The God we Worship - a review

Studying the Almighty’s revelation of Himself

The God we Worship written by Brother Michael Storey and reviewed by Brother Geoff Henstock

“TO STUDY THE Almighty’s revelation of Himself in the scriptures is a lifetime’s work for every one of us.” So writes Brother Michael Storey on page 92 of his book The God we Worship, published by The Christadelphian in 2019. That such a study has been a lifetime’s work for the author is evident from the text of this devotional study of the Almighty Creator, an engagingly reverent consideration of the God who graciously calls us to be His sons and daughters.

When frail, mortal men seek to understand and discuss the attributes and characteristics of God, they venture into challenging territory. And, as Brother Storey does in this book, they should do so with a deep sense of humility and awe. But, challenging as this topic is, it is important that we develop an appreciation of our God and come to know Him in all his majesty, power and love. Our eternal life depends upon it!

 

Starting at the beginning

In a world so heavily focused on externals, we can easily fall into the trap of thinking that worship is something expressed only in demonstrative acts of celebration such as religious meetings. For good reason, therefore, Brother Michael commences his book with a discussion of what worship is and the challenges that we face in the modern world when we are seeking to worship God aright.

The book is divided into five sections. Having discussed in the first section the all-encompassing and pervasive nature of worship in the life of the servant of God, the author has set the stage for considering the God we worship under the following themes:

  • God the Creator
  • God manifested
  • God’s holiness and its implications for disciples
  • “I will be their God, and they shall be My people”.

Brother Michael bases his studies on nine elements about God which he draws from Clause 1 of The Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith. Four of these he groups under the heading “God the Creator” and the remaining nine under the heading “God manifested”. He goes to note that each of those groups could be described in one word, respectively ‘power’ and ‘purpose’.

The centrality of our belief in God as the Creator is emphasised throughout the book. The author identifies the corrosive influence of modern human thinking on our appreciation of God and His purpose. Such thinking corrupts our understanding of the gospel. While acknowledging that there are many such risks, he is quite direct about the fact that theories of human evolution are especially toxic. As he says in his opening chapter: “The theories of Evolution and Theistic Evolution, in all their various forms, subvert our faith in God” (p. 3). Individuals dabbling in such theories, and ecclesial shepherds who are failing to provide appropriate guidance in these matters, would be well advised to read Brother Michael’s book and consider the case he makes.

As might be expected, this book cites Scripture extensively. Brother Michael is at pains to keep exegesis to a minimum, allowing the Bible quotes to speak for themselves. Many texts are cited several times in different chapters as differing facets of God’s nature and characteristics are considered.

 

“How unsearchable are His judgments”

There are many highlights in this thought-provoking book. The chapter on the Fatherhood of God is especially insightful, as are the four chapters in the section entitled, “Ye shall be holy for I the LORD your God am holy”. In the context of holiness, Brother Michael’s comments on Leviticus are particularly interesting. It is invidious, however, to single out one or a few chapters as more inspiring than others: each reader will have his or her own preferences. As is appropriate, the book concludes with a chapter on the love of God and the wonder that love should invoke in those who are the recipients of His grace.

A feature of the book is a list at the conclusion of each chapter of recommended further reading. Works recommended include books and individual magazine articles, some old and well-known and others quite recent. Footnotes throughout the book direct the reader to other passages and themes worth considering in the context of the topic under consideration. There is also a Scripture index of passages cited in the text.

Brother Storey discusses these lofty and profound topics in a respectful and inspiring way using simple language that will be accessible to readers with little experience. But ‘simple’ certainly does not imply that the work is simplistic—far from it. There is much in this book which will challenge the conscience and stretch the thinking of even the most seasoned disciple. This is a work that will be enjoyed by all who wish to worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

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