Book Review – Where God Meets Man

Where God Meets Man by Gerhard O. Forde

I’ve been working my way through this short (127 pages) but packed little book at lunch for the past few months.  It’s a fantastic review of Lutheran theology, meaning Luther’s theology, focusing on the core distinction of Lutheran theology in terms of how God and man meet.  Are we engaged in a spiritual effort to lift ourselves to God – either completely or in some small part?  Or does God do all the work of coming down to us in our sin and death in order to breathe life into us through faith in the Son of God, Jesus the Christ?

It may sound like an esoteric issue but it’s critical to the development of Christian theology and worship.  Do we emphasize our efforts and offerings, or do we emphasize what God has done, is doing, and will do for us?  And what are the repercussions of this theology in other areas of life beyond worship?

Forde does a fantastic job of talking about dense theological concepts in a very open and accessible way.  He doesn’t excessively quote other sources or rely on snippets of Latin, German, Greek, or what have you.  In other words, this would benefit a trained theologian as well as a layperson.  It will help you understand Lutheran worship and theology (or help you critique your own tradition of worship and the theology behind it) and how to apply these things in life.

The book is short enough to not be too intimidating, but useful enough to bear re-reading every so often.  I strongly recommend this if you enjoy theological reading!

 

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