Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: "God is more than Enough" by Tony Evans

This is my first Tony Evans book. That is, it's the first one I've read. I've got his How Should Christians Vote? hanging out on the Kindle waiting on me to have time to give it the attention it may or may not deserve. Other than that, from my perspective he's basically been a name in the "religious" section at the bookstore, and I'm not even sure I could tell you which part of the religious section.

With all of that said, I was pleasantly surprised by this little book. Not that it's spectacular exegesis or anything like that, it's just a perfectly serviceable meditation on Psalm 23. (I say this in the context of having just finished reading several commentaries on Psalm 23 in preparation for covering it in Bible study.)

A few points on the book:

First, the author did an excellent job of highlighting the Gospel aspects of the Psalm. It's all too easy to read a Psalm like this and keep it vaguely touchy-feely, without remembering that Jesus is the good Shepherd, and that the way he cares for us most is through his sacrifice in our place on the cross. For that reason alone, I'm happy to recommend this book.

Second, the author stresses that God is sovereign--is our shepherd--in every aspect of life. Again, the temptation is either to over- or under-spiritualize this text. That is, one can either read this as God just being sovereign over your soul and not caring what you do day-to-day, or you can read this as God caring only for your physical well-being, and not caring about the state of your soul and your relationship with him. Evans stresses that God is our Shepherd in every aspect of human existence and in all circumstances. God is sovereign over our spiritual and physical lives in every situation in our lives.

My main quibble with the book is occasionally his choice of language. For example, in the chapter on God meeting our physical needs, he wanders near (but never really comes to) the idea that God will always make sure we are well-fed and employed. Again, he doesn't actively say this -he even explicitly says that God will be with us in suffering rather than taking our suffering away- but his language and use of examples leave the door open just enough that the reader ought to use a bit of caution.

That quibble aside, I am happy to recommend this book as something useful on Psalm 23 (though not so much as Henry or Calvin's commentaries, linked above).

This book was provided free by the publisher on the condition that I review it. I was not required to write a positive review.

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