- Series: The Apprentice Series
- Hardcover: 232 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books (July 5, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0830835318
- ISBN-13: 978-0830835317
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 370 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows (The Apprentice Series) Hardcover – July 5, 2009
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"I have observed that every individual, whether a new beliver or seasoned veteran, has given testimony of a new joy in their journey as a result of this book. The content is sound, inspiring and enlightening." (Jerry Barker, Dallas Baptist Standard, March 14, 2011)
Other authors have written extensively on spiritual disciplines and the spiritual life, but few have created a curriculum that is as accessible to the common believer seeking spiritual growth. I exuberantly recommend this book to anyone interested in a practical model of spiritual growth. (Steve Gioielli, Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care, Fall 2009)
"I predict this book, and the two more in the series, will become deeply influential books in evangelical churches that want to deepen spiritual formation." (Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed blog, July 15, 2009)
"If you're looking for books to help patrons rekindle or enhance their relationships with God, buy this one. Highly recommended for small groups interested in deepening their relationships with God." (Church Libraries, Fall 2009)
"Make spiritual mentors, group leaders, youth pastors, Christian educators, and Willard/Foster fans aware of this material." (David Mundt, CBA Retailers + Resources, July 2009)
"Smith challenges those who seek to follow God to examine the stories they already know. . . . [Includes] exercises and questions . . . to deepen their knowledge of God." (Publishers Weekly, May 22, 2009)
"This first book in The Apprentice Series, The Good and Beautiful God, is a treasure. Dr. Smith has thought long and hard about the process of human transformation into the likeness of Jesus. I urge you to buy this book immediately! Read it and apply it. Then live it out in the context of a loving community. You will not regret doing so." (Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline and coauthor of Longing for God)
"I know from our long relationship that Jim Smith is a fine and trustworthy man, who authentically knows 'the good and beautiful God.' I can think of no higher compliment than this: I would happily trust the care of my soul to Jim and the good and beautiful God he commends to us." (Todd Hunter, author of Christianity Beyond Belief and pastor of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Costa Mesa)
"The Apprentice Series is the best practice I have seen in Christian spiritual formation." (Dallas Willard, author of The Divine Conspiracy)
"I know from our long relationship that Jim Smith is a fine and trustworthy man, who authentically knows 'the good and beautiful God.' I can think of no higher compliment than this: I would happily trust the care of my soul to Jim and the good and beautiful God he commends to us."
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This book has gotten under my skin. It is an insight into Father God, the Good and the Beautiful God and why and how I would love Him.I recommend this book, just as my pastor/mentor recommended it to me.
The second chapter will make you laugh and then feel like crying. There is a detailed discussion on whether or not God punishes sin in this life. I am convinced that it does happen and is a bit like karma. Didn't Jesus say we'd reap what we sow? Needless to say this chapter was very comforting and explains that we will understand everything that happens to us once we get to heaven. Not everything is however our fault, God has a plan.
This book mostly focuses on qualities of God like how he is good, trustworthy, generous, loving, holy and self-sacrificing. James Bryan Smith also presents practical applications of spiritual concepts. He makes a great point about how knowing God loves us and loving him in return gives us lasting incentives to change for the better.
I felt this book was a calming and comforting message and a gentle reminder of how God loves us unconditionally.
~The Rebecca Review
This book changed my life. I have a new love and appreciation for the Gospel that I never had before. Everyone in our small group was transformed and we also highly recommend the other books in the series.
The Good and Beautiful God seeks to "help people discover the God that Jesus revealed" by exploring many false but commonly held perceptions and comparing them to the "narrative of Jesus" (p.14). The book is written to be read over an extended period of time and ideally studied in a small group. To facilitate group discussion the book includes a Small Group Discussion Guide as an appendix (written by Matthew Johnson and Christopher Jason Fox) and an online Leader Guide (written by Matthew Johnson).
The Good and Beautiful God is an orthodox and pragmatic introduction to a God who is good, trustworthy, generous, love, holy, self-sacrificing, and who transforms. For Christians who have been on the journey of faith for any length of time very little of the material in any chapter will be new, but all of the material has the ability to become more meaningful and transformational if the reader engages in "soul training" exercises that are found at the close of each chapter.