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Loving God like a Child

Having been familiar with R.C. Sproul Jr.'s father and his books, I was delighted to read this book entitled The Call to Wonder: Loving God like a Child. R.C. Sproul Jr., father of eight children draws readers into the book by doing two things very well in the book: drawing out the instances in the Bible that speak of children including the teaching of Jesus and secondly, using his experience as a father and husband to illustrate the wonder of a child in loving God and seeing his handiwork.

I have to admit I got a real kick out of reading early on in the book about the "R.C. Sproul Jr. Principle of Hermeneutics." Sproul goes onto say, "when you are reading your Bible and come across people (like the disciples, for example) doing something really stupid, do not say to yourself, "How could they be so stupid?" Instead, ask yourself, How am I stupid just like them? (Note: This principle is named after me because I've learned how stupid I can be") (11). Often we try to analyze too much the text of the Bible instead of looking at its message. Sproul reminds us to take a real strong dose of humility when reading the Bible and not posture that we are superior to those interacting in the ministry of Jesus. This call to humility is something we all need to be reminded of (I was certainly reminded of this during seminary in our preaching lectures while learning about the Fallen Condition Focus).

In speaking about the innocence of child, Sproul Jr. says something that I think is very clear in little ones, namely 'A childlike trust expresses itself most clearly by not thinking of evil' (19). If we didn't teach our children about strangers, I'm sure that would think everyone was their buddy. This point that Sproul makes is very evident in the way that children often move so quickly from being hurt to speaking words of love (in other words, they don't often hold grudges like their parents). Another characteristic of children's innocence is wonder. Sproul reminds us that children often bask in the glory of God's creation more quickly and routinely than adults. Why? I think part of this is true is because adults fill their time cards with so many things that they fail to appreciate the so called 'mundane' things of life. The consequence is that we fail to see that wonder provides a greater sense of worship.

Part of the most moving and powerful testimony of the amazing grace of the Christian faith is found in the doctrine of adoption. Sproul Jr. calls us to see our adoption as sons and daughters of God as significant in the way we relate to God as Father. He goes on to say, "But He has called none of these creations His children. We alone, unlike the animals and angels, are called His children" (97). The point is that we have a special place in the expanse of creation as God's children. Sproul fleshes this out by saying, "If we are in Christ, we have been blessed far beyond the forgiveness we have in Him...He has adopted us into His family" (97). Often we as Christians forget that are relationship to the triune God is most important. God has rescued us from darkness into the light and life of his Son, adopting us as sons and daughters. Another way this resonates is the fact that God pursued us to the utmost, to the point of death to bring us into relationship with Him.

Lastly, Sproul reminds us that the gospel is `simple enough that a child can understand,' so this does not give us credence to theological pride and arrogance. As the Word of God matures in us bearing much fruit, we are able to rest in the work of Christ on our behalf. This is a tough point for those interested in theology and study, but a wise lesson to learn and re-learn.

This book was a great encouragement and aid to me as I read. The wisdom of loving like a child, seeking the good of others, and being motivated to please God comes through on these pages. Yet, Sproul tempers this idea of child-like faith with a call to maturity that calls us to discern right from wrong, good from evil. Overall, I think this book will be an encouragement to all those who read it, including pastors and leaders.

Much thanks to Tyndale Publishers for the review copy of this book.


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