Your God is Too Small; A Book Review

In 2016 I bought a book that challenged the stereotypes we have for God and Jesus. I’ve since read it twice. The author, J.B. Phillips, says our concept of God is too small. He is actually much larger.

Your God is Too Small; A Guide for Believers and Skeptics Alike

“The trouble with many of us today, writes J.B. Phillips, is that we have not found a God big enough for our modern needs. In varying degrees we suffer from a limited idea of God. Phillips exposes such inadequate conceptions of God as “Resident Policeman, ” “Grand Old Man, ” “Meek-and-Mild, ” and “Managing Director, ” and explores ways in which we can find a truly meaningful and constructive God for ourselves.”

Part One deals with destructive concepts—unreal gods. Like their conscience is the voice of God, or thinking God is exactly like our parents. 

Here’s a quote from thinking of God as a grand old man in the sky.

“They respect the Grand Old Man and His peculiarities, but they feel no inclination to worship Him as the living God.”

We think of Jesus as meek and mild, standing, holding a lamb, while staring into the distance. J.B. asks why “mild?” 

“This word “mild” is apparently deliberately used to describe a man who did not hesitate to challenge and expose the hypocrisies of the religious people of his day: a man who had such “personality” that He walked unscathed through a murderous crowd: a man so far from being a nonentity that He was regarded by the authorities as a public danger; a man who could be moved to violent anger by shameless exploitation or by smug complacent orthodoxy; a man of such courage that He deliberately walked to what He knew would mean death, despite the earnest pleas of well-meaning friends.”

“Jesus Christ might well be called “meek” in the sense of being selfless and humble and utterly devoted to what He considered right, whatever the personal cost; but “mild,” never!”

I like this quote later on…

“God will inevitably appear to disappoint the man who is attempting to use Him as a convenience, a prop, or a comfort, for his own plans. God has never been known to disappoint the man who is sincerely wanting to cooperate with His own purposes.”

Phillips then says Part One’s point isn’t to just add to your concept of God but to help break down the preconceptions so you can see God. That’s what he begins to do in Part Two. 

He builds his argument over the chapters I’ll list now. Because I highlighted heavily here and even wrote a post or two because of this book. 

  • God Unfocused
  • A Clue to Reality
  • Further Clues to Reality
  • Is There a Focused God?
  • If God Were Focused (1)
  • If God Were Focused (2)
  • Has A Arrived?
  • Life’s Basic Principles (1)
  • Life’s Basic Principles (2)
  • Further Basic Questions
  • Christ and the Question of Sin
  • Satisfactory Reconciliation
  • Demonstration with the Enemy
  • The Abolition of Death
  • Theory into Practice
  • Summary

The book is only 124 pages long. While writing this review, I want to read it for the third time. 

It inspired the following posts:

What If God Became One of Us?

Last year I saw a book by J.B Phillips titled Your God Is Too Small and had to read it as soon as possible. He starts out by addressing the misconceptions of God from people’s lack of understanding or attempts to define Him. Then he shows how big God is, and then what that would…

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Is The God You Worship A Reflection of You?

It’s been said that on the seventh day, man created God, or something to that effect. I’ve seen posts on Facebook where people were talking about God’s that fit their preferences. While driving to work I had this thought, ‘does your god(s) reflect you, or do you reflect your god(s)? How do you determine that?…

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Because of that, it gets a rare 6-star rating. To date, only Immediate Obedience has earned that. 

Recommend it to all Christians and people who think they know God but don’t. 

One thought on “Your God is Too Small; A Book Review

  1. Pingback: Gentle Jesus? | A Ronin's Journey

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