The Presence of God

| January 26, 2015


J. Ryan Lister. The Presence of God: Its Place in the Storyline of Scripture and the Story of Our Lives. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. 368 pp. $25.00.

Sometimes a book is so ambitious you wonder if the author has bitten off more than he can chew. Questions like “Why did God create the earth, and why is mankind on it?” have been asked for thousands of years. Surely a 300-page paperback could hardly make a dent in the conversation.

Yet in The Presence of God: Its Place in the Storyline of Scripture and the Story of Our Lives, Ryan Lister sets forth a thesis equal to these monumental questions. And his answers might surprise you.

Begin at the End

To answer these questions, Lister begins at the end of Scripture. Starting with Revelation 21–22 and then covering the whole narrative from Genesis to Revelation, the associate professor of theology at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, highlights the presence of God as central to the message of the Bible. The divine presence is “not a mystical feeling or emotional charge,” but a “theme on which the story of Scripture hinges.”

This theme gets worked out in two ways, as…


To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/presence-of-god.