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The Mystery of God's Will


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Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the clear, practical teaching and application of God's Word. He currently pastors Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, and serves as the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. His renowned Insight for Living radio program airs around the world. Chuck and Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children and ten grandchildren.


Dallas Theological Seminary president Swindoll, known for his Insight for Living radio ministry and numerous books on Christian living and the Bible, is justly famous for his storytelling ability. In this new book, he draws upon stories from his many years in the ministry to flesh out basic principles relating to the will of God. Swindoll skillfully explicates some helpful methods for discovering God's will (he particularly stresses the need for patiently "listening in the silence" and accepting that God's will is unpredictable). The book's most unusual and refreshing contribution appears at the beginning and again at the end, where Swindoll discusses the mysterious nature of God's will, giving readers permission to stop trying to "unscrew the inscrutable." He claims that God rarely uses miracles, visions or direct revelation to communicate nowadays, making discernment a tricky process that must be grounded in the Bible and in prayer. In his dismissal of direct inspiration, Swindoll invalidates such experiences: while he concedes that "the leading of the Holy Spirit" is crucial for discovering God's will, he criticizes believers who claim God "spoke" to them. Swindoll's very direct style sometimes neglects the nuances of his complex topic. One chapter, for example, explores the "deep mystery" of God's sovereignty but does not acknowledge the very difficult theological problem of reconciling that sovereignty with human free will. While some readers may quibble with Swindoll's conclusions, most will consider this an accessible introduction to the important and often misunderstood theological concept of God's will. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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