- Paperback: 230 pages
- Publisher: Presbyterian and Reformed; First edition (1 Jun. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0875521991
- ISBN-13: 978-0875521992
- Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,438,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Through the Looking Glass, Reflections on Christ that Change Us Paperback – 1 Jun 2012
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The above quotation from the book perhaps best sums up the author's motivation in writing it. As with his last book, The Enemy Within, this is a modern day re-working of some of the thoughts of John Owen, an English Puritan, this time on the subject of "gazing on Christ".
Initially, this book didn't hit me as hard as the excellent "The Enemy Within" but I believe that this may be simply because the subject of that book (battling our sin nature) is one that we immediately recognise as important. Unfortunately, much of modern Western Christian spirituality can be so shallow at times that we don't appreciate quite as easily the importance of and benefit of simply reflecting on Christ. Indeed, we often approach God simply to work through our "shopping list" of me-centred prayers or to see if we can twist His arm to give His stamp of approval to our plans. Even in our better moments when we genuinely want God to reveal His plans for us, we often mistakenly assume that our activity in carrying them out may actually impress Him. We rarely come to Christ just to stand in awe of who He is and what He has done.
Thankfully, Lundgaard, a former pastor and now a manager with Dell Computers, does an excellent job (with some help from Owen) of showing us how important and practical this exercise of gazing on Christ is. As he helps us to meditate on Christ's love, patience, suffering, wisdom, power etc, and see the glory in it all, he also shows us how understanding all this (i.e. just how glorious He is) proves a very practical aid in our everyday lives as Christians. When we realise how much He has done for us we can have confidence that He will not withhold any necessary grace to enable us to persevere in the faith. When we see His wisdom in carrying out His plans in history we can learn to trust Him more with our circumstances even when they appear baffling.
One thing I like about Lundgaard's writing is that every now and again, usually in the middle of a passage on something quite familiar, he will come out with a profound gem of wisdom. One that springs to mind is how, in taking on humanity, Christ loved us in a way that God (the Father) couldn't, in that He was then able to die for us - something which God couldn't have done.
The book is extremely well written and readable and could be read either devotionally or used for more in-depth study by making use of the reflection/questions section at the end of each chapter. It's also very good value for money, I can think of few ways of spending less than $10 and potentially benefiting your spiritual life so much.
Hopefully, Lundgaard, a 21st century Puritan, will continue to produce more works like these as I have to agree with him that Owen, despite being undoubtedly the greatest theologian England ever produced, isn't the easiest person in the world to read. Perhaps he may even introduce some us postmodern, cyber-surfing, digital dudes to the wisdom of some of the other great Puritans.