false systems, and then clarifies how a refined conservative approach fits the needs of contemporary culture. God is King, but He is the God who cares. While not purposely bringing a balance of two conflicting views, in each section Feinberg seeks to answer properly the questions being raised. This approach leads to a logical approach within the book.

Book Size
Oddly, another strength of the book is its size. One reading is not adequate to review this book as its flow of thought builds a solid argument for God. While the spirit of communication is to state one’s point as briefly as possible, making a case for a God who cares and is King is not something that can be done in a theological journal or a Two hundred page, easy read. In a contemporary culture where people generalize, the need to give ‘exhaustive’ coverage is critical in developing a subject, especially in dealing with a infinite person such as God.

The main Point
The conclusion Fienberg reaches is one of both/and. God is king, and God cares. The conclusion, while the answer for contemporary society, does not fit with how society thinks today. It is today’s culture which polarizes issues, not seeing how they fit together as a whole, resulting in the growing popularity of process theology. God as sovereign and man as a free agent seem incompatible, unless one thinks in a both/and mindset. Great comfort comes from knowing that one need only to prove the possibility of something, not the logical necessity of something. Classical thought, while solid, is a system derived by men with inherent problems.

The bottom line
After reading this book, it begs the question of why there is not a class dealing with God exclusively. It seems that since the concept of God is so immense. As Christians we gloss over the topic and move onto more tangible things, like Christology. Perhaps it is this avoidance of focusing on God that is the root of church decline in North America. In listening to the testimonies of those brothers and sisters undergoing persecution, it would seem that they have a better grasp of who God is than we do. A solid look at God would do us all good, as there truly is no one like Him.