Is Your God Too Small?: Enlarging our vision in the face of life's struggles

Is Your God Too Small?: Enlarging our vision in the face of life's struggles

Author : David Potter
£8.99

The book of Job encourages us to enlarge our view of God

Job struggled, as we do, with huge questions - his own and the world's. He and his friends looked for an answer in the past, but discovered that the answer lay elsewhere - in God himself, and in the divine presence in his life.


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Title Is Your God Too Small?: Enlarging our vision in the face of life's struggles
Author David Potter
Description

Job struggled, as we do, with huge questions - his own and the world's. He and his friends looked for an answer in the past, but discovered that the answer lay elsewhere - in God himself, and in the divine presence in his life.

In an accessible way, David Potter opens up fresh insight into the book of Job, with a different perspective on our sufferings and perhaps on God.

Details
  • Product code: 9780857466334
  • Published: 20 July 2018
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
  • Dimensions: 130mm wide and 198mm high

Job struggled, as we do, with huge questions - his own and the world's. He and his friends looked for an answer in the past, but discovered that the answer lay elsewhere - in God himself, and in the divine presence in his life.

In an accessible way, David Potter opens up fresh insight into the book of Job, with a different perspective on our sufferings and perhaps on God.

I have loved reading David Potter's book on Job. It reads really well and gives the most accessible introduction to the book that I've ever come across. I will gladly commend it to others. The author's warm evangelical heart and pastoral sensitivity have made it an extremely valuable volume.
Jonathan Edwards, formerly General Secretary of The Baptist Union

David Potter has had another book published and while, regrettably, I am not an avid reader ... I have to say this is a great read... Yes, it is about suffering, poor ol' Job and his 'helpful' friends, but it's more about Job's - and our - great God. It is very engaging. I am nearly at the end of the book and can (must) recommend it to you. For those of you who know David, you will be able to 'hear him' as you read.
David Bentley, formerly Chair of Trustees of Prospects and Trustee of Livability

I have greatly enjoyed and profited from reading 'Is your God too small?', and have recommended it to several people. David Potter cuts through some of the detail to get to the heart of what the book is about, and its applicability to our contemporary culture - clearly the fruit of much reflection and prayer. Thank you.
PJL

David Potter is a Baptist pastor. He was the co-editor of The Evangelical Times, and one of the founding directors of Evangelicals Now. However, his life's work until early retirement has been as the founder and director of Prospects for people with learning disabilities. David received an MBE in 2002 in recognition of his services in the field of Learning Disabilities. 

The Reader, Spring 2019. Review by Claire Didsbury

Potter takes us through the book of Job, chapter by chapter, trying to answer the question: 'where is wisdom to be found?' This is not a scholarly book, but a practical and accessible one that encourages us to enlarge our view of God and so find God's presence and comfort when our lives get difficult. Potter was a Baptist pastor and became one of the founding directors of 'Evangelicals Now'. He received an MBE for his work with Prospects, a charity that works with people with learning difficulties, and uses stories from his own life to illustrate some of his points. One of his key verses is Ephesians 1:11, ' works out everything in conformity with the purposes of his will'. He encourages us to accept whatever God sends into our lives, continuing to trust in his loving purposes for us and those dear to us, even though they may be inscrutable to us. Wisdom is to be found in the fear of the Lord. But for him the answer to these questions is finally to be found in contemplating the cross.

Review by Claire Didsbury

'evangelicals now', February 2019. Review by Louise Morse

Is there anyone who hasn't known suffering? Who hasn't asked, like Job, 'where is God in this?'

David Potter, retired pastor and founder of Prospects, the charity that cares for people with learning disabilities, studies the book of Job to 'enlarge our view of God and his goodness in difficult times', making it a teaching book with learning topics listed beneath chapter headings, and 'how to use this book' instructions on page six. It's excellent material for house groups.

Not much is known about Job, except that he was a prosperous businessman and eminent civic leader, who excelled in charitable works and, according to God himself, was 'an exceptionally good man'. He says as much to Satan, who responds by accusing Job of acting out of self-interest. God responds by allowing Satan to ruin Job in every sense, to prove that Job cherished him for himself, not merely his blessings. Perhaps Job would have felt the unfairness even more deeply, suggests the author, had he known. Readers may feel that, on the other hand, Job may have felt strengthened in knowing that God could trust him.

Job's was a wisdom-based society where there were regular council meetings, suggesting democracy, and with moral values where the elderly were revered (Job 12:12, 32:4). Yet Job's friends' monologues reflect post-truth relativism rather than wisdom, looking for facts to fit their theory of cause and effect, i.e. that Job was suffering because of hidden sin. A question David Potter asks is: 'Should Job have made more effort to show his appreciation for the fact that his friends were ... trying to help him?' The author's reflections and questions reflect discussion throughout.

'The loss Job felt most keenly... was the companionship of God.' He longs to see him, to hear from him. Then he has a lightening flash of revelation, in which he sees God as his Redeemer (Job 19:23-27). In that moment, Potter writes, he 'knows that he has a future... he will see God.' Eventually God speaks, revealing his immeasurable vastness by taking Job on a virtual tour of creation. 'Now I see him,' says Job (Job 42:5). 'For Job to find peace he had to see the wisdom and power of God,' writes Potter, 'and by that route he found the grace to trust his covenant-keeping God.'

The book is packed with references, both biblical and literary. It's a pleasing read, though not everyone will agree with everything the author posits. Nevertheless, it will make you think.

Review by Louise Morse, Pilgrims' Friend Society


Review by Lyndon Bowring, Chairman, CARE

I confess, that other than dipping into it as part of my regular Bible reading, Job is not a book I've ever sought to study in any depth. But when David asked me to read Is your God too small? I found myself quickly captivated by his exposition of this unique part of Scripture. Drawing from his theological studies, pastoral experience and times of testing in his and his wife's personal lives, David examines the question that has been asked for millennia: 'Why does a so-called God of love allow such suffering in the world?' He presents us with inspiring reassurances about the sovereignty of God and His deep desire to have a relationship with each person he has made.

Beginning with the intriguing scenes where Satan and God discuss this blameless man's life, and what it would take for him to reject his faith, David takes us through Job's despair and deep suffering and makes some fascinating comments about his friends' long speeches and Job's response. The climax comes with God's majestic declarations of His omnipotence, and wisdom that surpasses human understanding. Every stage of our journey through Is your God too small? includes New Testament references that point to Jesus and help us to grasp what it means to 'fear God - which is the beginning of wisdom.' It has certainly helped me to appreciate this ancient story in a whole new way.

If, like me, you've rather neglected the Book of Job, do yourself a favour and read this book. Instead of asking that question 'Why?' we can move on in hope to wonder 'For what purpose?' does God allow the dark times of suffering to come into all our lives. God's sovereign greatness is far above our comprehension and His purposes stretch beyond the preoccupations of our times and individual lives. Yet, as David gently points out again and again, He tenderly loves us through it all.

Review by Lyndon Bowring