In this excellent book, Jethani outlines four common ways we posture ourselves in our relationship with God, and offers and fifth (and the only life-giving) alternative. He explains the ways in which we live over, under, for or from God and describes further the ways of perceiving God and the world that lead to these postures that ultimately alienate us from God, instead of bringing us closer to him.
Particularly enlightening is Jethani’s simple descriptions of the cycles of living we get into as a result of our perception of God and the world. When we view God as the good creator - and re-creator - of Shalom, we know we are safe and can therefore surrender and find hope in God and his purposes. When we view the world as Wilderness and God as harsh, we experience fear that we try to overcome through control; a control that ultimately is destructive and leads to more fear.
Jethani’s final section offers an alternative way of relating to God, which is to experience him with us, to know that we are joined with him by Holy Spirit. In our calling as co-regents with Jesus in the work of re-creating Shalom, we are empowered through the God-life to be and become all that we are intended to be. The “life in all its fullness” that Jesus said he came to give us is this life of walking with and in the life of God through Holy Spirit.
This life-giving posture stands in contrast to the previous four, commonly experienced ways of relating to God. This was a very helpful book in diagnosing why certain ways of relating to God are not life-giving, and in offering language and illustrations to help describe to others why that might be and what the alternative could look like for each of us.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN (2011)