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Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? Paperback – January 30, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for the first edition
 “Bruce Waltke shows that God guides his servants not by dubious techniques of divination but by the discipline of purehearted decision-making. Waltke’s quiet, honest, Bible-soaked wisdom will be a godsend to puzzled people in this much-misunderstood area of Christian concern. This book is a beam of true light and a breath of fresh air.”

“What a rare combination — good biblical interpretation and judicious common sense, blended in the right mixture — all in one book. Waltke’s style is provocative, thoughtful, refreshing, and richly illustrated from living applications of the principles he advocates.”
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bruce K. Waltke is Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Knox Theological Seminary, Fort Lauderdale, and professor emeritus of biblical studies at Regent College, Vancouver.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 195 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans (January 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802839746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802839749
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #529,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When one starts to read this book one will be shocked to find out that many professing Christians today practice the same type of paganistic rituals that they condemn. Waltke shows the reader in this book that "tapping" into God's will through various silly routines and rituals to find out what career to launch into, who to marry, what school to attend, etc. is no different from a pagan offering a gift to his god to look for divine knowledge. The book is divided into two main parts. The first part investigates the idea of "finding God's will." Waltke nicely summarizes the various ways Christians seek God's will and concludes that the methods often employed are nothing but paganistic (e.g., blindly opening up the Bible and pointing to a particular passage as God's word for you today). The second part deals with how Christians can TRULY know what God wills. Waltke's main contention is that God's Holy Word (Scripture) and the Holy Spirit that lives within us (who gives us holy desires) offer believers guidance in pointing to what God wills from believers. It is refreshing to read a well-respected scholar bringing us back to the Bible when it comes to discerning God's will. Too many Christians these days do silly rituals or look for "divine signs" to know God's will. However, as Waltke points out, God does not give his revelatory light if we are searching for it. Other key points Waltke makes is that we must seek wise counsel from mature Christians when we are at a fork on the road in our lives, that God's providence provides us with information (even though we may not understand at the beginning why God allows, sometimes difficult, events to occur), and that Christians must use their common sense (which is part of common grace) when making a decision.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Many sincere believers in their commendable desire to seek God's will wind up using very un-Biblical methods of guidance. With the knowledge of a Biblical scholar, the clarity of an excellent teacher, and the wisdom of one who has walked with the Lord a long time, Bruce Waltke has given us a wonderful summary and practical description of what it truly means to seek God's will (and Waltke explains and clarifies all the meanings that phrase can carry). As the author would say, "One does not divine God's will. One lives God's will as one comes to know Him through His word." (pp. 71).
This is not merely a critique of many modern ways of "seeking God's will", but also a Biblical description of God's pattern of guidance for the believer. As his later chapter titles sum up, God's program for guidance includes (in order): Read your Bible, Develop a Heart for God, Seek Wise Counsel, Look for God's Providence, Does this Make Sense? and (rarely) Divine Intervention. Dr. Waltke has reminded us all that our Father is not one who hides His overall purpose for our lives, and the author does a great job of showing us how our loving Father guides and leads His children. Pick up a copy today - even if you aren't facing a "major decision" right now, it will still help you gain wisdom and direction in how to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
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Format: Paperback
I once knew a Christian who was considering buying a new sports car. In order to determine what God's will was on the issue, she opened her Bible, at random. The verse she picked happened to mention silver--the color of the car. She took that as God's approval for purchasing the car. Similar horror stories are scattered through Waltke's "Finding the Will of God." He wrote about common mistakes (Pagan mistakes) Christians use to conjure up God's will. More importantly, Waltke outlines how we can actually live in God's will, without relying on superstition, guesses, or other poor theologies.
His advice is amazingly simple and refreshingly sound. He lists steps, such as reading the Bible (to actually know God, and not some random verse), seeking the advice of Christian friends, etc. Essentially, his advice boils down to this: know God. Waltke wrote that the God who would give his own Son to save us, would not hide his will. We don't need to search for his will, as much as need to focus on knowing God.
This book was recommended to me by a friend who is the theological librarian at a divinity school. I was struggling with some choices and "Finding the Will of God" offered clear, biblical, and practical ideas. Waltke's style is easy to understand. The chapters are arranged in a logical sequence, and are short enough to read through easily. Most of all, the book really made me think about what it means to "know God." I would strongly recommend this book to any Christian, but especially to those who are concerned about making biblical decisions and living a life that pleases God.
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Format: Paperback
IT always amazes me that those who read and study their Bibles know more about it that those who would get their theology from an emotional worship service. THis book had about the same impact on me that lightnng has on a tree. Personally, this book could not have come at a better time; I was pleading with "wishy-washy" Christians to go to the Bible for discernment on wether this was God's will.
Dr. Waltke bridges the gap between scholar and lay person without compromising truth. The first chapter he gives horrid examples of Christians who follow mis-guided adivce (we are all guilty of at least one example) adn later on in the book he shows the biblical counterpart. The Book is not very long, esay to read, and packed with dynamite. The Chapter on 'reading the bible' is worth the price of the book. Again those who read their bible, this will not come as a surprise. However, if you get your direaction from extreme emotions, this book will be a painful challenge. I really wanted to give the book 18 stars but that was not an option. By the book. Ask for as many free copies as you can and give them to your sorely sincere but misguided friends...
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