Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where Is God- by Dr. John Townsend, A Review

Summary: In 'Where Is God', Dr. Townsend tries to address the issue stated in the title, the question people ask when times get tough, when a loved one dies, etc. Where is God in all of this?

Theological Elements and Disputes: The reader should know that Dr. Townsend is a certified psychiatrist, and as such inserts his beliefs as well as his faith in this book. I found this rather confusing, as there is much psychiatric help that is contradictory to faith in Jesus Christ. A lot of his chapters were "mushy gushy", feel-good type of things, making the reader feel that he had no responsibility, no obligations, and that God did not allow the consequences of sin. Dr. Townsend states that God "is not an angry God", a directly contradicting statement to what the Bible says. God does get angry over certain things; to say that He never does is a dangerously misleading statement. 'Where is God' also gives the illusion that when bad things happen, God did not cause them to happen. This can be taken the wrong way when in certain cases, the trouble in a person's life are simply the consequences of their own sin, i.e: A man has an affair, which leads to marriage troubles, maybe even AIDS. To say that God is suffering with him and that God is with him, though this man is unrepentant, is a false teaching.

Theological Agreements and Encouragement: Throughout the book, Dr. Townsend describes the love of God very well, and teaches that in unexplained, tragic events, God is still there guiding us. He also says that God still does perform miracles and does provide and protect, though we don't always know why He does what He does.

Writing Style and Product: I enjoyed this book immensely in that it felt very personal, as if I was talking to Dr. Townsend myself. He came off as friendly, warm, and loving, not self righteous. He speaks in terms everyone can understand. The book itself is well made.

All in all, much of this book was encouraging, reassuring readers of the closeness of God, and His care. However, because of the issues I stated above, I would be careful to check everything from it with the Bible first, just to make sure everything lines up.

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