The Real God: How He Longs for You to See Him
Baker, 2004 reprint 2016
God’s attributes have been the topic of much discussion and confusion. Ingram unwinds some of the issues by telling personal stories, defining terms, expanding on the details, and ending with suggestions for further development of our understanding of those attributes.
“This book is not intended to be exhaustive, but instead to be inspirational and practical. My aim is to engage the reader in a lifelong pursuit of knowing, seeing, and experiencing the Real God.”
To start this “pursuit,” Ingram unpacks the goodness, sovereignty, holiness, wisdom, justice, love, and faithfulness of God. He begins the book with three introductory chapters and ends with a look at how the reader’s view of God may have changed through the reading of the book.
Each chapter that unpacks an attribute, follows the same basic outline. It begins with a personal story, followed by a definition of the attribute. Ingram then unpacks that quality of God before closing with a personal encounter with that specific attribute. He then recommends the reader “come before God daily,” “do life in community weekly,” and be “on mission 24/7.” He provides practical steps in each case.
Ingram frequently refers to two of his favorite authors. Quotes from Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy are used fifteen times in the book’s eleven chapters, and Packer’s Knowing God is used five times.
As is typical of Ingram’s writing, he is practical, easy to understand, and personal. Unlike some of his works, this particular book needs to be read with intention and at a slower pace to internalize the message that he seeks to communicate. A contemplative reading is well worth the effort and will reward the reader with a richer understanding of God.
If I had one beef, it was with the cover. I understand the symbolism of the color and the graphic, but found it didn’t fit the tone of the book. Really, a petty complaint for such a good book.
Baker was kind enough to provide me a copy of the book allowing me the freedom to “beef.”