I am reading a really cool book by the Pastor of Kosmosdale Baptist Church in Louisville, most appropriately in the area of Valley Station, which happens to be about 5 miles away from where I grew up, his name is Mitch Chase. Mitch was a Garrett Fellow for a professor I had at Seminary and was very gracious in offering input when I was writing a paper on the final Judgement in Matthew 25. I didn’t have extended interaction with him, but his gracious tone and willingness to truly offer feedback and criticism was unique in my experience with some graders, most of whom’s life experience was limited to what they did at Youth Camp as a counselor.
Anytime a pastor who cares for a flock that is not made up of thousands, but your normal average size Southern Baptist Church in a very normal and blue collar neck of the woods like where I was raised I pay attention with real excitement, because it is obvious glory and celebrity are not their primary motive in life. Not to say all pastors of big churches are, but I remain convinced that ministry was intended to occur in the local church on a very personal and real relational level, in the dirty mess of ministry. So when pastors that speak from that perspective lend a word, we should pay close attention.
First of all the book opened up with vibrant brilliance. It was apparent from book cover that this work would be a journey through child like wonder in the grandeur and majesty of a huge and unfathomable Creator who out of shear grace chose to reveal himself to his creatures. I had a very similar experience with my children just yesterday when we ran outside to see the beauty of a double rainbow gleaming in the sky in the forefront of darkened clouds. My kids gazed in awe and I was reminded “Our God made that.”
These quotes below set the tone for the written journey to invoke intellectual, emotional and relational wonder and worship of our God. It is obvious by these words that Mitch has been disrupted from mundane life and awakened to life under the majesty of our Sovereign God, as did I. I mean really! Just read these words, then go to the Psalms and try to come back unchanged!
From the intro:
This book may be a short journey, but no one should underestimate the value of brief travel. I’ve driven long distances and sat for many hours on planes traveling to the other side of the world, but some short trips have changed my life. On the day I married Stacie, I traveled only thirty minutes to the church for the ceremony. When our first son Jensen was born, we lived less than an hour from the hospital. Think bigger now. Imagine the impact of just five minutes in the Grand Canyon. In that brief time your soul would be exposed to the magnificence of creation, to sights that stagger the mind…
From the 1st chapter:
When we look into space, we are seeing the majesty of God. “God created the universe not as an object of academic scrutiny but as an arena in which he can display something of his nature and intentions.” And when we behold his revelation, it should lead to our adoration. If your telescope isn’t an instrument of worship, you’re not using it correctly.
So far I am highly engaged and nodding my head in refreshment of what appears to be a truly connected and whole response to the glory of God. It should invoke wonder, curiosity, worship, and child-like awe. I would love to finish it today, but duty calls so I will continue to work through a chapter a night this week in the middle of my studies, and preparation for teaching. So far I would commend this book to anyone because it is accessible and not too brainy, but trust me that it is titled from and informed by a deep sense of struggle through the text of Scripture and intellectual wrestling that result in this remarkably comforting topic. Behold, Our God, The Sovereign. Beautifully written, Theologically Rich, Doxologically Refreshing.