Second Reformed Church

Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: "A Lost God in a Lost World"

How can God be lost?

Melvin Tinker, in his book, A Lost God in a Lost World, directs the reader's attention to Isaiah 44:9-23, where he begins a discussion around the word "idol" -- which means in its root word, "empty" or "weightless"  -- as opposed to the word which is used to describe the True God -- "glory" -- which means "immensely weighty" or "overwhelmingly full" (28-29).

Tinker is addressing the problem of idolatry and goes to show its vanity, followed by an apt presentation of the True God:  "The folly in thinking that is is possible to make from things which are less than human something which is more than human in order to give humans the power they need to make it through life without God" (40).

The problem of idolatry is at its root a problem of pride (49ff).

The answer we need is an understanding of the grandeur of God -- to which he turns to Isaiah 40:1-31.

If we understand our pride and God's grandeur, the answer of the Crucified God provided in Philippians 2:5-11 makes sense (83ff).

And if one believes the Holy Spirit indwells a person and works in him -- a la John 14:1-31 (103ff).  At this point the author explains the interrelatedness of the Three Persons of the Godhead and rightly stresses a oft-neglected truth -- that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not a force.

From here, he looks at the necessity of Gospel preaching (121ff).  In this section he looks at the concept of faith and argues against those who see faith as an irrational belief in wishful thinking, rather arguing that faith deals with facts, assent to those facts, and trust in those facts -- a heart-belief (129-131).  Faith to be faith must be grounded and certain.

He ends this section arguing that the call of the Church is to preach the Gospel -- all other things that it may do, others can do better, but only the church can be the church and proclaim the Gospel she is entrusted (133-134).

Then he explains that the divine call to the salvation of the elect does not negate our responsibility to proclaim the Gospel, as God has chosen to save by hearing (137ff).

He looks at 2 Peter 3 to argue the necessity of Christ's return to free us fro all possibility of sin, and how God is now outside of time, as we shall be (155ff).

Finally, he returns to Isaiah 65:17-25  as he consider the restored Creation to come -- the Kingdom of God in which we shall live. Specifically, he looks at issues of sin and mourning for it and those who are damned, as well as the question of whether the Kingdom will be boring (174ff).

Tinker's book is timely, well written and argued.  He clearly shows that all people worship a god and any God but the True God is a weightless god.  The God Who is "lost" to them is the True God -- the Only God Who provides and secures salvation for all those who will believe.

Tinker's book is encouraging for interacting with others, proclaiming the Gospel to the whole Creation, and looking forward to the hope to the resurrection and the life to come.

I warmly recommend this book.


[I received this book free from the publish in exchange for an honest review.  This review appears on my blog and on]

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