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Excerpted from God Distorted by John Bishop Copyright © 2013 by John Bishop. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Posted May 22, 2013
I am on staff at Living Hope Church led by Pastor John Bishop. I had the honor of sharing some of my story with him that was subsequently included in God Distorted. Aside from my own story being featured, I was eager to read this book because I lead our recovery and restoration ministry and have seen pain and brokenness in the lives of men and women who have distorted views of God. As much as I was enjoying reading the book, I found myself asking how I could use this to minister to others. I didn't expect to really find anything for me as I had "dealt with my issues." But then I came to chapter 14 - "God is Fully Pleased". The words on page 89 really left me undone. I read them once, then again, and then just sat there staring at them. "Am I good enough?" The very question rocked me to the core. At that moment, in the middle of a crowded and noisy coffee shop, I became acutely aware of God. I felt as if He put His finger on my heart and said, "Yeah, it's time to deal with this now." As I continued reading I loved the story about the elephant chained up, and the quote, "It is not the chain that binds him; it is the memory of the chain." Those words really resonated with me as I realized I have been trapped, not by something that is happening to me, but by my memories of what has happened. I have allowed the past to not only influence, but define, my future. God Distorted and those specific words have been the catalyst for amazing breakthrough in my life over the past couple of months. I believe this book will be a tool for so many people to bring healing, restoration, and freedom, even the people who think it's for "other people".
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Posted December 19, 2013
In God Distorted, John Bishop uses his personal experience with life and faith to create an insightful and explosive text about how the human experience with earthly father impacts our view and to a great extent, experience, with our heavenly Father.
I can appreciate the authors descriptive on how much he wanted an earthly father who loved him unabashedly, having lost his own father very early in life and then subjected to an abusive stepfather. As readers, we can definitely see how experiencing anything more than a “good” earthly father with whom we can communicate well can poorly affect our relationship with a “good” God.
Bishop has some great discussion points on process of forgiveness and with how to persevere and live the Christian life in spite of hardships. The first part of the book deals with reviewing and rethinking our earthly parental relationship with our father; while the second part focuses on our Father God and the biblical aspects. Finally, part three deals with rebuilding or restructuring our relationship with God with the new knowledge that we have and pursuing a Christian life full of his graces and mercy.
I think every new father or father-to-be should receive this book as preparation for the fatherhood role.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Posted December 9, 2013
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The Father of Us All
In reviewing the book “God Distorted”, we come to fully understand the role the Heavenly Father has over all of the earthly fathers and what are expected from them, when it comes to fathering children. The question that lingers is ‘What makes a child relationship with their mother and father solely different from one another? The distinction between the roles are one is nurturing and the other is disciplining. Children oftentimes cleave to the mother because of her nurturing spirit and her gentleness, while the father is oftentimes, known for his strong disciplining spirit. As a child, our perception of a perfect father is distorted when something wrong is done that change how the child looks at the father. The author talks about TV dads versus Real dads; the perception from TV dads is that there is a perfect dad, but the reality is there is no one perfect except for God. Moreover, we find ourselves searching for the perfect father when we are hurt or disappointed by our dad at home. How we relate to our earthly father should not be the same as how we relate to our Heavenly Father. Yet we tend to treat God the same way when we have a temper-tantrum, when we cannot get our way. The author reminds us that “God Is God, Not Your Earthly Dad” , with that said we ought to change our perception of God as our earthly dad and more so our Heavenly dad.
Posted October 22, 2013
How does humanity visualize God? Do we see him as omnibenevolent, all forgiving, and always there? Well, John Bishop, author of God Distorted, would argue that if we do not see our earthly father as omnibenevolent, all forgiving, or always there we could potentially have a distorted view of God, our Heavenly Father. It is interesting, for most of us in Christendom we do see God as our advocate.
In Bishop’s book he recounts nine different father types that conclusively match our earthly father. If we have one of the eight fathers than we have a distorted view; the ninth would be a perfect father who is always there, always supports us, and disciplines accordingly. Finding your distorted view of God can be quiet the struggle, because no one wants to think they have a distorted view.
“God Distorted” was a real eye opener into my life. Further, it allowed me to see how my conception of God is consolidated in a true understanding of God. Of course, I did not have a perfect earthly father, no one does. However, this book explained how my view of God is not distorted.
When I think of God, I think He is (as John describes) always there, always praying for us, always doing His will to complete my life. There have been moments in my life that I can now reflect back on, and realize I did have a distorted view. But, I would be the rare exception. Growing up, I really did not have a permanent father figure. So in my case how could I have a distorted view of my Heavenly Father, God? John will also, rather succinctly, explain this understanding as well.
Overall, I felt the book was a concise example of how people do distort their images of God because of the mistakes earthly fathers have made. As I continue to grow as a Christen and the Lord blesses me with children I will refer back to it, so I do not become their distorted image of God.
Posted July 19, 2013
God Distorted. How Your Earthly Father Affects Your Perception of God and Why It Matters.
paperback, 240 pages
When you hear the word “father,” do you think of someone who is loving…or angry? Someone who is pleased with you…or constantly disappointed? Someone who is always available…or someone who is too busy, preoccupied, or distant? When you think of “Father God,” what images come to mind?
Regardless of the type of father you grew up with—or without—it is likely that your view of God is influenced by the relationship you had with your father. Author John Bishop wants to help you discover that God is not just like your dad. Instead, God is the Father revealed in Scripture, where the truth is clear. God is a father who is:
• always there
• up close and personal
• fully pleased
• in complete control
• completely safe
Filled with biblical insight and practical tools for reflection, healing, and restoration, God Distorted will enable you to break free from the lies of the enemy and see your heavenly Father as He truly is.
About the Author
JOHN BISHOP is the founding and senior pastor of Living Hope Church, which has grown from four families to nearly five thousand weekly attendees. John has a master’s degree in leadership and evangelism, and is an international speaker with a passion to both encourage and challenge pastors to propagate what matters most to the heart of God: reaching the lost. John lives with his wife, Michelle, and their three children in Battle Ground, Washington.
This has been my favorite read this year. God Distorted gives a factual look at the Father image of God. John Bishop reminds the reader many, many times that “God is not a bigger version of your earthly father”.
Part 1 “Our Perception” identifies the eight earthly father types and how each can affect a child’s life. Part 2 “God’s Perfection” shows how our Heavenly father treated his disciples and followers to understand how He thinks of us. Part 3 “Our Reflection” discusses healing and restoration. A study guide follows. The author uses scripture, his own personal experiences, and stories from people that he has interviewed. I think that the father types can also be affixed to other prominent people who had a part in a young child’s life. Of course, I recommend this book; it would be especially good for fathers-to-be, for new fathers, or for a men’s study. It is a valuable read for anyone for a correct perception of God.
Visit the author’s website for a Sneak Peak of God Distorted.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book was provided, by WaterBrook Multnomah, in exchange for an honest opinion. No other compensation was received.