Review: Beloved Dust

91oVWm8fbHL._SL1500_We were formed from the dust, but we were made for life with God. We often accept less. We make promises and set goals to try and grow, but holiness seems impossible. But the Christian life is not about looking or feeling like a Christian. It’s about abiding in God. 

Goggin, Jamin, and Kyle Strobel. Beloved Dust: Drawing Close to God by Discovering the Truth About Yourself. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2014. 240.

It was dark that night. I remember a slow-moving fog rolling in through the trees. There he was, on his face, not far from where we were standing. It was eerily quiet and we knew not what was going on but we tried to watch anyways. Our eyes grew tired and there we fell asleep, leaning against the tree. Three times he came back to us and wanted to know why we couldn’t stay up even for one hour and pray with him. It was hard to be so alert when all we did was keep our eyes on him every step of the way, every hour of the day. We had communion with him day in and day out but we weren’t ready for what happened next.

91oVWm8fbHL._SL1500_So the story I told comes to us in the gospels, though the thought pattern may not be what was happening, the story is true. The point I am trying to make is that even the apostles, the handpicked men Jesus chose to travel with him, had a hard time understanding and living out communion with the living God. How much more do we, generations later, continue that struggle of living out what we believe and understanding the God who has called us? Kyle Strobel and Jamin Goggin have written on those very questions in their newest volume, Beloved Dust: Drawing Close to God by Discovering the Truth About Yourself.

Written in two parts, we see in the first section what it means to be human before God. The authors do a great job of giving us a view of sin that’s all but lost in Christianity today. In section two we see a practical out working of section one in that they show us how to live in God through Christ. They show us what our union with Christ means for the believer and how that profound truth makes itself manifest in a boots on the ground Christianity. These two sections flow together well and there doesn’t seem to be a hard break between who we are in Christ and what that means as we live out in the real world. Certainly the understanding and the application must go together if the life is to be one of meaning as we are united to God in Christ.

This book is not another book on prayer. It’s not another do this say that sort of manual. For those who want to know what we were created to be and what we have in Christ, this book is for you. We are dust, that much is true, but we are a dust created from the hand of a sovereign God who has purpose and meaning for that handful of dust he stooped down and scooped up. I appreciate volumes like that do not ignore the real life of the believer but at the same time spurs them on towards life in Christ.

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