Present Perfect ~ Social Media Tour

Title: Present Perfect: Finding God in the Here and Now
Author: Gregory A. Boyd

  • Publisher: Zondervan (April 13, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0310283841
  • Price: $14.99

About the Book:

"We long to be transformed. Yet our minds are filled with endless trivia and self-centered chatter. To-do lists. Worries about the past. Speculation about the future. We forget to live in the present moment ... and to invite God to be with us there. 

After reading classic contemplative authors Brother Lawrence, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, and Frank Laubach, theologian and pastor Gregory Boyd longed to experience the presence of God for himself. For two decades, he's attempted to implement the 'practice of the presence of God' in his own life ... sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing. What he's learned as a fellow pilgrim on his spiritual journey can help you find true spiritual transformation as you begin to practice the discipline of inviting God into every moment. Join Boyd on this transformational journey of a lifetime!"  (Back cover)

My Thoughts:

After I agreed to review this book, I discovered that the author is a leading proponent of Open Theism.  Had I known that ahead of time (I didn't research well enough!), I wouldn't have agreed to review the book...not because I don't ever want to read a book by an author with whom I have serious doctrinal disagreements, but because at this point in my life, I simply don't want to spend my limited reading time on a book from which I know I'm going to be "spitting out a lot of bones".   There are too many other books on which I *need* and *want* to spend my reading time at this point.  However, because I had received the book free from the publisher in exchange for participating in this blog tour, I followed through with reading it for review purposes.   

That said, there is much good in the book.  Some of the main messages of the book are excellent reminders:  God is with us all the time, we should be constantly aware of God's presence with us and listen for His promptings, pray continually, take every thought captive to Christ, etc.  I came away from the book focusing much more on how I can "abide in Christ" in my daily life.  That's certainly a good thing.  

However, there were definitely aspects with which I disagreed...particularly the idea that "the decay, death, and futility we experience in our life and witness throughout creation is not part of the Creator's original design.  Rather it's the result of a curse we brought upon ourselves..." (i.e. Man messed up God's original plan, and then God had to go to Plan B.)   

As a believer in "original sin"...that all men are born sinners...I disagreed with the assertion that "People aren't born cruel, vindictive, self-righteous, greedy, gluttonous, petty, or perverted.  Life in the demonically oppressed world we live in makes people this way."  I agreed with Boyd's overall point of our being called to love the unlovely, but disagree with his motivation and method in the chapter.  We are to love simply because God commands it, and simply through His grace and power in us...not by mental gymnastics through which we are able to see the unlovely as sweet, innocent little babies.

Boyd also discusses "The Inadequacy of Information".  To an extent, I agree with his premise.  It is easy to get so wrapped up in "information"...in books, in sermons, etc....that we are "hearers only" of the Word, rather than "doers".  I definitely struggle with "information addiction" at times.   However, we are commanded in Scripture to "study to show [ourselves] approved unto God..", and in 2 Peter 1, we are told to "add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."   

I appreciate Gregory Boyd's encouragement to practice the presence of God day by day and moment by moment; however, I would recommend great caution and discernment in the reading of Present Perfect.

Present Perfect can be purchased at Amazon

Visit other participants in the blog tour here

Visit Gregory Boyd's website here

Thanks to Blog Tour Spot and Zondervan for providing a review copy of this book!

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