Review by Matt Merker, The Gospel Coalition
How big is your God? Is he big enough to handle epidemics of disease in Africa and cries of injustice in Missouri at the same time? Is he in full control of trials and tragedies, or does he merely permit them? If God governs every molecule in the universe, then why aren’t your prayers always answered?
Orlando Saer, pastor of Christ Church Southampton in England, fears that such questions cause God to “shrink” in our minds. The shift is often subconscious. Confronted with the painful realities of life in a fallen world and the mysteries of how free will intersects with divine power, we subtly adjust our understanding of God himself. Maybe God only intervenes in unusual situations, we think. Perhaps he’s renounced his control of the world and leaves most things up to human decision.
In Big God: How to Approach Suffering, Spread the Gospel, Make Decisions, and Pray in the Light of a God Who Really Is in the Driving Seat of the World, Saer tears off this “shrunken God” thinking and showcases the God of the Bible as the God who truly is in control—of everything. Saer aims in this brief volume not just to prove that God’s full authority over the universe is scriptural; he takes it one step further and demonstrates that God’s powerful leadership is good. When challenged by life’s thorniest questions, we shouldn’t reduce God but rather run to him for the comfort and hope we need.