I write these recommendations to encourage others to read. I do not intend to provide a critical review, but to provide insights to what God has taught me through the authors I read. When I look at books on my shelf, I want to recall at least one thing that I learned in the book. If I can do this, I consider the reading of the book a success. My desire is to get you interested to read the book so that you can learn and grow along with me. Don’t take my word for it, read the book for yourself. But for now, here is what I learned.
The author addresses the book directly toward women, but the book is for anyone created in the image of God. From a personal standpoint, reading this book helps me to understand the challenge that women likely encounter when reading the bulk of Christian theology books that are written from a male perspective where they must do some mental jockeying to make personal application. I have read several of Hannah’s books. She takes complicated subjects and explains them thoroughly. As a pastor, I envy her ability to communicate heavy subjects with clarity and simplicity.
Image has been a struggle since creation. We were created in God’s image, Imago Dei. This is the foundational thought for the book. We are continually challenged to bring every part of our lives into the perspective that we have been created in the image of God and for a reason. It is truly what is best for us, and it is what God intended from the start.
Hannah separates the books into three major parts: From Him, and through Him, and to Him (Romans 11:36).
From Him: We are created in His image, and this is where we are to find our identity. But we look to everything else, our physical body, position, relationships, etc., to create our identity. In chapter 4, the author writes a great word picture from a caterpillar. “Our old selves must die. This begins when we hide ourselves in Him. When we humbly admit our brokenness. When we repent, not of our humanity, but of trying to root our humanity in anything but God Himself.” We become who we were meant to be when we navigate our lives in faith in Him. “It is faith to believe that we were made for more than our momentary desire, more than our brokenness, and more than our sin. We were made for His glory, and this only happens by faith through Christ.”
Through Him: This section focuses on the work that Christ does in us. He must change what and how we love. God is supreme and we must desire Him above all else. We will then love other things the way that God intends for them to be loved. Anderson further challenges us to learn about God which further shapes what we love. This work of God through us then leads us to reign as kings and queens, but this reigning is not for others to serve us, but for us to serve others. Our work becomes more than what we do to earn a living but is one of the ways we live in loving relationship with God and others. It is how we flourish and enable others to flourish.
To Him: This section brings all the thoughts full circle and I believe provides some of the most profound thoughts on our being Imago Dei. We become the “real” us as we are transformed by God’s ongoing work in us. This work is life long, but longer than this physical life. We are not changed immediately but rather through a process, and this process is what binds us to Christ in a way that instant transformation could never accomplish. This work frees us to view death as part of this work. Death is not the end, but just a step the work that God is doing in us. God invites us to life which John 17:3 identifies as knowing God. This eternal life includes life after this physical life, but it also includes this life beginning now. He invites us into His life now.
We all seek to understand who we are and why we are here. As we understand that we are made in the image of God we begin to comprehend that we are truly made for so much more and God desires us to know His purpose for us now.
Title: Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image
Author: Hannah Anderson
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