“Faith is the art of living forward in obedience, not in the absence of questions, but in the face of them.” Ken Wytsma
How does someone rate a good book? Well in my case, if the highlighter runs dry before the end of the book – that’s a sign of excellence. Ken Wytsma’s new book The Grand Paradox did not fail to deliver! Time to purchase a new highlighter.
Quotes were being highlighted as early as the Foreward by Eugene Cho when he describes Jesus and the near death experience that his disciples faced in the torrential storm on the lake. Cho points out that Jesus initiated “this life and death episode.”
Immediately we are thrown into the tension, the paradox, the apparent contradictions within the Word of God. We are challenged by Wytsma to embrace the unknown and realize that “faith is often characterized less by clarity than by confusion.” If God hasn’t swept “the confusing under the rug” then maybe it has been left there for us to realize that His ways are truly above (and greater) than our own.
Just recently I challenged my high school students to not accept a simple or comfortable faith and suggested that Jesus was radical because of his paradoxical challenges. Things like finding wealth by giving it away, finding life by giving it up, and finding yourself in first by humbling yourself and serving. The book adds to the list of life-giving paradoxes: the weak will be strong, walk by faith and not sight, and suffering can be a blessing.
“Life is messy. God is mysterious. And accepting this tension-filled truth, no matter the circumstances, is the pathway to peace.” Ken Wytsma
The Grand Paradox covers a wide variety of subjects, including (but not limited to) prayer, joy, doubt, contentment, despair, the will of God, spiritual fatigue and renewal, rhythm and sabbath. I would highly recommend this book even if it only contained Chapters 11 and 12 on wrestling with and understanding our cultural landscapes as well as religion and the church. WOW! (I think this is where my highlighter lost it!!)
We must learn to live in the tension. Want help along the way on how to navigate and differentiate between the actual and potential? Make sure to grab your own copy of The Grand Paradox today (and don’t forget to purchase a new highlighter).
Ken Wytsma is a teacher, entrepreneur and author. He is the founder of The Justice Conference and president of Kilns College, as well as the author of Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things.