Knowing the Unknowable God: How Faith Thrives on Divine Mystery [NOOK Book]


Meet the God Who Is Greater Than Your Biggest Questions.

The Bible never shies away from seeming contradictions. We are told both to resist our enemies and to love them, and that our all-knowing God can sometimes forget. Unable to reconcile such biblical paradoxes, some people abandon Christianity, while others pretend that the seeming contradictions don’t exist–preferring ...
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Knowing the Unknowable God: How Faith Thrives on Divine Mystery

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Meet the God Who Is Greater Than Your Biggest Questions.

The Bible never shies away from seeming contradictions. We are told both to resist our enemies and to love them, and that our all-knowing God can sometimes forget. Unable to reconcile such biblical paradoxes, some people abandon Christianity, while others pretend that the seeming contradictions don’t exist–preferring to believe in an uncomplicated, easy-to-comprehend God. Yet countless others are hungry for new insight into the God behind the Bible’s mysterious paradoxes.

Responding to this spiritual hunger, James Lucas delves into the mysteries of Scripture, demonstrating that biblical “contradictions” are actually exquisite paradoxes that enlarge our understanding of God.

With this book as your guide, you can embrace the paradoxes of Scripture and pursue honest answers to your hardest questions. The study of biblical paradox leads to greater devotion to the majestic God who makes himself known even while he surpasses human understanding. Today, you can begin Knowing the Unknowable God.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lucas, author of 13 books on parenting and leadership as well as some fictional works, begins with a good idea to explore some significant paradoxes found in the Bible. He sets out to discuss issues like God's judgment versus God's mercy, God's declared hatred of sinners versus God's declared love of sinners, God's omniscience versus statements about God "forgetting." However, this exploration lacks the sort of precise thinking such topics deserve. Several chapters discuss the difficulty of God's foreknowledge, but Lucas's conclusions don't really help sort out that paradox's innate tension. Several of the other paradoxes are not true paradoxes at all, such as the instruction to Christians to be both innocent and shrewd. His interpretation of scripture is disappointingly flat, interpreting wisdom proverbs as "commands," and allowing no notion that Jesus' teaching might be used as a critique on some of the ideas in the Old Testament. Several of his theological conclusions are disturbing that God's love is in fact conditional, or that while we are called to forgive our own enemies, we are called to hate God's enemies: "In the end, we apparently have no choice but to reject those who have rejected God." The book could be valuable to spark discussion, as each section concludes with a set of questions, but it does not fulfill the potential of its interesting premise. (Dec. 16) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Jim Lucas analyzes the mysterious paradoxes of God and shows us how we can trust and believe what God says, even if it seems contradictory. Knowing the Unknowable God challenges Christians to understand, appreciate, and celebrate our holy, mysterious Creator. This book shows how biblical paradoxes strengthen our faith.”
–Dr. Bob and Yvonne Turnbull, conference speakers, co-authors of TeamMates: Building Your Marriage To Complete, Not Compete

“With contagious passion, Jim Lucas leads us on a quest for God that is ruthlessly honest and deeply fulfilling. His thoughtful exploration of the paradoxes of faith will help you hear God’s voice with more clarity than you ever have before.”
–Les Parrott, Ph.D., Seattle Pacific University, co-author of Love the Life You Live

“God invites us to come and reason with Him. In a world of intellectual confusion that presumes the fallacy of faith, Jim Lucas presents God’s self-revelation as it exists in powerful paradox. Pondering this collection of divine portraits, you will appreciate anew the wonder of the Almighty.”
–Bob Shank, founder/CEO, The Master’s Program

“Writing in the language of the layman, Jim Lucas tackles the fascinating paradoxes of our amazing, mysterious, wondrous God, reminding us that with God it’s not a matter of either/or, but a paradox of both/and. I highly recommend stretching your mind and your spirit with Knowing the Unknowable God.”
–Gayle Roper, author of Autumn Dreams, Summer Shadows, and Spring Rain

“Paradox is a necessary expression for anything profound. Knowing the Unknowable God is a necessary expression of the profound.”
–Phil Hotsenpiller, teaching pastor, Jacksonville Chapel, Lincoln Park, New Jersey

“Living in a culture characterized by ten-second sound bites and bumper-sticker philosophies, we often miss the fact that Truth according to the Creator of the universe is much, much bigger. Jim Lucas’s book teaches us how to embrace biblical paradoxes for a deeper, more accurate understanding of a mighty God. Knowing the Unknowable God is insightful and timely.”
–Brett Posten and Robert D. TenEyck, founders of DeoVibe: The Pulse of Popular Culture

“James Lucas carefully studies and explains difficulties in Scripture which thoughtful believers need to understand both for themselves and to be able to help others.”
–Dr. Patrick O. Cate, president of Christar

“Mystery surrounds God, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who reads the Bible attentively to find mystery there wrapped in paradox. Paradox is intrinsic to the Bible because the Bible is of God. God does not speak to us in dumbed-down, obvious truisms, but in Truths which will touch and awaken our imaginations. This book has made me aware of an illuminating principle to which one ought to pay closer attention when reading Scripture.”
–Rev. Dr. John Maxwell Kerr, Oxford University, former warden of the Society of Ordained Scientists

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307552556
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/19/2010
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,161,777
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

James Lucas is the author of thirteen books, including Walking Through the Fire, A Perfect Persecution, and Am I the One? He is executive director of the Relationship Development Center, a charter member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a professor in the School of Professional Studies at Rockhurst University. He lives with his family in the Kansas City area.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Preface: The Shocking Truth xiii
Part I Paradoxes in the Bible
1 Contradiction or Paradox? God Is Both/And...Not Either/Or 3
2 The Spiritual Pursuit of the Both/And: How to Grab on to Both Sides of a Paradox 18
Part II Ten Paradoxes That Enrich Our Faith
3 The All-Knowing God Who Forgets: Why This Paradox Is Essential to Our Forgiveness 35
4 The God of Judgment Who Gives Us a Break: Mercy and Judgment Can't Exist in Isolation 50
5 The Changeless God Who Changes: Why Authentic Relationship Requires Give-and-Take 67
6 The God Who Loathes and Loves the Wicked: Why a Righteous God Would Embrace the Unrighteous 84
7 The Prince of Peace Who Bears a Sword: Two Paths of Peace, Two Paths of War 102
8 The God of Truth Who Sends Delusions: The Contrast Between Facts and the Truth 119
9 The Choice Is Ours, but the Choice Is God's: God's Choices Affect Ours--and Vice Versa 136
10 It's Faith Alone, but We Must Have Good Works: What Does God Really Require of Us? 154
11 We Must Flee Evil, and We Must Fight It: In Spiritual Warfare, Timing Is Everything 172
12 Innocent As Children but Knowing the Score: The Right Time and Place for Openness or Guardedness 189
Part III Our Knowable, Unknowable God
13 The Center of God's Character: How We Get from Here to There 207
14 Celebrating Our Mysterious Companion: An Intimate Relationship with the Lord of Paradox 219
Notes 223
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