'The blessing I have found in studying the book of Job'
Author and Baptist pastor David Potter has written a book about Job. He explains how it came about - and what to expect
You could say it grew out of an ordinary conversation. Two Davids sharing coffee during which one – I, David Potter – told the other – David Taylor, my pastor – that I had been surprised at the blessing I had found in actually studying the book of Job, having previously found it very dry and difficult.
Pastor David replied that I should preach on it one Sunday to which I replied, ‘One sermon for 42 chapters?!’
‘Well, two then’, was the pastor’s response. ‘I’ll think about it’, I answered.
Reflecting on the conversation, I decided to take the challenge: I could try to distill the message into two sermons so long as I also wrote a paper for the congregation which would give the background of the book. The 4,000 word article – and the sermons – were received warmly by many, with the comment, ‘You ought to get that published.’
So, I did, by sending to BRF. Their response was one of warm interest, but they would need 40,000 words!
Thatcham Baptist Church, the church where all this began two years ago, was the natural place then for us to launch the book which resulted from these conversations. Called Is Your God Too Small? it’s about enlarging our vision of God in the face of life’s struggles.
If we can grasp the message of Job, we will have a much more profound understanding of how God works in the world, and of a wisdom that is infinitely superior to our own.
This is the ultimate challenge of Job... If we must live with knowing that the purpose of God includes "everything", will we face the future - with all its potential for good and trouble, for joy and tears, for fulfilment and failure - with confidence in God's ability to achieve his goal and bring "unity to all things under Christ" (Ephesians 1:10).
Or are we left with an empty heaven, a meaningless world, an unresolvable "problem of pain" and a too-small God?
The launch took place during the morning service on 15 July and I’m glad to report that the book was received with enthusiasm.
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.
More information about Is Your God Too Small? is available on the BRF website here.