What do I think of Kreider’s book published by P&R? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
In Scripture we are told that we love because He first loved us. We would not know Him well unless He revealed Himself to us. Probably the person who came the closest without special revelation was Aristotle, and who among us possesses his intellect, his reasoning capability, and the time he had to come to his conclusions, and even then he had a lot of errors in his thinking. Kreider’s book is about how God has revealed Himself to us and in fact how that revelation is actually a condescension on the part of God. God comes in ways that we would not expect a great and powerful king to come.
Basically, you get a walk through the Bible and you get to see how God interacts with His people, which is just fine, and many parts along the way you would not likely have noticed on your own. For instance, consider that the first person God is said to appear to in the Bible is in fact Hagar, who is the slave woman of Abraham. In fact, God had made no promise concerning a child of Hagar and the fact that Hagar got pregnant by Abraham was a way of showing Abraham was trying to take control of the promise of God on His own, and while God owed Hagar nothing, He in fact made a promise to her concerning her offspring and provided for her.
The book goes on through the Biblical story and of course comes to the ultimate form of condescension. In this case, it was that Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, in being God by nature, chose to take on the nature of humanity. Other deities could have made appearances as humans in other forms, but the Son of God entered into the full of it even being born in a shameful position, living a shameful life, and dying a shameful death.
Which brings me to what I would say is my only major criticism of the work. I would have liked to have seen more about honor and shame in the Bible as this makes the idea of God’s interactions with us even greater. The Son of God who is worthy of all honor chose to start at the place of lowest honor that He could. Not only that, He died a death that was utterly shameful and would have been met with mockery and derision. Still, this is what God did and that fact should bring us all pause.
The author’s point then for us is that if our God regularly lowered Himself in order to serve us, ought we not do the same for one another? Indeed we should and one of the great problems of the church is we don’t serve. I have told my own wife lately that if you want to see men who are often struggling the most with pride, look no further than the ministry, and I include myself in that number as well. Very few have a servant’s heart any more. We have to constantly remember that we’re here to serve a name and not to make one.
For many, this will be a good reminder on the story of the Bible. For more, hopefully it will be a resource to make you examine your own heart and see if you are living like Jesus.