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One Thing: Developing a Passion for the Beauty of God Paperback – May 20, 2010
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Those who've enjoyed John Piper's writings will find similar themes in Sam Storms' fine book. Some would say he is more accessible, though he evidently shares Piper's appreciation for Jonathan Edwards and C S Lewis.
We need 'How to...' books but we benefit greatly from books that remind us what the 'one thing' is. You may be a fan of 'City Slickers' and be reminded of Billy Crystal's perplexed question to Jack Pallance, 'But what is that one thing?' We need 'How to...' books but we benefit greatly from books that remind us what the 'one thing' is. (Terry Virgo ~ Founder of Newfrontiers and well-known Bible Teacher, London)
"The more I ponder the source and ground of all our lasting joy, the more convinced I become that Sam Storms is right. It's the Beauty of God. In all his gifts we are to see him. Especially in the gospel.... Let Sam Storms guide you biblically and waken your heart to the Treasure of Christ who is the image of the Beauty of God." (John Piper ~ Founder of Desiring God Ministries, Chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, Minneapolis, Minnesota)
"This book will waken your heart to the treasure of Christ who is in the image of the Beauty of God. This is a mind expanding book. He gives content to our fuzzy notion of infinity and helps us the scientific layman to grasp how the immense scale and complexity of our universe declare the glory of God. Thank you Sam Storms, reading your book has changed me. What more can I say? (Evangelicals Now)
About the Author
Sam Storms is the Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the President of Enjoying God Ministries (www.samstorms.com).
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Chapter one, "`A Christian Theory of Everything,'" lays the God-centered foundation for the rest of the book, drawing heavily from the writings of Jonathan Edwards. Echoing John Piper, Storms says, "The benevolent fullness of divine delight overflows in creation so that we might joyfully share, to God's eternal glory, in God's admiration of himself" (23).
The following chapters develop concepts like beauty, grandeur, majesty, and pleasure with insightful exposition of key texts and powerful illustrations from history ("What Handel Saw," chapter four) and nature ("Galactic Grandeur" and "Microscopic Majesty," chapters five and six). Wonder takes on new meaning when you consider the power of God evident in neutron stars, which are quite small, yet so heavy that "one teaspoonful of this matter weighs 3 billion tons . . . the equivalent of stuffing a herd of 50 million elephants in a thimble!" (98).
Chapter seven tells the incredible story from Greek mythology of Ulysses, Jason, and the Sirens, illustrating two ways of fighting sin: bind yourself with external duties, the way Ulysses bound himself to his ship in order to resist the seductive, but suicidal song of the Sirens; or, be satisfied with a sweeter song, as Jason overcame the Sirens through the music of Orpheus. Other stories, about figures such as St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, are sprinkled throughout One Thing, making it a delightful read.
The final chapter, "Joy's Eternal Increase," contains one of the most stunning portraits of heaven that I've ever read - again drawing on Jonathan Edwards, while expounding Revelation 21, verses 4, 8, and 27. Storms stretches language to its limits in his effort to describe for us the reality of eternal joy. In short, One Thing is true to its title: a powerfully focused invitation to develop a passion for the beauty of God.
He brings you back to the basic. He brings you back to God. He shows you what God has a passion for. Should we not learn and go after the things that God desires?
This was my first book that I have read by Sam. I enjoyed it. Yet to me it is sad that other books get more praise and more reviews on here. If you are looking to add passion to you life...Do it in a way that will last. Add passion not based on the world and the lies of the Devil. Add passion based on the thing that God himself delights in...God!