“Knowing God is a relationship calculated to thrill a man’s heart.”

J.I. Packer

What if your thoughts of God don’t thrill your heart? What does it mean? It probably means we don’t know Him as well as we think we do.

It’s very easy to inherit and perpetuate misconceptions of God. J.B. Phillips, in his classic work, Your God Is Too Small: A Guide for Believers and Skeptics Alike, spends the first half of the book deconstructing faulty (but common) misconceptions of God. Here’s his list of “unreal gods”:

  1. Resident Policeman
  2. Parental Hangover
  3. Grand Old Man
  4. Meek-And-Mild
  5. Absolute Perfection
  6. Heavenly Bosom
  7. God-In-A-Box
  8. Managing Director
  9. Second-Hand God
  10. Perennial Grievance
  11. Pale Galilean
  12. Projected Image
  13. Assorted

Some of these you can guess at by the titles–others you’d need to read to know what he’s getting at. I highly recommend it.

But besides deconstructing false conceptions of God, positive work is needed in order to know what God is really like. Phillips spends the second half of the book doing just so.

However, if you really want to experience a study on the beauty of our Lord, I’d send you to J.I. Packer’s, Knowing God. This is superior to Phillips’s treatment.

And Packer isn’t exaggerating. Knowing God is thrilling. And if you don’t feel that very often (or ever)–it’s totally work putting in the time to discover What’s the big deal?