Friday, July 29, 2016

Hearing God In Conversation by Sam C Williamson

Book description:

Christians are comfortable saying that Christianity is about a relationship with God. Yet many might also say that they sense little meaningful relationship with God in their own lives. After all, the foundation of good relationship is communication--but conversation with God often seems to go only one way. We may sing of walking and talking with God in the garden, His voice falling on our ears, but few have heard that beloved voice themselves.

Sam Williamson acknowledges the fundamental human longing to hear God's voice and offers a hopeful supposition: God is always speaking--we've just never been taught how to recognize His voice. Williamson handles this potentially heady topic with his characteristic straightforwardness and leavening humor. This book deftly bridges the gap between solid biblical theology and practical application, addressing topics such as how to truly pray without ceasing, how to brainstorm with God, how to navigate our emotions, how to answer God's questions, and how to hear God's voice for others.

"Hearing God in Conversation" offers simple, step-by-step lessons on how to hear God. Williamson begins with Scripture meditation. He then expands the practice of listening for that voice everywhere--in the checkout line, on the job, in a movie theater, and even in silence. From there, he demonstrates how to hear God's guidance when making any decision. By the end, readers' eyes and ears will be opened to the limitless methods through which God speaks. 

My review:

  This isn't a book I would normally pick up. I don't read nearly enough non-fiction, and when I do it is an author I have read before, or something I am interested in. Hearing God in conversation isn't a book that would normally grab my attention. However, the author ran onto me in a Facebook group for Christian bloggers and asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing his book. I read the description and figured it was worth reading, so I said yes.

  I have come to realize the ways God speaks to me are varied and numerous. Some are obvious, and others are not. Sam tackles this subject of methods God may use to speak to us, and how better to hear His voice in every day things and events. He gives no magic formulas, but does give some excellent advice on how to listen for God's voice and how to distinguish it from our own desires and the words of others.

  I found the book very interesting, easy to read, and very helpful. Some of the material wasn't new to me, but Sam covered a lot that was new to me, or helped me to see something in a different way than I previously had. One area he covered that I have always been uncomfortable, is the idea of God giving someone a "word" for another person. Although the idea is still not something I am comfortable with, Sam did present it in a way that I don't find it far out as I used to.

  The book ends with a section titled "Answering the arguments", which deals with the arguments from people who don't believe God speaks outside of His Word. I admit I skimmed that part, as I believe God does speak outside of His Word, but it does seem helpful to those questioning that.

  I would recommend this book, it covers something that would do us all good to explore and learn more about.

About the author:

I am an orthodox believer. At least I want to be.Our cultural moments cloud our beliefs, so we must continually examine our current, fashionable beliefs—which are often unquestioned—in light of scriptural truth.

Here are some data points about my life:

-My father was born in China to Pentecostal missionaries. My mother was born in a farming family in Kalispell, Montana.
-Though sympathetic to the work of the Holy Spirit, my father disagreed with aspects of AOG theology. He became a Presbyterian and was a PCA pastor until his retirement in 1995. His last church was:
-I studied European Intellectual History, Philosophy, and Hebrew at the University of Michigan.
-I served in missions overseas for three years and felt God say “not now.” So I moved back to Ann Arbor, Michigan and got a job at a software company. (There weren’t many jobs in 17th Century, European Intellectual history.)
-With two partners, I bought the software company and worked there as an executive and Chief Product Manager for 25 years.
-In 2007 I heard God call me to writing and speaking. I left the business world and began Beliefs of the Heart.
-I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan with my wife Carla. We have four grown children and an ever increasing number of grandchildren.

You can contact me here: 

Hearing God In Conversation is available from Kregal Publishing.

Thanks to the author for the review copy.