Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Present Perfect" by Greg Boyd

I've recently read the book, Present Perfect, by Gregory A. Boyd. Greg is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and founder and president of Christus Victor Ministries. He was a professor of theology at Bethel College (St. Paul, Minn.) for sixteen years where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor.  Greg is a national and international speaker and author or coauthor of  eighteen books prior to Present Perfect.

My first exposure to Greg was reading his book, God at War. I cannot tell you how he expanded my thinking, so I enthusiastically agreed to review Present Perfect, which released in 2010. I have not been disappointed.

After receiving a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for review, I quickly dove in, however I discovered I could not rush through this one. It's very easy to read, but I had to take my time. I just missed the days of Greg's blog tour, but I don't regret spending a few extra days in this book. This book is life-changing and I will read it many times again.

Present Perfect focuses on the awareness of God's presence in the present moment. Greg draws from three authors: Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Jean-Pierre de Caussade and Frank Laubach. The first two were seventeenth-century monks. I remember reading Brother Lawrence's book, The Practice of the Presence of God, in college in the early 80's. It had a lasting impact on my life. Recently, literally the day before I began Present Perfect, I finished the book The Sacrement of the Present Moment by Jean-Pierre de Caussade. I had no idea Greg's book would be about the same concept, nor that he would draw from de Caussade's book.

The basic premise is to become aware of God's presence and love in each present moment. This awareness brings Christ's life and love into our lives and conforms us into His image. I cannot think of any other discipline in the Christian's life that could have such an impact on the Christian, the Church or the world. It's true it must become a discipline, then a practice, then a habit, but little by little we are made into the image of Christ. We're aware of His love for us and others as we practice His presence in the present moment.

My husband is a pastor. He's already read the book and we will recommend it to our church. See for yourself. Check out Greg's website and other comments about Present Perfect, released by Zondervan 2010

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