A Balanced and Readable Christian Study of God
None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing)
by Jen Wilkin
Publication Date: April 30, 2016
Jen Wilkin’s Blog: The Beginning of Wisdom
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God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible.
And that’s a good thing.
Our limitations are by design. We were never meant to be God. But at the root of every sin is our rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong to God alone.
Calling us to embrace our limits as a means of glorifying God’s limitless power, Jen Wilkin invites us to celebrate the freedom that comes when we rest in letting God be God.
If you’re looking for some new feel-good aphorisms to tell you how special you are as one of God’s created beings, None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good thing) isn’t that kind of book. And that’s a good thing!
Wilkin’s aim with None Like Him is to help us “consider the majesty of a limitless God” and to make His “perfections” become “the most rational object of our reverence and awe” while asking us “to stare down our tendency to ask others and even ourselves to be what only God is”.
Jen Wilkin leads off by referencing a familiar female favorite, Psalm 31. She then describes two commonly invoked images of the “God-fearing” woman — the staunch, high-collared progenitor whose likeness might be captured in old ancestral family portrait; and the perpetually smiling, always optimistic ‘Suzy Sunshine’ who so dearly loves the Lord.
Luckily, Wilkin gifts us with a discussion of neither of these extremes. Instead, she anchors her analysis to a different verse of scripture: Psalm 111:10 : “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Next, she gives us a working definition for fear that draws a balanced picture of God encompassing both a Heavenly King and a loving Father. From there, to help her reader “learn a holy fear for a God like no other,” Wilkins uses the next ten chapters to explain “10 ways God is different from us”.
Each chapter begins with an anecdote and ends with a listing of verses (previously referenced in the text) for further reading, questions for reflection with space for written responses, and a prayer prompt to help you write your own prayer centered around the chapter’s thematic content. Having the Bible verses listed is a handy tool, as are the questions which help you synthesize and apply what you’ve read. Finally, ending with a prayer personalizes each lesson and take its message into your heart. Having this all in one place, rather than divided into a separate book and study guide/journal/devotional, not only saves space and money, but eliminates unnecessary duplication. I’d like to see this format used more often.
Excluding devotionals, in my experience reading books categorized as “Christian Living,” I’ve generally come across two kinds: theological discourse written by pastors, clergy, or scholars (more often marketed to men — often other clergy/theologians); and encouraging self-help/motivational texts supported by scripture (more often aimed at women and laypeople). I’ve always puzzled over why there appears to be such a divide: emotionally-driven materials are presented to women, while rational/logical arguments are directed at men.
Just as Wilkin sheds new light on the “God-fearing woman” of Psalm 31, she offers up a different, more balanced kind of text — one that combines a conversational, confessional tone with logical, scriptural argument while never getting too bogged down in theology. In essence, None Like Him is the happy medium that can be enjoyed by both the cleric and the layman. The result is a readable, yet never watered-down message that works to increase rather than dilute our reverence for the Lord.
— Dawn Teresa
5 of 5 Hearts. A Balanced and Readable Christian Study of God.
Jen Wilkin combines her conversational tone with rational argument while never overpowering her reader with lofty theological discourse. In essence, None Like Him is the ideal hybrid whose message can be received and appreciated by cleric and layman alike.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Flyby Promotions for providing me with a copy of None Like Him in exchange for a fair and honest review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”