A writer urges Christians to reorient their worldview toward the spiritual.
The latest book from Porter (Making Room for a Big God, 2003, etc.) is neatly summed up by a line from 2 Corinthians quoted by the author: “We walk by faith and not by sight.” Porter wants his readers to shift the emphasis of their daily lives from the short-term and material to the eternal and divine—to trust in faith. The author asserts that “God-centric living means a life of almost total (because no one but God is perfect) submission to God’s sovereignty.” The God-centric view allows Christians to tap into the Heavenly Father’s own power in order to overcome “the weeping nights” sparked by life’s setbacks. The nature of those disappointments forms the center and most memorable sections of this brief book. Since “situation-centric” living must eventually involve letdowns, the author spends some time attempting to draw distinctions between plain old suffering and the concept of suffering for Jesus. Suffering, he claims, is not merely facing an adverse physical, mental, or spiritual event but rather the personal results of surviving such encounters. These experiences are differentiated from “godly suffering.” Porter warns against idolizing anguish; it’s only suffering for the cause of righteousness that makes readers blessed. These kinds of tortured distinctions have never enriched the arguments of Christian apologists, (Surely all suffering is bad, and surely all suffering has the potential to deepen religious faith.) But the author concentrates on New Testament examples of Jesus’ suffering and effectively furthers his case that “the church’s preoccupation with the legalisms of being correct in one’s relationship with and worship, service, and praise of and to God…keeps us more situation-centric and less God-centric.” The writing here is clear and concise, although the final third of the book consists of empty pages for taking notes.
A short and refreshingly direct call for Christians to rededicate their lives to God.