The God of Yes: How Faith Makes All Things New
Author and speaker Jud Wilhite is also the senior pastor of Central Christian Church, which is one of the fastest growing and largest congregations in America. Wilhite is the author of bestselling titles PURSUED and TORN. Notably, his newest text is about discovering the wonder of God’s enthusiastic “YES!” to life and all the good things He has created for people to enjoy.
Wilhite admits that most folks mistakenly define Christianity as a religion (or walk of faith) that is predominately characterized by “no.” Instead, he does a persuasive job of convincing Christ followers that God wants them to relish His good gifts and find value in the pleasurable elements spread throughout creation. He uses Scripture to argue for his premise while also sharing portions of the Book of Ecclesiastes in which Solomon tellingly admits that pleasure without God at the center is pointless.
"Wilhite’s text is a refreshing and welcome one given that often Christians believe God is constantly after them to give up that which they enjoy when He only wants to love and protect them from anything that could bring harm to their body and soul."
As Wilhite details in this 10-chapter book, Christianity has often taken that which is good and that God meant for humanity to enjoy and has rejected it. Whether Christians say “no” to people, enjoyment, laughter, pleasure, success, or ultimately life itself, they are shortchanging themselves and the life God so desires they experience. Needless to say, Wilhite offers ample examples from life and Scripture that warn folks about displacing God with any number of pleasure-seeking alternatives. However, THE GOD OF YES isn’t mainly a book of naysaying and warnings. Rather, Wilhite invites Christians to re-examine those areas of their lives where they may have discarded that which God has given them to enjoy but have offhandedly dismissed as not fitting for Christians to value.
As Wilhite states, “The flip side of Ecclesiastes shows that it is actually affirming life in all of its parts with God at the center.” After an introductory chapter, Wilhite discusses the most frequently misunderstood elements of life where God desires to put His stamp of approval upon. These topics include saying yes to God; yes to pleasure; yes to work; yes to seasons; yes to impact; yes to friendship; yes to contentment; yes to wisdom; yes to heaven; yes to life; and finally, yes to your next Yes!
Throughout each of these lively and warmly inviting chapters, Wilhite shares stories from his own life and that of his family’s. He also tells about how living in Las Vegas, Sin City itself, impacts how he views indulging in ways that are not God honoring. He is careful to point out that God has intended that individuals find their life first in Him, learning to love and enjoy God most of all, before they can rightly appreciate and value the good gifts found throughout the created world. Wilhite’s text is a refreshing and welcome one given that often Christians believe God is constantly after them to give up that which they enjoy when He only wants to love and protect them from anything that could bring harm to their body and soul.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on April 27, 2014