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None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That's a Good Thing) Paperback – April 30, 2016
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“I have had the privilege of personally knowing Jen Wilkin for several years. She is a woman intoxicated by the God of the Bible and has written None Like Him by staring at his majesty. The soul is healed not by gazing at its broken pieces, but by gazing at the beauty of its creator and surrendering to the ‘I can’ts, but he cans.’ I pray you melt into the relief of belonging to the One who is unlike any other as you read this book.”
—Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; author, The Mingling of Souls and The Explicit Gospel
“In an upside-down world that has humanized God and deified man, Jen Wilkin brings us the best news imaginable: our God is infinitely greater, more powerful, more majestic, and more wonderful than we can possibly fathom. Jen calls us to lift our eyes upward, to earnestly contemplate his attributes, and to humbly acknowledge our own limits. As we do, our hearts will be filled with wonder and awe that such a God should stoop to save and love us.”
—Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author; Host, Revive Our Hearts
“My wife and I love Jen Wilkin. She represents a rising generation of evangelical women discontent with the status quo, yet fiercely committed to the Scriptures. Her teaching is provocative without approaching compromise, revolutionary without seeking novelty. This book is rock solid, and it portends an encouraging future for evangelicalism.”
—J. D. Greear, Lead Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina; author, Gaining By Losing
“Far beyond a Sunday school lesson listing the attributes of God, None Like Him evokes a sense of both familiarity and wonder around the characteristics of the Almighty we worship. This book puts us in our place, beneath the God of all and over all.”
—Kate Shellnutt, Associate Editor, Christianity Today; Editor, Her.meneutics
“This book made me want Jen Wilkin as my best friend. But far more than that, it made me grateful that Jen Wilkin’s God is my God. Books that are this theologically rich while also being this funny, this personal, and this penetrating are rare. So don’t miss this one.”
—Nancy Guthrie, Bible teacher; author, Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow
"As [Wilkin] compares human flaws and weaknesses with God's steady and unchangeable characteristics, readers of faith will be reinvigorated by the assurance of God's unvarying, all-encompassing nature."
“What happens when women learn about the attributes of God? They rightfully praise him for who he is! Jen Wilkin has written a helpful book introducing the attributes that belong to God alone, while revealing our own tendencies to try to produce counterfeits in others or ourselves. A better understanding of who God is builds our faith and helps to guard against damaging theology. Jen presses the reader to see how God’s incommunicable attributes affect our own spirituality.”
—Aimee Byrd, author, Housewife Theologian and Theological Fitness
“Many of us attribute to God the characteristics of our fallen earthly fathers. In this study, Jen walks us through a better foundation for knowing and relating to our Father in heaven—Scripture itself. None Like Him is a helpful resource that reminds us that ‘the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.’”
—Wendy Horger Alsup, mother; author, Practical Theology for Women and The Gospel-Centered Woman
“This wonderful book is big on truth and big on God, which means it is very good for my soul. Jen’s exploration of God’s attributes and her reminder of all the ways I’m not God and don’t have to be God ministered to me as a wife, as a mother, and as a Christian. If true wisdom starts with the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves, then here is a book full of wisdom.”
—Trisha DeYoung, happy wife to Kevin DeYoung, author of Just Do Something and Crazy Busy; stay-at-home adventurous mother of six
“Many of us believe that greater peace and self-awareness come from exploring our own psyche or learning what makes us tick. But Jen Wilkin believes that greater self-knowledge comes from knowing and reverencing the One who is knowledge himself. In None Like Him, she invites us to learn how God’s nature transcends our own and why the difference between us is good news. In fact, it’s the very best news.”
—Hannah Anderson, author, Made for More and Humble Roots
“In my ministry to college students, I am rarely asked questions about morality or theology. They ask for wisdom. Young people yearn to know how the world works and how to work well within it. Jen sets us on the right path by inviting us all to the essential starting point: awestruck wonder at our Maker. We must see how the eternal connects with the mundane if our lives are going to be filled with a sense of meaning. This is a resource that I would love to see in the hands of all of our students.”
—Ben Stuart, Executive Director, Breakaway Ministries
About the Author
Jen Wilkin is a speaker, writer, and teacher of women’s Bible studies. During her seventeen years of teaching, she has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. Jen and her family are members of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas.
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Top Customer Reviews
I plan to use this book as the basis for a Women's Bible Study in the near future. That's how good it is. I want all my friends to read it and experience the change.
1. God is infinite, limitless and immeasurable, yet he measures and sets boundaries in the universe, on the earth, or on the human body, and specifies ark, temple and moral boundaries. We, like Adam & Eve, test and despise moral boundaries and seek to have limitless love or power for ourselves or desire others have it for our benefit. Instead we should embrace our limitations, measure ourselves, our sin and our circumstances like him.
2. God is incomprehensible, infinite mystery, yet gives sufficient knowledge to be saved and sanctified, yet we should always seek more discoveries of his beauty. Only God can know our hearts completely, yet forgives and accepts us. Yet we often deceive ourselves and cannot understand our neighbor, thus we should be more charitable to him. God’s Word can diagnose and help us know ourselves.
3. God is self-existent, independent, uncreated with infinite creativity, creating from nothing all things by the power of his word, thus is the owner of all things with all the rights and responsibilities to those things. He can do things beyond our expectations when we have lost hope. He created us in Christ as new creatures. Yet we are only dependent, contingent steward-rearrangers, combining existing materials he created into new forms as servants using our gifts. We should look at creation and see his eternal power and divine nature. God gave us the right to life and the duty to protect life as God’s image-bearers, which also defines our value. We sinfully seek ownership and claim our own ability to create things from nothing without giving him glory (e.g. Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 4, our children, our jobs, our ministries).
4. God is self-sufficient, infinite provider, the I AM, who cannot be tempted, controlled, coerced, blackmailed or manipulated. Yet by God’s design, we constantly need material, spiritual and relational things. After the fall our neediness makes us susceptible to sinful pursuits, or being controlled, manipulated or taken advantage of. We hope to achieve self-sufficiency, sinful independence from others in the family or the body of Christ, evidenced by prayerlessness, forgetfulness of God’s past provision, anger when we feel needy, failure to feel a need for forgiveness, avoidance of Christian community, hiding needs from others, lack of accountability, lack of humility and exhaustion. Christ faced all types of human neediness yet without sin. Christ met all types of human physical needs, but pointed to higher spiritual needs. Be quick to ask for help from others and receive it when given. Offer to meet other’s needs before they ask.
5. God is eternal, infinite days, and works in time to accomplish all his will making everything beautiful in its time. He is able to establish the work of our hands for eternal results (mercy to the needy is more important than material storage), laying up treasure in heaven. We are shaped and limited by the perspectives prevalent in our own history, culture and generation and cannot find out what God has done. We accuse God of not acting at the right time or doing something at the wrong time. We need to number our days and redeem the time past by avoiding excessive nostalgic views (coveting the past) by present thankfulness for the past or regret about past sins with the forgiveness of the Gospel, redeem time future by avoiding excessive anticipation (coveting the future) by present thankfulness or fear that causes anxiety and prepare wisely saying “if the Lord wills,” and redeem the time present by avoiding laziness (there will always be more time) to work in season and busyness (there will never be enough time) to rest in season.
6. God is immutable, infinitely the same in his attributes, character, plans and warnings and promises. 1 Corinthians 13 love is about God’s love, using superlatives of “always” and “never”. Yet we are constantly changing, aging, knowledge, emotions and tastes. We hope for positive things to stay the same, but they don’t, so we are sad or frustrated. We claim our habits and sins cannot change, but it’s a lie. What we really need is to trust God who stays the same and gives us holy desires to glorify God. We inaccurately accuse others of inability to change, using superlatives like “never” and “always”. We fear negative changes in society, but we need to fix our thoughts on the unchanging God.
7. God is omnipresent, infinitely unbound by place and space and needs no upgrade. His parenthood of us as children never experiences any separation. Surveillance cameras reveal some things, but God’s camera is always on everywhere. Yet we are limited, bound by space, gravity, height, genetics, and struggle to perceive his presence with us as a warning against sin (which is first always against him because it is done in his sight) and the amazing quality of grace and merciful presence. We covet limitlessness. Modern technologies (internet, phone) have helped us supersede some spatial limits, but these can also cause misunderstanding and lead us to ignore being present where we are. We should be satisfied with where God has placed us.
8. God is omniscient, with infinite knowledge, who never needs to learn anything, who never forgets. Yet humanity is required to learn from the day of conception. Yet we suffer from information overload on internet and smart phone media, coveting knowledge we do not need, (when we should ask if this knowledge helps us love God and people better), only creating more anxiety, limiting our ability to make decisions with fear that our information is insufficient to decide. We sinfully wish for knowledge of the future which only God can manage. We meddle in other people’s business. We desire omniscience over our children, but need to let go of them to God’s care, casting our care upon him because he cares. We should think on things that are lovely and praiseworthy.
9. God is omnipotent, with infinite power, needing no rest. Since his power is joined with goodness, we can be comforted by it. He entrusts us with various levels of strength, beauty, wealth, charisma and other gifts, and the indwelling Spirit, so that we will love God, overcome sin, help and protect the weak, seek inner beauty. Instead, we often use them to elevate ourselves and injure others. Jesus is our example in handling power, beauty, wealth and charisma, but uses it according to God’s will, not ours, especially for the purpose of salvation from sin.
10. God is sovereign, with infinite rule and authority to act to do all he purposes. All the other attributes qualify him for ruling well. God works all things for our good. Yet we want our rule, our desire and our own kingdom come, though unqualified for it. All his rules are good for us and bring him glory. God entrusts rule to governments, but is still in control over them. We must rule over our bodies as those bought with a price, but show caution in an idolatrous pursuit of health. We must rule over our possessions as stewards, but show caution in hoarding or compulsive buying, and accept that material possessions will get damaged or broken. Any in authority must steward relationships by good boundaries, and show caution against any forms of abuse or manipulation. We should steward our environment, but exercise caution in compulsive rituals that attempt to control all the variables and prevent anything bad from happening.
Conclusion: We need awe of God’s greatness more than a boost in self-esteem. We need to share God’s hatred for sin and ask God to judge it.
In Wilkin’s exposition, while she rightly highlights antithesis, the differences between God and man, and rightly warns of the sin of coveting God’s infinite glory for our own, we can notice some sections of the summary above help us see what I would call derivative parallels to humanity created in God’s image. In an effort to lead the reader to awe of God’s greatness, she mutes parallels of these infinite, all-____ attributes with a human likeness and mostly dissects them from any direct relationship to what it means to be renewed into Christ’s likeness. This traditional dissection helpfully distinguishes between God as transcendent Creator-Ruler and man as created.
But the modern day reader would benefit from reconsidering this traditional dissection. For example of a typically defined incommunicable attribute, God is everlasting, without beginning or end, seeing all time equally vividly, yet seeing events in time and acting in time. Yet Scripture points out that God gives us eternal life or eternal death which seems to be derived from his everlasting rule over time. God is unchangeable, immutable (usually defined as incommunicable), but faithfulness seems a likely derivative subset of his immutable purposes and is called a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit”(2 Cor. 3:18). As we study the full revelation of Christ’s glory, and look for logical connections between a set of original divine and derivative human glory, we will notice many more transforming derivative attributes that come from the LORD’s original divine attributes.
So why do I give the book four stars? Wilkin offers a nice readable summary of significant attributes and compares God with contemporary aspirations and our superman idolatries, warning us against something like the resulting chaos in the movie Bruce Almighty when Bruce seems to get something like omnipotence with a minor sprinkling of omniscience (hearing prayers and spying on people).
Wilkin cites her debt to A.W. Tozer on page 16, presumably meaning the one she quotes from in numerous citations throughout the book, his classic The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life, and there does appear to be some similarities with Tozer's chapter structure and the chapter flow of Tozer's ideas as the seeds of what Wilkin wrote about but with modernized illustrations and applications. Tozer's book has lots of depth and Wilkin appears to have drawn from that depth.
Why take away one star? I am committed to Reformed theology (such as in the Westminster Confession of Faith) as the best way to interpret Scripture and my expectation of books published by Crossway is that generally I will read authors in that interpretive tradition. Wilkin was writing admirably about God's infinite glory up to chapter 10, then (in my estimation) basically in one paragraph undercut the entire thesis of her book (and appears to take the same position as Tozer in her own words) by claiming that "The Bible consistently affirms God's total sovereignty and man's free will. . . . God draws us to salvation. We must respond to his call from our own free will. If we humans do not have a free will, then God is unjust to punish sin. Indeed he is responsible for it. . . . How committed are you to the myth of your own sovereignty?" (Loc. 1757-66 Kindle edition). With the total thrust of her book pointing out the ways man covets God's infinite attributes and needs to repent of this imaginary pursuit, I find it ironic that her thrust was not applied to this very matter of free will, for is not the mistaken view of total human free will to choose salvation just another idolatrous wish to be like the sovereign God and choose one's own destiny?