The act of enjoying is enigmatic. Each of us experiences enjoyment and could rehearse the details of an episode when we have enjoyed something. Dissecting the constituent parts of enjoyment, however, is another matter. At its simplest, two things are involved: knowledge of the object to be enjoyed and some approbation of the attributes found in the object. It becomes even more complicated when the object of our enjoyment is another person.
When we say, “I know Tom,” we may mean many different things. We might mean that we are aware of his existence, or we may mean that we have a casual acquaintance with Tom. “I know Tom, he delivers mail in my neighborhood.” This is likely the most common way we use the term. And in certain cases, we use the term to emphasize the intimacy of our relationship. “I know Tom, he’s my husband. He loves chocolate ice cream, and bringing him to Nelson’s for a cone is a great idea.” We can enjoy people who are acquaintances or public figures, but the most profound enjoyment will happen in the context of the most intimate relationships.
Enjoyment’s complexity is exceeded only by the acuity and profundity of its impact. Enjoying a stick of gum is certainly not profound. The thought is laughable, but the laughter of your children, the embrace of your beloved, the smell of one’s childhood home can bring waves of overwhelming pleasure. In those moments one might feel maudlin or merry. The result is the same. Enjoying God by R.C. Sproul aims at this type of profound enjoyment based on knowledge.
The volume opens with a memorial of sorts for the author’s father. “On cue he lifted the covers and, without opening his eyes, reached out a mammoth arm and scooped me up onto the bed beside him. Dad squeezed me to his side, nearly crushing me with his strength. His night’s growth of beard felt like a rough-hewn board against my smooth skin. I loved it. In his hug I felt his love.” (p. 18) The sentiment of this episode is ratcheted up in the next paragraph when Sproul describes the untimely death of his father. This loss raised the central question of this book, “Who are you, God?”
To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, some theologians speak about God in a manner that makes one’s blood run cold. Sproul’s passion for clear thinking about God comes through in every chapter as he answers this central question in comprehensible language. This is not a typical text on theology proper. It is much better. If you love God and wish to know him as Sproul knew his earthly father, buy this book and read it carefully.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers http://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.