A debut Christian work explores the many aspects of God.
Niswander opens her book by declaring some very straightforward hopes. “I want you to meet God,” she writes, “know God, talk to God, and have God talk to you.” She constructs her volume as a series of concise meditations on the many ways Christians know God and Jesus. She opens each chapter with a quote from Scripture, elaborates a bit on that item, and then finishes with three things: a series of suggestions for related Scripture passages to read, a “take action” call to implement those segments, and ruled space to write down both prayers and answers. Using these exercises, she works her way through a wide variety of human mind frames and moral stances in relation to the state of the praying life. Probably the most significant revelation each Christian faces, she writes, “is that it is not what God gives us or does for us, but God Himself and what He alone embodies” that becomes all the faithful need. Niswander looks at dozens of roles God can play in the lives of believers, and she writes with consistent optimism and humility, reflecting on the very fallible characters described in the New Testament. “I think Peter’s story was written for me,” she writes, “because even though Peter failed Jesus, Jesus didn’t fail Peter.” This combination of humility and optimism is underscored by the thread that runs through the volume describing Niswander’s own spiritual evolution. She recounts growing from the kind of Christian who focused on waiting for answers to her prayers to the type of Christian who concentrated more on God himself. “I fight hard not to revert back to needing the answer rather than just being in God’s presence,” she writes. This personal stratum adds an effective warmth to the series of interpretative reflections on all the ways God, through Scripture, “makes each of us a new creature.” The author’s clearly intended audience of fellow Christians will find a great deal of sympathetic reading in these pages.
An accessible and appealing scriptural tour through the numerous ways Christians can interact with God.