Living Close to God: When You’re Not Good At It – Gene Edwards

This book’s title is correct, it’s about living close to God, not learning how to relate to Him intimately. After completing the 120 or so pages of widely spaced text I felt as empty as a college math teacher playing soduku with a third grader.

I’m not trying to degrade Gene Edward’s book. For the person who isn’t interested in wading through the messy baggage of personal relationships this book is for you. It starts and ends without any narrative context. Why would you desire to live closely with God? Well, it’s just what we are to do, right? How do we get drawn closer to God? We gut it out through the years. Appealing.

The brevity, lack of scholarship and disconnect with any real story to drive home points left me wondering why I enjoyed his earlier work, A Tale of Three Kings, so much. It was also a short read with large margins. Within those margins, however, I contemplated the narrative unfolding from scripture. I looked for hints of it in my life and I felt driven. In this book I could not do the same. Possibly because being relational is not something this author is good at.

I’m glad to know Gene Edwards desires to sit closer to God. If you want a quick nuts and bolts overview as a new believer this book may be for you. For a deeper read full of narrative I highly recommend Greg Paul’s, Close Enough to Hear God Breathe.

Paul brings impressive and unsettling bits of personal story into the fray to drive us forward. In writing it is imperative you write what you know. I’m not sure Gene Edwards followed that credo. I think he should have.

This book was provided at no cost from its publisher in exchange for this review.

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