Categorized | book review

Translating God by Shawn Bolz

translating-god-shawn-bolz

Why I Bought Translating God

Now that I live in China I don’t get many real books I can hold in my hand. However this summer we had some friends come visit us from the States, and I asked for them to bring over this book. I had several friends recommend it, and having heard one sermon by the author, I felt this could be a book that really spoke about hearing from God in a way that resonated with how I viewed God and would encourage me to hear Him more.

What is in Translating God

With all those grand expectations, Translating God by Shawn Bolz did not disappoint. The subtitle for the book is hearing God’s voice for yourself and the world around you. Bolz takes the view that God still speaks and desires for every Christian to her His voice. He gives personal examples throughout the book about what this has looked like in His own life. These examples do not come across self-aggrandizing, but seem to be a sincere desire to encourage the rest of us to press in to hear God’s voice more.

What Translating God is About

The part that I really enjoyed about Bolz’s viewpoint is how strongly he based the impulse to hear God’s voice on a pathway to grow in love for God and others. For Bolz, hearing God’s voice is a way to help others see how much God loves them. He says that the prophetic, hearing God’s voice for others, is the greatest gift of love we have. He also says that the people who grow in the prophetic the quickest are the people who are already naturally encouraging everyone around them.

Bolz shares methods to grow in your ability to hear God’s voice. He talks about taking risks and holding yourself accountable to others if you get it wrong. He creates in the reader a belief that God wants to speak to them. I would highly recommend this book for any Christian.

Quotes from Translating God

Here are some quotes from Translating God that highlight what you would get out of reading it:

  • The goal of the prophetic is to see people the way God always longed for them to be seen and, from that revelation, to treat them out of his culture of love so that they will want to be the version of themselves we see.
  • Your relationship with [God] is the primary source and goal of revelation.
  • This is the goal of prophecy: to connect people to the empowering nature of God so they can become like him and display his marvelous nature to all the earth.
  • [Prophecy] empowers people to fully say yes to God and to take on his nature so they can be amazing now, not just in eternity.
  • When people hear the thoughts and emotions of God toward them, they believe in his love for them.
  • Prophecy from others should never violate our will or ability to have choices.
  • Knowledge that is not married to love and spiritual awareness can become religious.
  • Jesus was never motivated to use revelation to shame anyone.
  • We are called to discern the Father’s heart, not just the black-and-white or the truth amongst lies.
  • For everything you discern, there is a deeper, more original thought about it in God’s heart.
  • [God] speaks through parables, so that we have to seek his heart to know his mind.
  • Prophecy makes people feel what it might feel like in heaven, as if they have some of the hope that is in eternity now.
  • Something begins to inspire you when you see the world around you through God’s heart for it.

You can find this book at most bookstores and online. If you have read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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