John Nichols

3.5 Stars

October 22, 2012

I read this book and checked out to see what kind of person the author was. He has been a minister for a long time, and I do not mean any disrespect to the author by what I am about to say. However, I must say what I say in defense of my faith; for I do not agree with everything the author wrote in his book. First, I find the introduction to be counter-productive and may actually do the opposite of what it was set out to do. Someone in a mindset of Laodicea doesn’t want to be attacked for their self-sufficiency, and will in fact create a backlash of pride and defiance against the person that attacked their independent attitude. After reading the introduction, that was the feeling I felt, and it made me not want to read further. Yet, I wanted to be enlightened and chose to read on anyways. But someone who doesn’t want to get out of their comfort zone will not read on. In my opinion, skip the introduction and go straight into the chapters: that’s where the gems are.

With that said, I try to compare the book to scripture in order to discard any errors that conflict with scripture. When the author focuses on psalm 23—which is what the book is about—and the truth associated with the psalm, you will be enlightened with truth. However, if he goes off track from the psalm by putting his personal theology in, I find myself comparing that to the bible. For instance, he used an example of the children of Israel receiving manna from heaven, which has nothing really to do with Psalm 23, and the author put in his view about the Sabbath being Sunday. However, in the context of the events that took place in Exodus 16, the Children of Israel were complaining about being hungry and longed for food. God responded by giving the children of Israel manna in the day time, quail at night, and instructed them to keep the Sabbath. What’s interesting is that God sent the quail first before sending the manna; therefore the day starts at sunset in the evening and not in the morning time. On the evening after they received manna on the sixth day, there was no quail because God won’t send it on His Sabbath.

This was one of many errors that I found by comparing the book to scripture. If you decide to read this book, I caution you about his personal theologies and analogies because most of them are either irrelevant to the topic or make no sense at all. Again, I do not mean any disrespect to the author. However, I did find a lot of gems in the book—especially the explanation about God’s name. I also find myself reflecting and mediating about what I read, and I believe that was probably intentional by the author to provoke reflection. It’s a good way to look at the book. I wouldn’t base my doctrines (for instance, Heaven and Hell) on it, but I would read it for the contemplation about Psalm 23.

I did receive the book for free in exchange for doing this review.