“Becoming Who God Intended” by David Eckman was assigned by the author, who also doubled as our professor for the class Developing Strong Families. Eckman is an international speaker, author, and founder of BWGI ministries. He also teaches Hebrew at Western Seminary and the class Learning to Love God and Others. This is an adapted version of the book review paper I wrote about his book "Becoming Who God Intended".
56 – The point of Christianity is not knowing information about God but having the emotions of God! The most common emotion of Christ in the Gospels is compassion.
Having a good grasp of biblical theology is definitely important, but diving into the message of that biblical theology moves one from merely knowing about God, to intimately knowing God. To have the emotions of God, I’ve got to enter into the great story of God’s romance and embrace the compassion of Jesus Christ.
70 – God has not only come to deliver us from our sins and bring us home to heaven. God has come to make us happy. The three Persons of the Trinity experience joy, and they want to bring us into that circle of joy and love.
I hesitate to agree with this statement completely because of the idea of happiness as a goal. In fact, even later in the book, this statement appears: Blessedness is something profoundly greater than just being happy (p. 240)
I would probably agree more with the second statement than the first, though I know that happiness inside of the heart of the Tri-une God is an absolute guarantee. I suppose that I’ve also heard another phrase popularized over and over again: God is not here to make us happy, but to make us holy.
Perhaps there is room for balance, where holiness is definitely priority, happiness is a natural by product.
91 – God’s intent for the imagination is for us to use it to see the world the way He does.
I love the idea that as God is both Creator and re-Creator, we have the opportunity to join in His creation masterpiece with greater spectacles than a 3-D movie. We have His word and His Spirit to destroy the false images of our corrupted mentalities with the new images of His glory and purifying love. To see the world through God’s eyes is impossible without the Gospel-lens of Jesus Christ’s person and finished work.
148 – Adopted as the Firstborn: The judge said this adoption would be the happiest thing he did all day. With the smiling clerk looking on, he read us every word of the two-page adoption decree. He got to the words, “Andrew Brian Howard Eckman will be treated with all the rights and privileges of a biologically born child of Carol and David Eckman. To not do so is to defraud Andrew and invite the penalty of the law,” and as he read them, I was filled with deep emotion. That was exactly what I wanted to do, and hearing it expressed brought tears to my eyes.
That is what the Father has done for us. He is treating us like the firstborn Son, and He has shared with us the family history. He has done for us out of love what the law of man demanded Carol and I should do for our children out of obligation!
This very personal illustration of the official adoption ceremony was a great way to relate the way delights in choosing His adopted and dearly loved children. More than obligation and duty, God takes great joy in redeeming and rescuing His sons and daughters who were once orphaned by sin.
170 – A young woman who lived on the streets of San Francisco buying and selling drugs became a Christian and left that behind. She was interviewed by one of the major papers in the city, and they asked her how she could leave her past behind. She answered, “I am not the sum total of my past. I am the sum total of who God tells me I am.”
Amen to that. I am daily wrestling with the voices of my past and the Voice of my eternal future. May God turn up the volume knob of His voice, as I mute the volume knob of the liars and mockers of my yesterdays as this woman was so brave to do.
185 – The use of the word ahavah meant that God not only loved the people of Israel but intensely liked them.
It is true. If marriage is a parable for Jesus Christ and His bride, the Church, and if His ahavah means that He both loves and likes us, then I am living in the dance of ahavah with my bride, Venus. I love her intensely, but I also like her with as much intensity!
200 – “Have you shown the centerfolds to God?...That’s the whole problem…You don’t believe you can show the centerfold to God. He’s about the only one you can and should. Whether it is the centerfold in the magazine or the centerfold in your imagination, god the Father is the one you should show it to.”
Yikes, this is one I will have to keep in my tool belt for pastoral counseling. Praise God that the end result was the restoration of his marriage and that the man was healed of his addictions.