Glenn Packiam’s work and artistry has been evident in the contemporary church through recent years. His songs are sung in churches all over the world, and his voice is heard by many more at conferences and through his writing. Influence, success, notoriety and fame (in a consumer Christian culture) have been set in his path. Scandal and tragedy have also landed close to home for Glenn. In all of this he began to take an honest, closer look at his faith and relationship with God.
I appreciated the honesty with which Glenn describes the rough road he and New Life Church walked as their pastor was disgraced in a national scandal. His vulnerability in looking back and candid response to influence and notoriety being devastated in a moment due to situations far beyond his control was refreshing. All of this forcing him to really take a look at his public and personal faith.
As he explores the ‘rumors’ that had shaped his faith, he uncovers some great insight into the fact that we all need to know God personally. He looks at the history surrounding the Ark of the Covenant and how that applies to our personal faith today. I appreciate his summation and challenge that many in the modern church have adopted a mindset that only the God Experts or God Professionals (people in vocational ministry) can really have a full relationship with God, and that we should rework our thinking and understand that everyone is made for contact with God.
Definitely a worthwhile read. His writing is very conversational, not preachy or too heady and he’s quite real in looking at himself.
So often we too easily settle for someone else’s descriptions, the CliffsNotes from another’s spiritual journey. We are content to let “God experts” do the heavy lifting and then give us the bottom line. And after enough times through the grapevine, the truth about God deteriorates until crumbs and rumors are all that remain.
But when life derails, when things don’t go as we planned, our thin view of God is challenged. In those critical moments, we can choose to walk away from God … or let our questions lead us home. When you decide to wrestle with God, to engage Him for yourself, you–like Jacob and Job and David–will see rumors die and revelation come alive.
It’s time to hear the magnificent divine invitation. It’s time to take God up on His offer and embrace the mystery and majesty of knowing Him for yourself.