Yawning at Tigers: You Can't Tame God, So Stop Trying
In his last pages, Drew Dyck winds down his foundational topic by referring to his “odd” metaphor: “I compared God to a tiger.” Then, “I hope that didn’t offend you.” It seems he’s writing to a generation younger than I that is unfamiliar with a significant book published a decade or so before he was born (from what I could figure): CHRIST THE TIGER, by Thomas Howard, and to the metaphor’s earlier use by poet T. S. Eliot. (Was Dyck himself familiar with the precedent? It’s not clear, as neither source is mentioned in his text or ample notes.) He is, however, writing to a generation that grew up connecting God and a lion (Aslan), an image as ancient as John the Divine. So I don’t quite understand his closing apology. Are we as far removed from the link as he thinks? Enough on that count.
"...a well-written, well-formulated book that is both inspiring and challenging.... How refreshing to see a book that gives biblical citations in the text itself and old-fashioned, easy-to-track endnotes."
If you can get past the garish cover, you’ll find a well-written, well-formulated book that is both inspiring and challenging. Dyck presents his material in two parts (six chapters each), first covering “Tiger Territory,” dealing with the characteristics of God that put a holy and just God above and beyond a flippant “best chums” category. This is a God who calls His people to sacrificial giving and to standards of moral living. Then the second half of the book, “Divine Embrace,” shows the tender, merciful aspects of God, evident in the Old Testament story of Hosea and Gomer, evident in the Incarnation, God becoming one of us.
Dyck includes anecdotes that help you get to know and like him. He’s not just lecturing; he’s personally working through the material, allowing us readers to better engage. In a chapter challenging readers to “dangerous living,” he admits: “I’m an idealistic person. In the past I held something of an either-or mind-set about the Christian life. Either I have to sell everything I own, move to a Third World country, and live in a hut --- or stay where I am and live like everyone else…. If you think God approves of only those with extreme callings, it’s easy to throw up your hands and stop trying altogether…
“The specific places and vocations God calls us to are secondary. The important things are whether we walk with him, take risks where we are, and live as threats to the evil around us.”
How refreshing to see a book that gives biblical citations in the text itself and old-fashioned, easy-to-track endnotes. If this was the author’s preference, three cheers for bucking the tide. A study guide rounds out the book, giving discussion questions, action points, and suggestions for Bible study of a particular relevant passage.
Reviewed by Evelyn Bence on June 20, 2014