book review: Your God is Too Glorious: Finding God in the Most Unexpected Places by Chad Bird


I received this book free from Baker Publishing for review purposes. I chose it because the synopsis excited me. I’ve been in a hard place spiritually, and I was looking at this book topic as one that could be encouraging and remind me how God uses “radically ordinary lives” and “gets excited about” them. Unfortunately, 57 pages in, I stopped reading and will not be finishing this book.

Chad Bird turns out to be an ex-Lutheran minister who, due to ambition and perhaps other unstated choices, lost his ministry, wife and children 10 years ago and has now written a book about how God can use those in ordinary places (like truckers, nursing mothers, soldiers in the line of duty) to bring truths about Himself to others. I agree with this, and as a homeschooling mother, that is a great reminder and even relief as I look at my life and remember that my “ordinary” work is extremely precious and eternally valuable to the kingdom of God and to His heart.

My problem was with the way the author chooses to present this premise. I believe we can remember God’s imminence (He is Emmanuel after all, God with us) while still bringing Him glory and in no way diminishing Him or the calling He puts on the lives of others, callings that may be more formal or prominent. For example, he tells the story of a fellow trucker and friend named Willy, who said if he ever won the lottery, he would use it to buy a double wide trailer and a few acres and bring all his family there to live with him. I have no problem with that goal, I love that he loves his family. But Mr. Bird says, “In that double-wide trailer…my friend Willy would have come into his kingdom. He could do more than spend 15 hours a day on the road and at work…I found a holy man in the oil fields.” (p. 37). Again, I have nothing against finding God in the ordinary. But this man’s goal (and Mr. Bird’s response to it) has nothing to do with God, His glory, or His kingdom. Since when has God ever focused on us coming into OUR kingdoms?

In the author’s making much of ordinary lives, I believe God is diminished. And I worry that perhaps he ventures into blasphemy, as he writes things like “The Sprit blows willy-nilly across the vast field of humanity, spreading the seeds of grace into all kinds of soil.” (p. 39). One thing God isn’t, as Father, Son or Holy Spirit, is “willy-nilly”. He has purpose, and wisdom, and does all things through perfect planning with the knowledge of eternity. He does indeed distribute the seeds of His grace into all kinds of soil. But we read in Ephesians 1:3-4: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He chooses with purpose and plan, and to say otherwise is dangerous and wrong.

I am saddened that I couldn’t give this book a better review. Please look for encouragement in the ordinary things of life elsewhere.


1 Response to “book review: Your God is Too Glorious: Finding God in the Most Unexpected Places by Chad Bird”

  1. 1 Florid Sword
    January 9, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Bummer. I’m sorry this book disappointed you 😦

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