Today's Devotions

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Showcase:Chatham Church

  • Colossians 2: ESV +

    For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and Read More
  • Colossians 1: The Message +

    1 I, Paul, have been sent on special assignment by Christ as part of God's master plan. Together with my Read More
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good_and_beautiful_godThe idea behind James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful God (InterVarsity Press, 2009) is twofold. First, spiritual growth generally requires intentionality and discipline--hence the "soul training" exercises at the end of each chapter. Second, many Christians struggle with loving and growing in God. A common cause of these struggles is "false narratives," misconceptions about God that we may or may not realize we have, but that make a huge difference in our spirituality. ("God wants me to try harder," "God blesses me when I'm good but punishes me when I'm bad," etc.)


Smith works to uncover these narratives and replace them with Jesus' narratives. Living by Kingdom narratives not only encourages healthy spiritual growth, it also inspires greater love and appreciation for God. For me, Smith's method is especially helpful because he convinces my scholarly skeptic side, yet remains surprisingly accessible--without dumbing things down to the point of insulting readers' intelligence. The narratives he addresses are things I've struggled with, myself, and it's so refreshing that he doesn't just give me platitudes, but instead addresses them on a much deeper level.

The InterVarsity Press website offers good info on the book, including the table of contents.  The Good and Beautiful God is the first in Smith’s three-part “Apprentice” series. Additional material, including supplementary blog posts, audio files, and even a sample chapter, can be found on the series website: www.apprenticeofjesus.org.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

  • Storytelling

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • No Longer Alone with God

    This is the first of a seven part series by Dallas Willard, a USC philosophy professor who is closely associated Read More
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Favorites

  • Soaring by Surrendering +

    How do birds soar? Read More
  • Forgiveness Leads to Thriving: John 21 +

    How we deal with our daily sins determines whether others see Jesus in us. Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • The Mystery of Godliness +

    Longings after God My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, Read More
  • The Mystery of Iniquity by RC Sproul +

    It has been called the Achilles' heel of the Christian faith. Of course, I'm referring to the classical problem of Read More
  • The Mystery of the Trinity: One in Essence, Three in Person by RC Sproul +

    Do the three Persons of the Trinity truly exist? In this message entitled "One in Essence, Three in Person," Dr. Read More
  • Behold, I Tell You a Mystery by Baritone Coloratura· +

    Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, Read More
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