New Book Offers an Invitation to Meet the “Real” God

In Keith Knell’s Adoring God we see the true attributes of God. We all have a concept of who God is, whether he is an old man in a white robe on a cloud, or a loving father, or the judge of sinners. However, Keith Knell asks us to re-evaluate who we believe God is. Drawing heavily on Scripture, the most trusted source of information about God, it guides readers through the many attributes of God, separating myths and misconceptions from what the Bible says and reminding us not to make the mistake of seeing God with human attributes because we are made in His image and not the other way around.

As Keith says at the beginning of the book, “Ultimately, my goal in this book is not to teach you how to better read and understand the Bible, but to teach you to know God better, understand him more fully, and love him more deeply.” Keith wants us to reread the Bible, asking ourselves in the process, “What does this passage reveal about God?” After all, Keith points out, “The Bible is mostly about God unveiling and revealing parts of who He is!”

Keith then walks us through the attributes of God, devoting chapters to topics like God’s holiness, His truth, how He is unchanging, and how He is merciful. But Keith also makes us realize that the Bible doesn’t always present us with a loving God who will forgive us and just let people like Hitler burn in hell. For me, the most rewarding and challenging parts of Worshiping God were these chapters in which Keith discusses some of the seemingly tougher aspects of God’s character, including his jealousy and anger; Again relying heavily on Scripture, Keith shows how these aspects of God’s character are not contradictory but just and part of God’s overall perfection.

The result is a very revealing portrait of God that can result not only in increased love and devotion to God, but also in facing some hard truths for the reader, truths that even Keith has struggled with, as is made clear by the Contemplations sections that end each chapter. In these sections, the reader can pray to God for insight and better understanding. One of those Contemplations says:

“Wow. I am struggling that you do not consider what we would think about as ‘the right thing’. You considered what you wanted and did. And that did well. Now that is supremacy. You are what is ‘correct’. I do not have to waste time discussing myself about whether something you chose to do was correct or not. It is a fact. It was correct because you decreed it.
Another point that Keith makes that many Christians today may try to ignore is that God is angry:

“Many people don’t believe that God is wrathful at all… And some who agree with the truth that God is wrathful, however, excuse Him or feel the need to apologize for this part of who He is. Some think that if He was wrathful, then that was the ‘Old God,’ long ago in the Old Testament past, and that He has changed, matured.”

Keith goes on to explain that God is wrathful, but He is fair and fair in being. Furthermore, Keith denies the modern notion that God can mature or evolve. He cites the Puritan writer Stephen Charnock to support his point. Charnock says: “What consolation would it be to pray to a god who, like the chameleon, changes color from moment to moment? Who would present a request to an earthly prince who was so changeable as to grant a request one day and deny it another?”

In other words, God is not like you and me. Once we leave that erroneous point of view behind, we can discover who He really is, as reflected in the Scriptures and highlighted in this book.

In addition to the main text, Keith cites many theological giants to back up his points. Those writers include AW Pink, Thomas Watson, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards, to name just a few.

Perhaps most impressive is that the book is a superior example of Biblical scholarship. There are over 500 footnotes, most listing various Bible verses, not only to support Keith’s statements, but more importantly, to be additional reading for the person who really wants to explore and understand the various attributes of God. Keith asks that people not only read the book, but spend a week on each chapter, praying about its message and meditating on the many verses quoted. I believe this process would be very beneficial and would turn a reading experience into a deeply spiritual experience.

In the end, Keith hopes that the result of reading this book will verify the statement of Scripture: “Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.” (James 4:8). Whether he is currently a non-believer, an active Christian, or somewhere in between, Adoring God will give him a lot to think about and ultimately, I think, will deepen his understanding and relationship with God in surprising and rewarding ways.

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