“Seeing with New Eyes” Book Review

667578-LDavid Powlison has quickly become one of my favorite authors, speakers, and teachers. I am most familiar with Powlison from CCEF where he regularly appears on their podcasts, videos, etc. along with speaking at various conferences.

Seeing with New Eyes is the first book that I’ve read by Powlison and it was a true blessing. The book is somewhat eclectic ranging over a large number of topics, but the unifying theme of the book is that growth in the Christian life is about learning to see with new eyes.

The book begins with a quote from CS Lewis, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." The basic idea of the book is that growing in godliness is the process of learning to see things as they really are, learning to see our lives and the circumstances of our lives as God sees them. In other words, we need new eyes in order to see what God sees and to think as God thinks. Powlison writes, "This seeing, this gaze, means to wake us up from our fantasies, fictions, and nightmares to see things as they are in fact. God has the real take on things and God teaches us his gaze." The metaphor is a powerful one that I’ve found myself using time and again in pastoral counseling.

The content of the book is divided into two parts. Part one contains six chapters about how scripture opens blind eyes. This section is basically a series of expositions on various passages of Scripture with a very personal and applicational approach. His chapter on Psalm 131 – "Peace, Be Still" was especially helpful to me personally. Part two is about "Reinterpreting Life". This section covers a lot of ground from a powerful critique of the five love languages phenomenon to a series of x-ray questions intended to help the reader diagnose idols of the heart.

I think the only complaint that I have about the book is that while all of the material is very well written and thought provoking, it is kind of disjointed. There isn’t an especially clear argument being made here, but even with that this is an outstanding book and very helpful.

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August 29 2011 04:00 am | Blog

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